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McLaren Does Some Soul Searching

John on June 9, 2006 at 1:46 pm

I’m on the record as being wary but intrigued by the whole emergent church movement. Actually, I’m not exactly wary, more like careful. And I’m a bit more than intrigued, more like hopeful.

Brian McLaren is pretty much acknowledged by everyone to be the leader of the movement, as much as a movement which questions authority structures can have “a leader.” So I suppose if I’m “careful” it’s him that I’m careful about.

All of that said, I find a lot to like in his latest posting, which is sort of a summary of where he thinks emergent is doing well and not so well. Unlike his high profile argument with Chuck Colson last year, the current piece shows McLaren at his best. He seems to wish the best for all and to acknowledge (albeit somewhat obscurely) that Emergent has potential to become little more than a reactionary movement to the current expression of “church.” And if it does so, he adds, it will likely be in need of its own reactionary movement in a few years.

Overall, McLaren is asking all sides of the debate not to close down lines of communication. Find some middle ground. Don’t banish the good someone has to offer because they are in error about something else. Most of all, McLaren seems concerned that everyone (himself included) make an effort to be gracious, kind and respectful — especially to those with whom they disagree.

I’m still going to be careful, but this particular posting contains a lot of what can only be called wisdom. Speaking in this winning voice is the way, the only way, emergent will fulfill its promise.

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Category: Religion & Faith |

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