Physicality, Absolutes, and Exclusive Coolness

A video inspired by Tripp Fuller from Homebrewed Christianity, who suggested I give a listen to an episode of The Christian Humanist Podcast about the Emergent Church and the Neo-Calvinists.  Well, I gave it a listen, and it was interesting to hear folks from outside the conversation about their sense of Emergent thinking/Church.  I especially appreciated that while they were critical here and there, I felt that they generally (with a noted “coolness” exception I address in the video) engaged the material respectfully and in a way that was thought provoking.  So much so that three things popped up that seemed like they were work considering:

  • To what degree is the “Emergent Church” a movement of actual buildings and congregations? Is it a series of building?  Books? People?
  • When does inclusivity go so far that it is merely an excuse for wishy-washy theology?  Does we have to have a firm theology?  Is it possible to live in intellectual limbo or are we fooling ourselves?
  • When does the attraction to like-minded folks and engaging dialogue lead to demarcation and exclusivity?  Can people be authentic and “cool” at the same time?  What is the relationship between the Emergent Church and culture?

These questions are not particularly new to the theological conversation, so don’t expect anything mind-blowing, but they are what is live for me at the moment, so there we go.

I’d be interested in hearing from other folks out there about their responses to the above questions and my responses in the video.  I would be especially interested in hearing from people that are not directly involved with the Emergent shebang, so if anyone out there has means of sharing this outside the Emergent  blog-o-sphere and can get feedback to share, I would love that.

8 Responses

  1. Callid,

    Thank you much for your response. Let me muse on these things–I think they warrant a blog post rather than a one-paragraph treatment. In the meantime, Michial and I attempted to record a follow-up to the Emergent and New Calvinist episode today. Although Skype gremlins cut us short, it might be worth a listen.

    Assuming that your blog does pingbacks, look for one before too long on this post.

  2. Yeah, thanks a lot for the plug and the thoughts, man. Tripp Fuller is really turning out to be a friend of the podcast, even though we said some not-as-kind things about the Emergent movement.

  3. @Nate and Michial

    Thanks for stopping by to say hello guys!

    As far as Tripp being a friend, I think that it is like what you folks mentioned about McLaren in the podcast. You might not agree with him, but he would be a nice guy to drive across the country with. I feel like we emergenty types try (sometimes failingly) to be friendly.

    I’ll look forward to the stuff you guys are putting out, and hope to stay in touch.

  4. Good post Callid. I’ve been meaning to write on the subject of “hippness” for a while. I’ve once heard hip defined as follows:

    Hip: knowing what is authentic and real.

    I like that definition. Happy Thanksgiving to you too man! Shalom.

  5. Jesse,

    I think that your definition of hipness is in line with the history of the term. My point is that, contrary to what I think of as the core of the Gospel, the culture of hip defines itself not centrally by how it invites more people in but by the ways that it keeps more people out.

    I’m not a proud man, so I’ll go ahead and say that you should take a gander at the two-part response over at my blog to Callid’s post. I go a bit more into my objections to hipness there.

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