This morning I woke up at a nice, reasonable 9am or so and began working on my 1500-1800 word final paper for my religion class. I'm writing about the command in Deuteronomy and Matthew to "Love the LORD your God" and some of the ways in which it should be manifest in our lives, particularly referencing what we've discussed and studied for class. It was a fairly normal Saturday morning--Laura was sitting in the red chair typing on her computer, Val was eating her oatmeal and writing an email, I was drinking coffee (out of a particularly nice blue mug from IKEA) and just getting to the post-brainstorming draft-writing process when Val and I returned to a topic of conversation we've been having for weeks: the emergent church.
It's been quite the hot issue in our house and in our group of friends lately. Do you all know much about what has been labeled the "emergent" or "emerging" church? It's one of those tricky things that really eludes a concise definition, but from my understanding, it is most generally a movement towards a more experiential rather than theological view of Christianity, among other things. Churches are beginning to emphasize a practical, everyday spirituality in which we really strive to do the things that Jesus commanded us to do. On the other hand, "emerging" churches also sometimes end up rejecting foundational theological study and the absolute truth of the Bible. I don't really know a whole lot about it--its lack of definition makes it really hard to understand clearly. It seems like "emergence" is on a continuum, meaning that not all churches that are emergent are necessarily labeled as such. But it has been really fascinating to talk about with my friends and try to form an opinion about.
Anyway, we were specifically discussing this article about Rob Bell.
The article pretty well slams him for his book Velvet Elvis, which I have not read. Val's been doing a lot of research into it, trying to look at it from all angles. She knows a lot more than I do, but I've been participating in the conversation some. It seems to me that there are "emergent" ideas everywhere I look--in chapel, classes (including this religion class), my church--that I never seriously questioned until I heard the label. So I think that there must be some true, good, biblical things in it, but also some really dangerous ideas.
Just curious as to what you guys think. :)