Emerging Church Conversation among Asian Americans

This conversation certainly deserves more attention than being a series of comments to this post. While it started as an impromptu interview with DJ Chuang about how he came to be more open to the notion of Emerging Church, subsequent comments have really been exploring polemically how emerging church is poor man's theology or whether it is a valid reaction to traditional church.

Billy Park opens the dialgoue with

"the following quote from Tim Challies after hearing Brian McLaren: “The faith of the emergents, the postmodern faith, is a faith that is devoid of boldness before God…It emphasizes the unknowability of God more than what God has revealed to us about Himself. The faith McLaren commends is a faith that always questions, always doubts. It seems that the only faith McLaren hates is the faith of a person who knows what he believes and is convicted by Scripture and by plain reason that what God has revealed is truth–true truth. As others have observed, the real enemy of the Emerging Church is conservative, biblical Protestantism. McLaren will commend anything or anybody, it seems, except those who have a faith built upon the truths revealed in the New Testament epistles” (click here for the whole post).

While I don't really consider myself an apologist of the Emerging Church conversation, per se (much like this fellow blogger), I did find myself trying to make points for it in our comments going back and forth, mostly because I think the notion of emerging church is not going away, especially in terms of its willingness to contextualize the Gospel to the culture. Take for example, Christian music record companies that push artists who don't have overt Christian packging in order to put their message to a greater audience, in the mold of U2 and Switchfoot. In essence, they are trying to promote, not "Christian bands," but rather, "bands-that-have-a-deeper-spiritual-message-that-is-derived-from-Christianity." Oddly enough, to the person for whom the path to church is not well-trodden, the latter sounds more palatable. Sure it sounds troubling to conservative Christians that artists like P.O.D., Bono, and John Coltrane may have more impact on the culture than the reformers and theologians, but I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that it would be a true statement. Christians are going to have sublimate the Gospel in order to be heard in corners of the culture where the Gospel is currently having little penetration at all, or getting very bad press with no Christians in sight.

In a recent Time article that featured Malcolm Gladwell (author of "The Tipping Point" and "Blink"), speaking about the future of evangelical Christianity, (check out the excerpts from this blog), it appears that Christians are already moving toward taking what is around them and "Christianizing" it. I think emerging church is part of the same deal, just not from the institutional level, but on an individual, coffee-shop conversational level. I don't have any beef with reformed theology, actually I'm quite a fan of it, but I do think that the emerging church, at least from what I've heard and seen, is a good thing, if for no other reason, than to keep us humble.

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Comments

  1. Billy Park says:

    David,
    Thanks for setting this up.

    People like labels because they are easy. You can figure people out (so you think) with one single word: liberal, fundamentalist, conservative, postmodern, emerging, reformed, Christian, etc. There are polls and metrics to back up our preceptions (sometimes). However, there is a danger on the one hand of assuming too much from categories and a danger on the other of rejecting categories/labels all together becaue they are in fact helpful. What I’m getting at here is that we need to define our terms. What do YOU mean by “emerging”? Emerging from what and emerging to what? In one sense every young Christian can be categorized as emerging – in process, growing, becoming. But this word “emerging” is coming to mean more that this? I think you explained some of it in your comments, but in a few sentences what and who is the “emerging church?”

  2. Billy Park says:

    Hold on, I just read your link to wikipedia definition of Emerging Church. Let me rephrase the questions: What parts of the definition in wikipedia do you agree with and disagree with or would state differently.

  3. dpark says:

    Billy, I see what you mean by the bluntness of words, and certainly these words can be very loaded and lead to a lot of misunderstanding. I do believe that it would be very hard for me to give any type of authoritative definition of what “emerging” means, and you can see that I even chose a definition that is collectively developed by Wikipedia which I think is even more a propos. That being said, I think the Wiki definition is fairly good. I think all those factors play a part into what “emerging” means. Perhaps you can focus on a particular aspect that you’d like to discuss…

