I ran across this clip on Youtube today searching for emergent discussions. I found it interesting since both RC Sproul and Ravi Zaccarias are featured in the discussion – I never did figure out who the third guy was, but the link for the video on youtube references it as a Ligonier ministry – RC Sproul’s creature. These two are prominently featured in the Truth Project, and their perspectives were unfamiliar to me before our time with the Truth Project. With our congregation in the midst of the discussion, I know find it important to better inform myself. Admittedly, most of the reading that I do is focused among emergent-type authors. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that I am part of churches of Christ who aren’t really evangelicals (though some of us are looking more and more like them), but find ourselves, for the most part, of of these kinds of discussions.
So . . . a few thoughts on this video clip. The speakers unfairly use Brian McLaren as their dartboard picture. He’s an easy target, no doubt, due to what is quickly becoming a prolific writing resume and his widespread appeal in the Emergent Church. However, he is better seen as the representative pastor of the emergent movement as opposed to the theologian and thinker. He is these things, but not nearly at the level of others. In large part, this area of theology is slowly gaining momentum in the academy. Better conversation points should be noted with N.T. Wright, Stanly Grenz, and John Franke, among others.
The end of the clip shows the climax over the issue of homosexuality and the “audacious” claims of McLaren. I don’t want to post at length here, but the last thing I wanted to do was to share in the standing ovation of the crowd. The sharpness and condescending tone of their remarks were also unfortunate.
The relativist perspective they caricature is never seriously dealt with but cast aside in reference to extremist points. The one point they make that I feel needs further conversation among “evangelicals” is the accusation of the emergent movement as conservatives (theologically) finding of liberalism. There is some truth in this for much of what I read. I think the conversation at large is not confined to this, but it is a contributing factor. However, as a true postmodernist, I have to say that I don’t find much help in those categories they loosely throw around. Anyway, for what it’s worth, this video explores the reaction conservative evangelicals are having to postmoderns.