There is such a proliferation of terminology in these days that one must carry a linguistic thermometer in his briefcase at all times to take the temperature of the times. Whether we agree or disagree with its non-existent premises, postmodernism (whatever it is) is going to factor into our daily conversations. We will at least need an internal translator if we are going to keep up with the flow.
Then, enter the emerging church, which may be nothing more than an attempt to translate clear truth into fluid language. Islam declares that it can only be fully understood using a divine language, Arabic (If I understand my friends correctly). Christianity has never made such a claim. It has always been an emerging church built upon timeless teaching, translated and retranslated.
Looking for something else, I found a very good resource for those who are trying to get a handle on things. Professor Scot McKnight is no drum beating, head nodding, non-critical, band-wagon-jumper in at Jesus Creed. His writings are insightful and theologically sound and he has gathered a satchel full of cyber resources to keep a serious student busy for some time. I agree with:
I am pleading with the critics of the Emerging Movement to accept that not all Emerging folks are hard or even soft postmodernists. To equate Emerging folk with postmodernism and to say that postmodernists deny truth so therefore the Emerging folk deny truth is unfair, libelous, and scandalous to how Christians ought to operate with one another. (I have been involved with the Emerging movement steadily for six months and an attentive listener well before that, and I have not yet heard one “hard” postmodernist approach to reality. Not one. They may be there, but I’ve not heard them, and I can say that I have looked.)
It is easy to lump everyone together and react based upon trigger words that we think we understand. Further. he contends:
I will say this again: the Emerging Movement is not entirely postmodernist in its epistemology, and it is sloppy and unfair to say that it is. What the Emerging Movement, and almost universally, is an attempt to “do church locally” in light of the postmodern condition of our world.
That is some of the free stuff. You can find most of his published work by looking at The Jesus Creed at Amazon. He is the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University (Chicago, Illinois), where he is also the Department Chair and the Director of the College of Christian Life and Thought. Technorati call his site the #1 blog on the emerging church.
I need to learn some new languages. That is clear when I write about new/old concepts with acronyms such as my article on becoming a ROOTS church or Building a Christ-Centered Community for Transformation where I use multiple "e"s to make my point.
I'll be visiting JesusCreed.org frequently and following the links.