    Personally, while I understand that our God is a God of order and exquisite structure, I find the notion of systematic theology helpful yet, not comprehensive. Or even the “rules” that I grew up with in church, I found helpful, but my experience has been that God can work around them and my mistakes or bending of those rules. Let’s take for instance, 2 Cor. 6:14 – “Do not be yoked with unbelievers”, now whether or not this is a proper interpretation, I was taught in youth group and even in college group that this verse was most applicable to our friendships and especially in dating relationships to not bond ourselves with unbelievers. Now here’s the thing…how do you interpret a verse like this? I think that what I was taught in church can’t be taken as a hard and fast rule. I dated a devout Hindu girl in college (this was not missionary dating, by the way) and guess what, now she’s a believer and my wife! God really transformed both of our lives and understanding of how He works through this relationship confirming at many points that he was going to stretch us and change us. I got a lot of flack from people in the church that I knew. They used that verse in particular as evidence of my obvious sin. But if I had followed this rule, I would’ve never dated her or really kept my association with her at arm’s length. My wife’s perspective, having come out of Hinduism, has really helped me understand how some non-believers really look at Christians and why they remain reluctant to listen, much less discuss matters of faith with Christians.

    I think earlier in your comment on the other post, you assumed that postmodern meant pluralistic, and while I think that applies to postmodernism as a whole, I don’t it applies to postmodern Christianity. It’s the same difference between existentialism versus Christian existentialism. I understand your statement that the emerging church offers no real theology, and as others have said, I agree with that, it’s not necessarily based on theology, however I do think it points people to faith in Jesus, to see what that means in a postmodern culture. It is an ancient faith that as your own blog attests to, is “reforming”, not some sort of static “I-told-you-so” sort of way. I mean, most non-believers in America associate evangelical Christians with being Republican, anti-abortion, and anti-gay. I’m not positing that we should be the antithesis of that, but certainly I don’t think that’s how Christians should be branded. I think “emerging church” is a good start for it. And on top of that, I think that many Asians who are not in the church are predisposed to postmodern ways of thinking, which I believe the “emerging church” conversation can reach. I’m not saying that the “emerging church” should be normative, I’m merely saying that it’s necessary. Question for you, what do YOU think “emerging” means?

  4. djchuang says:

    I’ve described it this way: the emergent church is not a definition, it’s a conversation. What may be helpful to note at this point in time of its development, there’s a notable difference between “emerging church” and “emergent church”– the two are not synonymous.

    I’ll quote some excerpts here from Mark Driscoll, who is theologically reformed, cf. http://theresurgence.com/great_freebies_on_the_emerging_church

    “This name has caused much confusion because there is a difference between what is Emerging and what is Emergent.

    First, the Emerging church is a broad category that encompasses a wide variety of churches and Christians who are seeking to be effective missionaries wherever they live. This includes Europeans and Australians who are having the same conversation as their American counterparts. The Emerging church includes three distinct types of Christians. In a conversation with Dr. Ed Stetzer, a noted missiologist, he classified them as the Relevants, Reconstructionists, and Revisionists. … What ties each of these types of Emerging Christians together is a missiological conversation about what a faithful church should believe and do to reach Western culture. However, beyond that there is little unity because there is widespread disagreement on what counts as faithful doctrine and practice.”

    So at this point of its development, the emergent church conversation is still deconstructing and has not yet turned the corner to constructing, and defining, and perhaps at some point in time, it may need to do that. Or, it may not.

    From my vantage point, I think its contribution will be the safe(r) place for evangelical Christians to talk with non-evangelical Christians, a metaphorical dividing wall in our political climate that almost rivals the Jew vs. Gentile division of biblical times. *exaggeration noted*

    As for how emerging church conversations affect Asian Americans, I’ve yet to see that happen, though it may be percolating right here on this blog.. I do agree with David here, that culturally there is much common ground and conversations to be had among AAs and postmodern contemporaries.

  5. Billy Park says:

    Thanks DJ for joining us. I must confess that this blogging thing is new to me and I want to make my comments carefully yet honesty. I appreciate getting to converse with you two and others who are more favorable to the Emerging Church. I am looking forward to this interaction but I I honestly am not favorable to the Emerging Church. Frankly, I see it as a great danger, from what I know of it. However, it’s easy to come down hard on a system of thinking (or conversation) when there is no familiar face to it. When you meet people face to face and get a glimpse at what might be in their hearts, you realize that words should be chosen carefully. My guess is, that most people who are friendly to the Emerging Church (or Emergent) have had a terrible experience with the church (“traditional church”) or at least not seen a good model of one. As David mentioned, Christians did not choose their words carefully in applying 2 Cor. 6:14. Discernment, Wisdom, Grace, A-Word-Aptly-Spoken, Speaking the Truth in Love are all biblical ways. I confess, many Christians lack this, myself included (sometimes). In my opinion this is the main reason we have the emerging church It shows the failure of the church, to some extent, in presenting a vision of God (systematic theology), a vision of the Bible (biblical theology), and a vision of the Christian life (practical or applied theology) that is biblically grounded yet compelling to the souls of people, not just to a particular culture. Out of this vacuum arises all kinds of ism and schism. People testing the angles rather than seeing if what they believe is true to the plumbline of the Word. There are many in the Emerging Church movement who are thoughtful, desiring to know God and the Bible, like the two of you. I can respect your intentions and your heart. Yet, having been educated in liberal schools of thought and seeing the folly of it, I see many who are in “conservative” circles looking to what has been historically in the liberal camp – diverse theological opinions, conversation over conviction, niceness over boldness, erosion of biblical authority, uncertainty over the meaning of justification, atonement, resurrection, etc, etc. No one in the Emerging movement would say that they embrace these aberrations but judging from the history of theological thought over the last century, the emerging church is headed down the slippery slide of liberalism. This is my concern.

