Saturday, March 04, 2006

Why the Reformation Movement Needs the Emerging Church

The Internet Monk has posted an outstanding look at the bigger picture of evangelicalism in the US. He examines the critiques of DG Hart's book Deconstructing Evangelicalism and a presentation by Phil Johnson entitled "Is the Reformation Over?" Placing these side by side, he challenges the reformed movement to seriously consider encouraging the good points of the emerging church while continuing to confront the more questionable aspects. The move by DA Carson and others to toss the whole emerging church overboard will mean getting rid of a lot of good stuff. Like anything else, encourage the good, get rid of the bad. After all, we don't allow the reformation movement to literally burn people at the stake just because they disagree on a fine theological point, so even they have changed over the years!

He also discusses the role of Catholicism in a "post-evangelical" world. Consider this:
In all honesty, is the problem ECT, Timothy George and Chuck Colson? How many Peter Kreefts and Scott Hahns jumped ship over ecumenical evangelicalism? Hardly. It is traditional Catholicism that is making converts, and it is making them from largely conservative evangelicals who are looking for something in conservative, fundamentalist post-evangelicalism that isn’t there.
John Paul II and Benedict the XVI are seen as spiritual leaders of substance, in contrast to what evangelicalism these days calls a leader— anyone with two books and a church over 1500 members.

I know this is true of my generation! I have far more respect for John Paul II than the vast majority of evangelical "leaders." Most of the "leaders" that we've been raised on view politics, particularly Republican politics, as the real solution to the world's problems, but I'll get into that in a post later today or tomorrow.