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Archive for January, 2006

Ravi Zacharias and the Emerging Church

As we talked I asked him what issues were of the greatest concern to him and what he was preparing to focus on in the coming year. Much to my surprise, he said that the Emerging church was a great concern to him because it held a low view of truth and was gaining momentum as a gathering point for all kinds of aberrant Christian doctrinal agendas.

Mark Driscoll, an early leader in the emerging church in North America, relates Zacharias concerns with some thoughtthreads within ec. Driscoll reports that Zacharias anticipates it will be his top concern in 2006.

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Ravi Zacharias and the Emerging Church

As we talked I asked him what issues were of the greatest concern to him and what he was preparing to focus on in the coming year. Much to my surprise, he said that the Emerging church was a great concern to him because it held a low view of truth and was gaining momentum as a gathering point for all kinds of aberrant Christian doctrinal agendas.

Mark Driscoll, an early leader in the emerging church in North America, relates Zacharias concerns with some thoughtthreads within ec. Driscoll reports that Zacharias anticipates it will be his top concern in 2006.

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emerging jews

AP runs a story on the recent confab of jews and representatives from emergent.

ht to ted olsen.

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emerging jews

AP runs a story on the recent confab of jews and representatives from emergent.

ht to ted olsen.

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Should Ideas be Discussed on Blogs?

Doug Pagitt:

After three years of keeping a blog and reading many I have come to a conclusion: In my experience personal Blogs are useful for allowing people to stay in touch and know what people are up to, but are not a suitable place for the exchange of ideas – ultimately they do more harm than good – in my opinion at least.

I have decided to stop using this blog for the sharing of ideas….

link

I was saddened to hear of Doug’s decision. I feel that my life has been enriched by the new ideas, books, connections, thoughts and adventures that I’ve heard about on blogs. We’ve posted in the past ways in which blogs and other online mediums in fact allow for better theological and ecclesiastical conversation. I recently witnessed an international controversy between two organizations that began and resolved within about 72 hours. The fact that it all happened in the open online contributed to the speed of resolution. This is all due to the lowering cost of information. As information declines in cost, more folks are potentially empowered to know and participate in decision making.

The challenge of the medium is the same as the challenges for email, online discussion groups, phone calls and face-to-face meetings: The challenge is my spiritual maturity and yours. How well do we approach disagreement? The quality of our approach to disagreement is medium agnostic.

Now I don’t mean to imply that medium shouldn’t be given careful consideration. email can be awful as a forum for certain disagreements when someone can’t hear voice inflection and view facial expressions. But for extremely emotional discussions, emails can be excellent because they enforce listening and allow for editable communication. blogs tend to privilege the blog owner’s opinion as compared to online discussion groups. But blog aggregators allow the surfer to keep up with an enormous amount of information and discussion in a brief amount of time. And so forth. But I’m not comfortable with a carte blanche dismissal of any of these media for the discussion of ideas.

Doug has indicated that he does not wish to be contacted to discuss his decision so I will respect that. But I do hope he changes his mind! I wish to hear his voice!

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Should Ideas be Discussed on Blogs?

Doug Pagitt:

After three years of keeping a blog and reading many I have come to a conclusion: In my experience personal Blogs are useful for allowing people to stay in touch and know what people are up to, but are not a suitable place for the exchange of ideas – ultimately they do more harm than good – in my opinion at least.

I have decided to stop using this blog for the sharing of ideas….

link

I was saddened to hear of Doug’s decision. I feel that my life has been enriched by the new ideas, books, connections, thoughts and adventures that I’ve heard about on blogs. We’ve posted in the past ways in which blogs and other online mediums in fact allow for better theological and ecclesiastical conversation. I recently witnessed an international controversy between two organizations that began and resolved within about 72 hours. The fact that it all happened in the open online contributed to the speed of resolution. This is all due to the lowering cost of information. As information declines in cost, more folks are potentially empowered to know and participate in decision making.

The challenge of the medium is the same as the challenges for email, online discussion groups, phone calls and face-to-face meetings: The challenge is my spiritual maturity and yours. How well do we approach disagreement? The quality of our approach to disagreement is medium agnostic.

Now I don’t mean to imply that medium shouldn’t be given careful consideration. email can be awful as a forum for certain disagreements when someone can’t hear voice inflection and view facial expressions. But for extremely emotional discussions, emails can be excellent because they enforce listening and allow for editable communication. blogs tend to privilege the blog owner’s opinion as compared to online discussion groups. But blog aggregators allow the surfer to keep up with an enormous amount of information and discussion in a brief amount of time. And so forth. But I’m not comfortable with a carte blanche dismissal of any of these media for the discussion of ideas.

Doug has indicated that he does not wish to be contacted to discuss his decision so I will respect that. But I do hope he changes his mind! I wish to hear his voice!

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the state of emergent – 2006

The past year saw increased attention coming our way from national and local media, and it saw the first “third-person” books written on the movement from the breathtakingly bad (D.A. Carson’s Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church) to the even-handedly critical (R. Scott Smith’s Truth and the New Kind of Christian) to the openly supportive (Ryan Bolger and Eddie Gibbs’s Emerging Churches). And for those of us who frequent the blogosphere, the online chatter about Emergent and the emerging church is louder than my three preschoolers.

A couple of more notable trends in 2005 are: 1) We witnessed a significant uptick in interest and involvement from traditionally “mainline” Christians, especially those in Methodist and Presbyterian circles. And 2) We have begun to clarify the difference between “Emergent” and the “emerging church.” My favorite metaphor of late is that the emerging church movement is like the Internet, and Emergent is one of the servers.

In the new issue of Next-Wave, Emergent National Coordinator Tony Jones updates us on all things emergent.

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