Anyone who know me knows that I’m not one to simply tow the party line. In fact, I hear next to nothing from the party line. I don’t even think I’m on their speed dial. I say this going in because this could easily be taken as simply mindlessly backing the position of a CC figurehead. I assure you that this isn’t the case.
I had heard that Brian Brodersen recently spoke on the Emergent Church. I didn’t know anything about the context or content of the study. It turns out he was teaching at the recent CC youth workers conference. His study is online at his website and you can access it directly by clicking here. (If it is no longer on the main page of his site, look for it by name. “Rob Bell & Brian McLaren: Emerging or Submerging? Colossians 2:8”)
I have to say that it was one of the most balanced reviews of the movement, the players, the topics, the theologies, and the worldviews given to date, specifically from someone within the CC movement. What Mark Driscoll’s teaching on it was from a semi-but-no-longer-insider’s perspective, Brian’s was from the outside.
What I especially liked about Brian’s teaching was that he specifically said that the issue wasn’t style or methods of communication. It had nothing to do with whether or not you use candles or any of that. It was about the theology, the philosophy, and the direction of those who are most influential in the Emergent Church/Movement/Conversation/Whatever. Those are what should be at issue, not the secondary issues of style of communication or expression.
At any rate, I don’t know if my opinion on it means anything to anyone, I just felt the need to say something about it because of some of the uproar it is causing with some within CC. Some people just flat hate it. I see no reason for any of the objections to the study. I thought it was great. Balanced, to the point, fair. I recommend it to everyone. If you’ve never hear or read anything about any of this Emergent stuff, if makes a good primer. If you are familiar with it, even knee deep into it, give it a listen.
Brain Brodersen, thank you for this study.