    Let me give two real illustration from my liberal background that might be a stretch but I see a parallel to our discussion. When I was in college, a very liberal college, I took a course called “Modern Christian Thought.” There was a woman in this class who argued that she could not accept calling God “Father” because of her bad experience with her father who had abused her. She liked calling God “Mother” or “Parent” but never “Father.” Does her experience nullify the fact that Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father in heaven.” Do we reject biblical categories because of our bad experience or do we look at our experience through the lens of Scripture instead of the other way around. I believe this woman truly needed to embrace rather than reject the biblical Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Understanding God as Father who is holy and loving, transcendent and imminent (present), strong and tender, was exactly what would have cured this woman’s hurt, angry, confused soul.

    The other illustration: I went to a conference at an Ivy League university entitled “One Nation Under God?” (note the question mark). The rector of a prestigous NYC episcopal church was one of the speakers. He made the following comment: “The definition of religion is inclusivity. I enjoy Chinese food on Monday, Italian food on Tuesday, Mexican food on Wednesday, and I am enriched. Why not have Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity together. My life is enriched.” This is a man who had the Dali Lama come speak to his church and had buddha statues in the sanctuary.

    If the Emerging Church is merely new methodology, I would have as many problems with it; but my concern is that it is embracing a NEW THEOLOGY, or rather an newer version of the old liberal theology. I hope I’m wrong, but that is my concern. I believe a better option is a new movement to recover historic biblical Christianity and church life – reform not revolution.

    We might see eye to eye on things but I hope we can speak in truth and grace.

  6. dpark says:

    Billy, thank you for your honesty. If you could, perhaps I need to know what you mean by “historic biblical Christianity”. It bothers me a great deal that you seem to imply that I am on some slippery slope to liberalism or am tempted to dine with the Dalai Lama, and then have communion on Sunday. As stated above, I do NOT subscribe to pluralism, and I believe that Jesus is the one and only truth, who died for me, and through his blood shed for me has set me free from the power of sin and death HOWEVER, I do not claim to know how or why this came to be. I am completely in awe of the majesty and mystery of Jesus in how he calls us out of darkness and into his wonderful light.

    I do not proclaim to be a scholar or theologian, and I’m sure you could tell me in how many ways I have gone wrong. But like yourself, I would love to see a recovery of passion for God’s word, and to live lives worthy of the calling, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. I do believe that I have a boldness and a niceness, conviction and conversation, reform and revolution, but I would love to hear why you say that I cannot. Or where you believe I have missed the point. Perhaps you think that my critique of the church is out of bitterness, but I assure you that’s not the case. I love the church, I serve the church, and seek to always do so, but I don’t see why the lines must be so harshly drawn around denomination or building. Revivals have come about from different denominations throughout history, and different movements throughout church history have recovered truth in critical moments.

    So, let me pose a different question to you then. How would YOU define “historic biblical Christianity and church life”?

  7. Billy Park says:

    Great question. You’re hitting the nail on the head. If it wasn’t so late (12:55am) I’d tackle that now. But I’ll get back to you tomorrow. But let me just say, I’m not saying that you are dining with the Dali Lama, just that others have and they starting heading that way with the kind of thinking that I see present in the Emerging Church. Even in what you just said, “HOWEVER, I do not claim to know how or why this came to be.” Brother, yes, it’s a mystery but there have been good biblically grounded answers to these things. We are not just under the cloud of unknowing. I’m saying to you is that there is a better way. I’ll try my best to expand on this tomorrow or later today.

