REPLY TO TREAD: EMERGING CHURCH
Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Rev. ed. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780802434340
You are required to reply to the tread by M. Adams. The tread is below. Reply must be 200–250 words in length. In your reply I want you to engage M. Adams in conversation while staying closely connected to the textbook. As a result of your connection to the textbook, do you agree or disagree with M. Adams, why?
It is absolutely vital that your reply is 200-250 words in length.
Tread by M. Adams
In review of the characteristics of the Emerging Church, do you agree or disagree with Enns’ evaluation of the Emerging Church (ch. 48)? Provide the needed scripture to substantiate your position.
Enns states that the emerging church advocates do not subscribe to a specific doctrine or theological position. While there are churches out there that tend to be like that, there is not an absolute answer to this. My non-denominational Christian church, for example, is very doctrine-oriented. The Bible is my church’s focus, and each sermon stems from a Scripture, and then it is applied to the people’s lives (Enns 2008, 692-3). Not all emerging churches have embraced relativism, thereby abandoning the Scriptures. Just because the emerging church is more upbeat, and less stodgy, doesn’t necessarily make it less Christ-oriented. Times have changed, and the culture has to be incorporated into the worship, in order for the church to survive. The Scripture hasn’t changed, but the times have. Just like we have changed the covenant from the Old Testament to the New Testament, the worship can and should be adapted to relate to the people today.
My church would also disagree with Enns’ statement that the emerging church focuses upon relationships, love, shared tradition, integrity in discussion. Scripture is what my church focuses on (Enns 2008, 692). The other things listed are included in our sermons, but Scripture is what is primary. Culture has not overwhelmed the emerging church. Scripture stays the same. It applies now, as it applied then. The Scriptures are inerrant. This is affirmed in Matthew 5:10; 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21. It is authoritative in application and experience. (Enns 2008, 694).
The Bible is inspired text, and is not narrative, as McLaren states. He feels the Scripture is simply Paul’s opinion. Paul was inspired by Jesus to completely change his ways and preach the Gospel. McLaren feels that the Bible simply records what happened, and it doesn’t apply to people today. This has been disproven by scholars for centuries. He feels the Bible is a story, and it doesn’t mean that it tells what should always happen or even what should have happened. He sees the emerging church as a rebellion (Enns 2008, 690).
McLaren and Chalke’s rejection of the substitutionary atonement of Christ is refuted by Scripture. (Isa 53:4-6; Matt 20:28, and others). Enns is correct in saying traditional evangelism, which begins with facts, is correct. The biblical pattern begins with doctrine, which results in correct behavior, as seen by the New Testament Epistles (Rom 1-11; Eph 1-6; Col 1-4). There is no Christianity without the Scriptural truths. It is impossible to speak about the deity of Christ, His substitutionary atonement, His resurrection, and other doctrines, without providing the truth of the Scriptures (Enns 2008, 696).
Without studying current emerging church theorists, I cannot come to a complete conclusion as to if he is correct on some issues herein, but I strongly feel that all emerging churches should not be lumped into one category. McLaren certainly doesn’t sound like he has any commitment to the Christian faith, since he describes himself as so many facets of the Christian faith. His own self-description is contradictory about his faith. Enns states that the emerging church’s view of traditional church evangelism is stereotyped. It sounds like his view of the emerging church is stereotyped. There are all kinds of churches developing now, and the reason there are so many, is that they are so varied, and the people are looking for specific things that aren’t found in all the emerging churches (Enns 2008, 695).
Reference List Enns, Paul. 2008. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago: Moody Publishers.