Emerging, Emergent, Evangelical, etc…

I am totally stealing these awesome pictures from Michael Patton and giving him FULL credit…
This is cool!:
Anyone who has read my blog knows that I read Parchment and Pen theology blog a lot, in fact, my blog would be significantly different (maybe even non-existent) without his blog (and influence of such!) So thanks Michael!

Today I am examining some cool drawings/graphs from post ” Will the Real Emerger Please Stand Up?

The post is real long and has a lot really good detail and insight. I highly recommend you go to his sight read it and even download the PDF as a resources for future teaching/preaching and or reflecting.

These graphs are only a very small portion of the entire post:

Here is the idea! This is the template. To differentiate between Emerging, Emergent, Evangelical, and Fundamental – Michael charted dotes that represent how each group sees theological issues. It does not have to do with where they land theologically. It has more to do with how much focus each group places on certain issues.


For example, the perspective or angle of a fundamentalist is ” “If it is in the Bible, it is absolutely essential, and we are certain that we are right!”
Very dry cut, black-and-white, and clear.
They spend their time on essential issues, yes…but they also make EVERYTHING (in the Bible) an essential.

And here, we see that Evangelicals have a place for everything. This is more balanced. We spend a lot of time deciding what is essential what is not essential. What is important and fun to talk about but is not essential, etc.

We see here, emerging, begins to drift away completely from the center.

And here you can even begin to see a difference between Emerging and Emergent camps!

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What are Evangelicals to do?

Evangelicals are not going for the Democratic agenda. (especially not the more liberal agenda of Obama.) And Evangelicals have reservations about McCain too.
Who are Evangelicals going to vote for?
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I remember everyone was saying four years ago they were voting Bush as the lesser of two evils.
That is interesting. Now the same people are wondering if Kerry was the lesser evil, while others wonder how much more evil Kerry would have been…
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Well, in the end it comes down to our two-party system. At least that is what I think. The two parties leave a difficult dilemma for any individual (evangelical or not). Most people are not one-platform believers. What I mean is that hardly anyone agrees with every single aspect of one particular party. A two party system does not really represent everyone. I know people like to vote on a couple of really important issues, but think about that a minuet. How smart is that really? We are picking a President all aspects of what he believes is important and can change our society not just the social issues!
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(random but funny pics sorry they have little to do w post)
I understand that changing the party system is practically impossible. So am not leaving much of a solution, but just thinking out loud. What might change everything for this year’ election would be the VP selection. McCain and Huckabee ticket anyone?

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What is essential to Christian faith?

Or better yet simply to the to Gospel message?

I have been learning a great deal that a lot of things in the Christian faith are non-essentials.
My question is what are the absolute essentials?
What must a person believe to get into Heaven?
What must a church agree on in order for it to be Evangelical/Protestant?
What are the “essentials” that Augustine speaks of and are they the same today?
What are the major Agreements?

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Okay, that is a lot of questioning. That is enough for one day. What do you think?
And yes I understand that the answers to each of those questions are different….

Just a Question

why are conservatives upset about Evangelist manifesto? I don’t get it.
I think that the manifesto is great and even if people are not signing it, we can at least reflect on and work with some of the ideas pointed out in the document and critic our own faith system.
What is the big deal?

http://www.todaysthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=65390

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080508/32296_Evangelical_Statement_on_Faith,_Politics_Stirs_Up_Religious_Right.htmGo to fullsize image

Evangelical Manifesto

As you might have already noticed my blog has a lot content delay. In other words, my blog will not respond to real life events immediately after they take place. For example My summary and review of the movie Expelled was not shared until long after the movie was no longer playing in theaters. Another instance is this post, a summary of the Evangelical Manifesto.

It has been months since it was released! This problem I have is that I only post once a day sometimes two, although I have several ideas for content I save for later dates and continue to post only once a day. Maybe I should post more often! But I like having content and ideas and I like having one post everyday so that readers are never over-whelmed but they are also never without content for more than 24 hours, except on weekends.

Evangelical Manifesto

I had no reservations about the ideas and principles that the document was talking about. I agreed with just about everything the authors said. It was a well-written document and I found nothing to argue about.

