Friday, November 11, 2005

Having an Emergent Beer

In an article entitled "Cool Kids Church" by Eric Landry posted at there is a quasi-critique of McLaren's Emergent Church. The critique itself is illustrative of the neo-evangelical gospel of accommodation to culture. The Modern Reformation magazine folks (in post-modern fashion) suggest that everyone go out for a beer.

"Most of us here at Modern Reformation like the Emergent Church folks. . . .

"But the appreciation is a nervous one. As much as we are warmed by their insightful criticism of Evangelicalism, we just can’t shake the sense that these children of the megachurch are taking their postmodern angst and marketing it to the urban jungles just like their chino-wearing, cool hair dads did in middle America. That, of course, leads us to wonder if Emergent will really offer anything substantially different than what they are critiquing.

"After reading their books and blogs, conversing with them, and attending their conferences most of us just want to grab a beer and talk with these men and women. I think we would find that we have much in common and I would hope that our own like-minded efforts might serve to keep the Emergent folks from swinging the pendulum too far in an unhealthy direction. . . . [emphasis added]

"Will the Emergent Church be anything other than another passing evangelical fad? We hope so. But in order to be such the movement will have to acknowledge how their history as an evangelical institution (as the Young leaders Network and Terra Nova Project, arms of the Leadership Network) continues to shape their present course. In order to be a real force for good within Evangelicalism the movement will have to go beyond Evangelicalism and appropriate a churchly tradition that gives it real depth, not just an ecclesiological field guide. Otherwise, their efforts at reform will be truncated, for Evangelicalism can’t be reformed. By its very nature the movement is shaped not by confession or doctrine but by personality, culture, and circumstance. And thus far, that seems to be what is shaping the efforts of the Emergent Church as well." (Modern Reformation, July/August 2005, volume 14 issue 4).

More relevant history of the Emergent movement, particularly documenting its links to Bob Buford and Leadership Network, can be found at:;;;;

But Buford, who birthed Emergent (see yesterday's post), wasn't just influenced by evangelicalism. It is important to examine the larger picture. Buford was a project of Peter Drucker, who needed a vehicle to reinvent the private sector of society to fit his communitarian designs. Bob Buford recently wrote in his "musings" of his indebtedness to Peter Drucker, business guru:

"And thank You for Peter Drucker’s life, which he invested in my own life and the lives of so many others. He has enlightened the path before me for 25 years or more. He is irreplaceable. Help me to extend his legacy to others like me."

The Truth:

The late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, writing in The Great Evangelical Disaster, warned of the consequences of this new gospel of accommodation to culture.

"Accommodation, accommodation. How the mindset of accommodation grows and expands. The last sixty years have given birth to a moral disaster, and what have we done? Sadly we must say that the evangelical world has been part of the disaster. More than this, the evangelical response itself has been a disaster. Where is the clear voice speaking to the crucial issues of the day with distinctively biblical, Christian answers? With tears we must say it is not there and that a large segment of the evangelical world has become seduced by the world spirit of this present age. And more than this, we can expect the future to be a further disaster if the evangelical world does not take a stand for biblical truth and morality in the full spectrum of life. For the evangelical accommodation to the world of our age represents the removal of the last barrier against the breakdown of our culture. And with the final removal of this barrier will come social chaos and the rise of authoritarianism in some form to restore social order." (Crossway Books, p. 401)

1 John 5: 1-3
"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."