So my friend Ben turned me onto a very worthwhile post on Johannes Kleske’s ‘s blog called entitled Builders & Doers and Whiners and Trolls’. Johannes helps us call into to question whether those in the emergent camp do more than just sit around and talk.
I have had some conversations lately with friends who are on both sides of this emerging business. The one side is the, “I don’t understand what the big deal is about all this.” The other is the, “Oh my gosh I can’t believe they don’t see how important all this emerging business is.” Regardless of where you are at, there is something in the air so to speak. I personally think it’s big. I think emergent is a part of it.
Here is more or less what I said to both of my friends;
Some time after the reformation, maybe even leading up to it, what we believed about certain things became really important. That was reinforced with the enlightenment and more so as we progressed into the age of modernity. This was true because of the emphasis on logic and linear rationalization. Somewhere along the way we lost touch of our purpose, which was; to be the church, embody the kingdom of God, be the message and join God in the restoration of all things. Instead our purpose became defending what we thought were the most sound doctrines and religious practices. That was and is a poor substitute. Both friends agreed.
Now, our danger is the same. Rather than embodying the Kingdom of God, we can get all hyped up about proving to people how wrong they are and how right we are. This is the very thing we despise. The Kingdom of God is not about words. Our purpose as citizens of the Kingdom isn’t just talking about what it’s like. It’s living in it.
I think in this way we have confused what theology really is. It is supposed to be the study of God. True study of God is not done merely in thought surrounded by books and blogs. It is done on the streets, in homes, with and in people’s lives, as we live aspiring to be fully integrated with God; which also means we become fully integrated with our fellow humans and live in harmony with our environment. In this, we find our theology. Only then are we able to articulate what we have been learning. We have for too long yielded to the model of learn, talk and do. That’s great when it comes to sitting in a classroom and regurgitating information. But real learning usually comes from actually doing, at least in my experience. Maybe we should be more concerned with doing, learning as we do, and then talking about what we have discovered.
Please check out this post: