Scot McKnight

I hope you have enough sense to read this with discerning eyes. But I do find it interesting to see how “emergings” would like themselves described, and how D.A. Carson “missed.”

But, I must say this: if you want to know what the emerging movement is all about, don’t read DA Carson’s book first. Instead, first read Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger, Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures (Baker, 2005). Why? As I said before, the courteous thing to do is to let the movement speak for itself. Which is exactly what Gibbs-Bolger do. They show the center of the movement is about ecclesiology not epistemology. (Emphasis His)

This, in my opinion, (as the author earlier acknowledges) is a false distinction.

Also, I’m only through the first two “Emerging rivers” and I must say I’ve found quite a bit more in the second that I like, than the first. In fact there are subtly in the first some things I hate.

14 thoughts on “Scot McKnight”

  1. Whoa! Where to begin? Rather than launching my thoughts into this discussion, I’ll wait to see what direction this takes. For now I’ll limit myself to one comment. The distinction between “emerging” and “emergent” may have existed from the beginning of the movement, but it was not publicly emphatic until this summer. I have heard several EM leaders call the terms synonyms. Therefore, to accuse Carson of failing to distinguish emergent from emerging is anachronistic. A personal note: I think this is a worthwhile conversation for all of us to engage in. Please join in!

  2. I’ll bite…When someone calls this movement an ecclesiastical one they are speaking a sort of short hand to say “the branch of theology which we are focusing on is “the church,” in particular, the practical ramifications of how the church does ministry in a setting where to one extent or another it permit postmodern assumptions.”So that’s my first complaint. Even if they want to think it’s an ecclesiastical movement, it’s both ecclesiastical and epistomological.

  3. I totally agree! What did you like in his second river, praxis? By the way, although my analysis was written last September (2005), I broke down the four common threads of the ECM very similarly to McKnight. Maybe I wasn’t as crazy as people thought!

  4. I think I appreciate the sentiment more than anything, the first page of the “2nd river.” I think the whole Padgit body shape thing is creative. I like the idea Keller talks about as being an “obob,” (one who holds to objective morality with the diversity and liberalism of the “bohemians”) the opposite of a “bobo” (a moral relativist with the cultural materialism of the bourgeois). I want to sell my ipod and hang on the east side… I really think that propositionally the church can be pure but prove its impurity by how crooked it is in its practice (the natural outflow of doctrine). So I guess I’m a “crunchy-con.” He loses me here: On top of this, some are quite fond of reminding us that Jesus didn’t offer a doctrinal statement but a way of life, and that he called people to follow him and not just to get their theology right. Apparently from what he says later he meant to write this: “and that he called people to follow him and not to get their theology right.”

  5. Zach, so that you know where I’m coming from with the diversity thing, this is what I’m reacting against. http://www.remonstrans.netThere is a strain of cultural elistist conservatives that distain what they would call “banality.” My fear is that in applying Platonic views of beauty and quality they contradict the diverse nature of what I see as true Christianity (every tribe, every tongue). That’s why that Seerveld article was important to me.

  6. I went home at 4 yesterday, thus the delayed response. I’d like to respond to some of your comments one by one. First, I believe that the praxis river is central to the emerging church, therefore it has most red flags for me. This is also where I placed the emphasis of my study last year. Second, I have visited Solomon’s Porch and “met” Doug Pagitt. Solomon’s Porch and Pagitt are the far, far left of the emerging church. Space and time won’t permit me to explain it all, but I’d steer clear of him. This is not to say that the body has no place in worship, but Pagitt’s reasoning and implementation are problematic, to say the least.

  7. yeah, probably 2 or so… 🙂 seriously, I have no idea. I think we’d spend most of our time explaining what it is. But even that would be beneficial I think.

  8. 40 words… I don’t think I can. McKnight uses four words to describe praxis that all need separate treatment. But here’s my attempt to summarize my problem. McKnight said, “praxis shapes theology.” This is classic emerging philosophy. McKnight deemphasizes (or eliminates) the role of orthodoxy in orthopraxy. But McKnight is the first person I have EVER read who said that “theology shapes praxis.” Statements like that are usually called modern, emperical, and flat-out denied by emerging leaders. Gotta go…

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