+ I appreciated what Taylor said in his introduction: "One of my goals is to help you understand 'the emerging church.' My deeper goal would be for us to become the sort of people who know how to think about things like the emerging church." (Not, think about things the way the emerging church does, but think accurately about these kinds of subjects.) We don't want to put undue emphasis on thinking over and against action, but neither should we forget that it is thought which ratifies and engenders action. (Prov. 23:7, Luke 6:45)
+ The point about how the serpent began his deception with a simple question was especially perceptive. It seems there are too many questions being raised, leading to too much tampering with Christian theology and Christian epistemology. (A blog I was reading recently insightfully noted that "when you ask questions without providing much in the way of answers people will generally agree with you.")
+ I liked the numerous instances of both/and style thinking.
+ I posted about the three categories - "the three r's" - not too long ago.
+ Biblically speaking, homosexuality is wrong, and (some) emerging folks are for some reason hesitant about this one. I don't think that stance is defensible, but at the same time I think the mainstream church has blown this particular issue way out of proportion. It's a handy sin to target because it's generally not very close to home.
- I haven't picked up on the emergent/emerging distinction. You don't split firewood out of matches. Besides, grammatically, we need unrestricted use of both forms. (What are we supposed to call the emerging folks? "Emergings?" "Emergingites?" Emerginians?")
- I didn't care for the way Taylor kept deducing the negative statements, (what he called "implicit protest,") from the positive statements set forth by the emerging conversation. This type of deduction does not necessarily follow and doesn't seem fair.
- I think the distinction between "humble orthodoxy" and "generous orthodoxy" is a slippery one. Evangelicals say their firmness is rooted in humility: I think emergents would respond by saying that their generosity is rooted in humility. It seems to me that there is room for both: exercising worshipful humility toward God by believing His word, and exercising generous humility toward our fellow man by giving them some space (where we can) to differ from our particular ideas about God/Truth.
There are some serious dangers and problems in this movement that need to be recognized. I still feel, however, that we have some things to learn from emergent thought and practice. Eat the corn and toss the cob.
Image courtesy of philipstraub.com