The deal with James Dobson surprised me. At first I wanted to say, “give me a break.” But Dobson has every right to say and do what he wishes. It is hard to incorporate a document that is going to have everyone in agreement. Dobson does bring up an interesting point, that no other African Americans are or were involved with the document. But instead of being offended he could have been more revolutionary and been the first of many otter African Americans to sign the document.

To briefly summarize what the document was about:
The Evangelical Manifesto is a document signed by many of the leaders of the Christian Evangelical movement and apologists declaring of who Evangelicals are and what they stand for.
Recently the secular media and America as a whole has lost sight of what exactly it means to be an Evangelical. There has been some confusion and misrepresentation of Evangelical Christianity. The document lays out ground works of what it truly means to be Evangelical. It runs through the history of Evangelicalism and then confronts contemporary issues that the church needs to deal with and is currently facing.

“For those who are Evangelicals, the deepest purpose of the Manifesto is a serious call to reform—an urgent challenge to reaffirm Evangelical identity, to reform Evangelical behavior, to reposition Evangelicals in public life, and so rededicate ourselves to the high calling of being Evangelical followers of Jesus Christ. “

As I previously mentioned, I completely agree with everything on this document. I signed the document and have been imaging how I can help. Some Christian groups have pushed politics too far. I hope to see Christians living out Jesus, and not living out politics.

http://anevangelicalmanifesto.com/

Baptist/Calvinistic/Evangelistic?

one of my friends had this label on Facebook for his “religious beliefs”:

Baptist/ Calvinistic /Evangelistic.

At first I just laughed and smiled. It is interesting that he choose three categories to classify his beliefs. But then the more I thought about it the more I admired his classification and his beliefs. In fact, I think that Baptist/Calvinistic/Evangelistic fits me quite well.
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I recently read another Michael Patton article called “Evangelical for a Reason.”In this article Michael tells us why he is Evangelical. He discusses the flaws with Evangelicalism but then he also suggests that Evangelicalism is probably the best answer,

“I am an evangelical. I am not an ignorant evangelical. I am a learning evangelical. But over the last ten years, as I have studied Scripture, history, the enlightenment, and the early church, as I have traveled to other countries, engaged in gracious reflective dialogue with Evolutionists, Arminians, Egalitarians, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Emergers, mystics, new-agers, the New Atheists, and those who know no labels, I have become more of a Reformed Evangelical than ever. True, I would not die for every aspect of my theology like I once would. True, I don’t think “the other side” is as ignorant as I once did. But I am more convinced based upon my studies than I ever was.”

I suggest reading some of his posts and watching some of the free theology classes on his website, there is a lot of great stuff there!

Personally I am still learning so much about these things and can’t make such a confident claim as Michael does. I am not quick to jump on the latest and newest theology bus or trend. I like to do research before putting belief in anything.

As far as the emergent church, I also agree with Michael: I honestly think the heart of the majority of the emergent is right. They are after souls for Christ. They want to engage culture and display Christ to people in this culture. They want to be relevant. And in some ways this is great. But we have to be careful and draw a line somewhere. I personally am agianst “flexible theology and doctrines” the you hear about in Velvet Elvis.

And also we need to be careful when engaging the culture. We cannot let ourselves be so engaged that we are invisible, of the world, and no different than the useless Hellenistic Jews. (No offense to any Jews who are still celebrating Alexander the Great out there…)

In general, I still have lots to learn…I am also trying not to classify all of my beliefs. The most important things I am learning right now is deciding what is essential to my faith and what is not. I still have a lot to learn. I agree whole-heatedly that we need to have critical minds when studying these things.

Where are you in the theological spectrum?

Find out at :
http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2008/02/28/from-fundamentalism-to-liberal-spectrum-of-thought-in-the-western-church/

I am still digesting this. I have seen these ideas before, but I never put it all together and figure out exactly where I stand. I have remained skeptical of some of the emerging church ideals I have heard but there are some things we can learn from them as well. I really love reading deeper theology, but I also want to be relevant to the culture.

I think I am somewhere between Reformed Evangelical and Historic Evangelical. But as I said I am still learning.