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The Emerging Church (Part 4 of 4)

11. August 2009

Features, Theme Articles, Series,

  

Though it feels to you like months have passed, it has only been a day since you learned of your friend’s “Emergent” faith. Yet these hours have been packed with many weeks’ worth of concern, consternation, and compassion.

Unable to rest well the previous night, you’re now thankful for the prayer and Scripture study that filled those sleepless hours. You’ve called your friend to invite him to your home, telling him that it is cheaper to burn coffee at your place than having it done professionally at the local cafe.

As you wait for him, your thoughts turn again to the implications of your friend’s asterisk-laden profession of faith. Given the Emerging Church Movement’s intentionally loose grip on biblical doctrine, you wonder what its advocates deem distinctively Christian about the movement and how it interacts with other faiths. You decide to do some online research, focusing particularly on the works of leading Emergent thinker Brian McLaren.

Addressing the topic of interfaith relations, McLaren writes: “The church must present the Christian faith not as one religious army at war against all other religious armies but as one of many religious armies fighting against evil, falsehood, destruction, darkness and injustice.” 1

McLaren’s words display the top priority of the Emerging Church Movement (ECM)—social justice. Serving the downtrodden in society is ...

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