Friday, February 10, 2006

Trends in Spirituality

Quick – who does this list describe?
  • They are opposed to any strict form of orthodoxy
  • They are people who are turned off by consumer culture, mass marketed religion, & TV preachers
  • They want the freedom to define spirituality on their own terms
  • They embrace eclecticism
  • They yearn for a simpler time
  • They desire a greater connection to ancient practices and rituals
  • They strive for authenticity
  • They have a more communal mindset

You’re probably thinking “the Emerging Church.” You may be right, but this list was taken more or less from an interview with journalist Catherine Edward Sanders about her new book, Wicca’s Charm. Scary, isn’t it – the similarity?

Wikipedia contains a helpful entry on the Emerging Church here. Click on the section entitled “2. Structure and Commonality.” The comparison is quite interesting.

After reading this and another recent post, you’re probably thinking, “Chris is really down on the emerging church movement.” That isn’t entirely true. To recall a medical analogy, I think the “doctors” of the EMC have correctly identified the symptoms of a sick church. The ultimate diagnosis and prescription, however, are wide of the mark. The disaster of Modernity is not its penchant for objective truth. The disaster of Modernity is a neurotic obsession with the truth. The disaster of Modernity is a tragic neglect of mercy.

I appreciate many aspects of the EMC and there are a number of emergent churches I would even consider joining if I lived near enough. I am a huge fan of Dallas Willard & Richard Foster -- a pleasant commonality with emerging folks. I simply think many emergent believers have thrown the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. In any case, I think the peculiar parallels between the EMC and the recent “emergence” of Wiccan spirituality should give pause to any sober Christian.

If I haven’t entirely alienated you, I can seal the deal by sending you to a few of my previous posts on Brian McLaren, postmodernism and truth.

Just for laughs, here’s a link to a humorous essay, “Why I Am Not Emergent,” by Michael Lee at Addison Road. It’s strictly tongue-in-cheek.


Blogger wiploc said...

I'm not familiar with the emergent church, so I thought maybe you were describing Ghandhi's followers.


10:17 AM  

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