The conversation at Jesus Creed on C. Michael Patton's chart on orthodoxy and the emerging church is winding to a conclusionary pause and Patton has added more thoughts behind his attempt to map out the emerging church on the orthodoxy scale.
1. The first chart on conservative vs. liberal?
Nah. I don't feel that time-traveling to the 1920's dichotomy of fundamental/liberal to see which side we would land is the best way to reconnect a robust trust in the Scripture with a obedient commitment to social justice as outlined by the mandate of Jesus. I believe the story of the Bible is connected to the event - or in other words, those miracles of Jesus really happened - and so I am not a liberal. But I am also committed to the whole gospel as Jesus described it and that inclusion of justice and social transformation makes me appear suspect by fundamentalists. I prefer not to use the scale at all because its not helpful.
2. The Orthodoxy Chart?
I don't like it Sorry. I appreciate the effort of C. Michael Patton but these charts are neither helpful nor meaningful to me. I wondered why those particular authors were chosen to represent the emerging churches (and why authors and not network or emerging church ministry leaders?) and then I noticed that the 'emerging' and 'emergent were over to the side of Orthodox Christianity, rather than the center.
And who said orthodoxy was a fixed point in time rather than a moving target?
Shoot. What are we doing if it is not moving towards orthodoxy and orthopraxy? The emerging church movement, in my opinion, at least in my corner of the room, is at least an attempt to realign God's mission and the mission of the church in our generation with the way of Jesus and his apostles in a manner that resonates historically and theologically with what the catholic church has traditionally viewed as "orthodox". Patton has some good thoughts on what orthodoxy means, but I don't think he sees emerging church movement nudging the church towards orthodoxy in the way I do. His recent posts on his view on the emerging church [which says nothing about the missiological thinking behind the movement and seems to avoid the eschatological issues that are currently being raised by McLaren, Wright and Tony Jones] show that he sees the emerging church movement very differently than I do.
Technorati Tags: c. michael patton, emergent, emerging church, orthodoxy