Is Emergent the New Christian Left? Tony Jones responds to the critics

An interesting 2 part read on Out of Ur, Leadership Mags blog.

In December, Brian McLaren was arrested along with 115 other activists while peacefully protesting the federal budget that he believes unfairly treats the poor. As one of the most visible participants in Emergent Village, McLaren’s increasingly outspoken political views has some wondering—is Emergent a new camp for Christian liberalism? In this post Tony Jones, the national coordinator for Emergent, responds to critics by championing Emergent’s conversational purpose and celebrating the group’s diversity.

I read a lot of blogs, my wife and friends say too many. And some of those blogs are deeply critical of Emergent Village, a decade-old friendship that has, after my family, become home to my most important relationships. My Emergent friends, old and new, love Jesus and are robustly grappling their way into God’s future. It seems to me that the two most important commitments that we in Emergent share are 1) we are ultimately hopeful about God’s future, and 2) we are committed to moving forward together, as friends.

What continues to surprise me is how dangerous some people consider this friendship I’m in to be. If you take some of these blogs (and books) seriously, those of us who make up the Emergent Village are a great threat to the Christian church—we have undermined doctrine, truth, and church life. The fact that we’re discussing theological items that have been previously deemed “undiscussable” is considered grounds for labels like “heretic” and “apostate.”

Honestly, I care little about these critiques. They come from those who either have no idea what Emergent is all about and/or could not possibly be persuaded from their position anyway.

On the other hand…read the rest here


Consumer Church

Again the Leadership magazine blog Out of UR has a great article. This time it’s Spencer Burke of “the ooze” fame commenting on consumer driven churches, here’s a splice to tease you over to their site.

Is the problem that people in the pews keep upping the ante on their demands, or is it that church leaders don’t comprehend the real source of their discontent? Is it that people want too much, or that they just don’t want what the church is currently selling?

Right now churches are focusing on one product to the exclusion of others. Most often, it’s teaching, a 60- to 90-minute event held at a particular time, at a particular physical address. It’s basically the same product we’ve been selling since the Renaissance. People sit in a room and listen to someone talk.

But here’s the thing: back then, it made sense for people to travel miles to hear someone talk about God. After all, people were mostly illiterate, Bibles were expensive, and Sunday morning was often the only time people could expand their horizons. Teaching was a rare commodity.

That’s no longer true today. Teaching is available everywhere—on television, radio, online. The local church no longer has the corner on the market.

Full article here.

Need Help With Digital Photography?

Darren, a guy I know who started The Livingroom has started a new blog…another new blog!
This blog is a bit different,, no comments etc like a normall blog, but as per usual Darren fills it with brilliant up to date, original information, tips and techniques that all can use.
I am no photographer, Christine is, but not a digital gal. I sometimes use ACOM‘s camera, but it’s supa cheap!
Check this out.

Tips For Fellow Bloggers

Tips For Fellow Bloggers
Here are 7 tips that appear in the article in “In The Black” all about corporate blogging, might be relevant to you.

  1. Get approval before embarking on a blog at work.
  2. You have to have something to say. Brochure copy will be ignored.
  3. The best blogs are updated frequently so are more immediate.
  4. The more you blog the more people will visit.
  5. Don’t blog about anything confidential. It is usually wise to steer clear of clients.
  6. Avoid slagging off competitors or making negative comments about other companies.
  7. Have fun!

Man, maybe some of us Christians should have read this worldly wisdom before sticking the knife in to some of our own ‘competitors’ and ‘other companies’. Dam shame when you have to learn Godly wisdom from outside his church hey? Humbling, yes?

A Night Reading Blogs

Tonight I am finishing my weekend with a blog fest.
I read this interesting comment about kids integrating into groups –

we have 5 kids that come to LivingRoom from time to time and its something that has been on my mind for a while now. We talked again last night in our planning time about the idea of integration with kids and came to a decision that to do a specific kids ministry/Sunday School type thing was not where we were at. Instead for us we want to be very very intentional about our relationships with our kids – love them and make a real effort to engage them over our meal and community time.
We make a conscious effort to do all age friendly activities from time to time but at other times are fine with the idea of the kids going off by themselves to have a play and be themselves with one another while we do what we do.
One of the insightful comments a parent made last night was that if we work on the relationship that the kids will want to stay with us, even when we ‘talk adult’ together and that this is probably the best integration we can do.