...are the ones that make the biggest difference

7.08.2005

Emergence and the Divine Order

Interesting article over on the Ooze - a pomo-emergent online magazine. It offers a good critique of the emergent church's ongoing antipathy towards order and structure, as if transitioning into some kind of institution or establishment is the reason the modern Protestant church is struggling/dying. An excerpt:

Modernity therefore, has left us looking for a church that is complex rather than shallow, rich and deep, rather than flat and one dimensional. I want a church that expresses its theology with robust intelligence, not shallow propositions or open-to-interpretation half-truths. I want a church that meets the entire human person in all his or her complexity and not one that addresses human beings as if they were one dimensional wills or intellects alone. I want a church that is stronger by diversity according to it’s kind, its order of genus, rather than a vaporous non-organization or one so open to diversity that it ceases to possess its distinguishing features. The church ceases to be the church when the principle of emergence-towards-order is replaced by open ended emergence towards no definable end.

3 comments:

Doug said...

Not sure exactly what he meant by "diversity according to it’s kind, its order of genus..." but I think I get the gist of it.

These people are either going to end up just like every other evangelical protestant group out there, or they're going to end up Orthodox and Roman Catholic. Personally, I think this guy's just screaming for Orthodoxy.

A fella I knew in college recently began exploring Orthodoxy after coming through the emergent church movement.

Nathan said...

The author is identified as "Fr.", and from his writing, I took him to be Catholic or Orthodox - though I suppose Anglican is a real possibility. I think his critique is steeped in Holy Tradition, which is why its so dead on in its assessment and so compelling. I don't think emergent will necessarily end up like every other Ev-Prot group. Some will, but others will relativize themselves into becoming mainliners or Unitarians of one stripe or another. Or they'll see the futility of that and go the other route you suggest.

Doug said...

Looks like he's Episcopalian. Apparently, he's got a blog at http://frmattmirabile.blogspot.com/.