There are many reasons why I blog, but one of the foremost reasons is to provide information, discuss issues, raise questions, etc. I do this as a “service” to my students, as well as others who may come across this blog. I also do it to engage in dialogue on certain issues. I also think it’s important to provide information, or discuss issues that we may agree with, or disagree with at times. Part of my purpose in blogging is to provide a variety of views and resources. Why do I bring this up?
Mainly because of the reaction that certain words give people who read my blog. The reactions tend to be fear, or jubilation. And some of these words are the words, postmodern, emergent, and, um, let me see. No, those are the ones. Some read those words and see some of my links to their resources and are so ecstatic because they feel that I am becoming emergent, or are emerging, that they can hardly believe it. Some read them, and become frightened, all of sudden questioning my orthodoxy, and the views I hold. Now both of these people are in a small minority, but I want to say this.
I think it’s important, that as a Christian, that I stay attuned and informed of what is going on in theological/church circles. I also think that as a Christian it is important that I explore all sides of an issue, conversing with those in the know.
So I guess I am giving a sort of position here. I am someone who considers myself as part of the emergent conversation. Meaning, I have been to two conferences, I have read the books, I have met the people. I am fascinated by many things they do and by many of the questions they are asking. And I am also concerned about some things, and am wanting to explore more some topics related to certain issues.
But I will tell you this. I have never been in an environment….Christian environment that is….where I felt more freedom to be myself, and ask tough questions, without feeling like you would be judged, or looked at in a weird way, like you weren’t a Christian because you ask such a question. Do you know what I mean? And I am also very intrigued by emergent’s views on leadership, which stresses a horizontal style of leadership. I like their views on this issue, and I agree with a style of leadership that moves away from strictly hierarchal positions. Hierarchy in leadership is necessary at times, and even beneficial, but I am beginning to think that a more Biblical view of leadership is less about hierarchy, and more about multiplicity in leaders, humility, servant leadership, etc. I am most drawn to Henri Nouwen’s vision of leadership in his book, In The Name of Jesus. One where the leader leads from within. Where he or she leads within the crowd (did you notice I said he or she…yes emergent also thinks that women and men have both been given the gift of spiritual leadership…as does my denomination and church…not just men…so if you agree with that, then you like some parts of emergent), not outside of it, or above it. This leader is one that leads in humility, like the image we see of Christ in Philippians 2:5-11. It is true servant leadership that does not pride itself with the desires to be popular, powererful, or relevant, as Nouwen so aptly discusses.
Anyways…I am on a tangent. But if you want to know more about emergent stuff, then read the blog links I have off on the side. And if you want to know more about some other topics, please let me know. But emergent issues are very relevant right now, and if you are not asking questions about it, you probably will be soon. Whether you see yourself as a part of that conversation, or whether you do not.
Also…to know more on this issue I have been doing some more reading.
I have recently been reading a blog from one of the newer professors at Fuller Theological Seminary, Ryan Bolger.
I really liked this question that was posed to him by a student:
Do I have to become a liberal to be ’emerging’?
This answer will give you some insight.