“Very few emergent folks I have encountered have any chance of returning to a robust, traditional evangelical faith. As emergents learned and listened in their evangelical churches and institutions, they realized they could not accept much of what they were being taught. Though they remained within the comfortable confines of these institutions, their faith became ironic. Yes, they were Christians, but not quite what most people meant by that term.
“… Instead, they are building a new theology that “emerges” from the story they find themselves in—namely, the shift from modernity to post-modernity.”
Scott McKnight details eight catalysts that “move disaffected evangelicals from an ironic faith within evangelicalism to a fork in the road: Either abandon traditional evangelicalism for an emergent form of post-evangelical Christianity, or abandon Christianity altogether.”
- Scripture’s inerrancy, does not sufficiently express the truth about the Bible and is therefore not sufficient as the base of determining the nature and scope of knowledge.
- Strong inclusion of Kingdom message of gospel.
- When science and bible conflict, science does not need to move aside. Broader view of Scripture: less concerned about traditional understandings of inerrancy.
- State of church and lack of integrity of leaders casts doubt on the institution of the modern church.
- Faith is more inclusive than exclusive.
- Re-thinking of understanding of God: violent God of the Old Testament vs a God of love.
- The need to re-think the ‘gay’ and ‘abortion’ issues.
- Language plays a large role in our faith and our claims to know the truth;
- theology is language-bound; language has its limits;
- the Bible is in language; that means the Bible, too, has the limits of language.
More and more I am finding myself in a story where my traditional evangelical background is no longer sufficient. For me, the emerging movement offers the hope of a third way.