  8. Billy Park says:

    My answer to “What is historic biblical Christianity?” is posted on my website: http://reforming.wordpress.com/2006/04/20/what-is-historic-biblical-christianity/

  9. Billy Park says:

    Oops. I added a ” at the end of the link by mistake. This is the correct link: http://reforming.wordpress.com/2006/04/20/what-is-historic-biblical-christianity/

  10. djchuang says:

    Billy, thanks for your thoughtful and kind response. I do think you bring a unique perespective, having a clear understanding of progressive (liberal) Christian theology and finding yourself located in a Reformed tradition of systematic theology, or to use your term, historic biblical Christianity. I do hear your concern, and that would be true if one participates in the emergent church conversation to relinquish one’s theological convictions. However, there are those who do participate in the emerging church conversation while retaining their own theological convictions, while there are also those who participate in that conversation while exploring and/or embracing a more progressive liberal theology. What I do hear is your concern against liberal Christianity.

    Granted that one’s personal experience has a strong bearing on where one moves in their theological location and conviction. Some in the emergent church conversation have indeed come from a conservative theology background, and are disillusioned by the machinery of programs and clear answers, and may be attracted to this space because it’s okay to voice one’s doubts. Others in this conversation are coming from a theologically liberal place, and are moving more conservative. Both dynamics and interplay are at work in the mix.

    Having a fairly diverse network of relationships with Christians of all stripes, I have found that some souls are nourished in a Reformed tradition (historic biblical Christianity), some nourished in a liberal progressive faith, some in a mainstream folksy evangelicalism, some in fundamentalism. To each person, one must answer to the Lord for the faith that s/he develops and matures in. I think it’s fair to say that not everyone must mature in a sola direction. 🙂 The sovereign God will guide those that are His, and He will use our words of both grace and truth to persuade and guide.

  11. Billy Park says:

    Ahhh!! I had typed a long response, but somehow click off screen and lost it. Technology – love it and hate it. I’ll try again.

    DJ, thanks for your input and affirmation. I read the article you linked by Mark Driscoll. I thought it was a great article. It expressed many of my concerns with the EMC – particularly the Reconstructionist and Revisionist. If the EMC produces more Mark Driscolls and Tim Kellers, I’d be happy about it and celebrate it (though I would still want to debate some of their methodology). However, my concern is that Brian McLaren et al are the ones who will be the standard bearers (all be it reluctantly) of this movement. They seem to be leading this movement into theological perspectives that, in my view and many others, are beyond the boundaries of biblical orthodoxy.

    You are right to point out my concern about liberal Christianity. Liberal at one time was a good word to denote a “gracious spirit” and “openmindedness.” But remember what GK Chesterton said, “An open mind is like an open mouth, its purpose is to close upon something solid.” My hope in getting involved in this debate/discussion/conversation is to challenge you/us to keep proper biblical boundaries in our contextualization.

    There were a few other things I said in my original that I cannot recall. Maybe it is best that I end here… for now.

    Thanks for helping to sharpen me and inform me about your views and the EMC.

  12. Billy Park says:

    Oh, this is what I forgot…
    J. Gresham Machen’s “Liberalism or Christianity” (written in the early 1920s) is still relevant today. Here a link:
    http://homepage.mac.com/shanerosenthal/reformationink/jgmliborchr.htm

  13. dpark says:

    Thanks for your response Billy. Again, I do want to note that I don’t disagree at all with any of your definition of historic biblical Christianity. You’ve mentioned in a few comments in our discussion about the methodology of the emerging church. If you don’t mind addressing some of the problems that your perceive in that, as well as perhaps going to your original question of what points you agree/disagree with the wikipedia definition of emerging church.

    when you mention certain names, such as Keller and Driscoll, who are friendly to emerging church but are able to do so with theological footing that satisfies as well your definition of historic biblical Christianity, how do you say that gap is bridged? thanks again, i’m really enjoying the discussion.

  14. djchuang says:

    Billy, thanks for the response and the link to Machen’s article. While it is valuable (and safer) to have a tightly and consistently defined theology to uphold for a historic biblical Christianity, is it not also valuable to define those boundaries by those who affirm the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed? Doesn’t that provide sufficient bounds for the diversity and freedom of the 3,000+ denominations and sects in the US and the 30,000+ denominations and sects in the world?

    Now, out of curiosity, and pardon my ignorance, how is it that Princeton with its heritage of Machen can be where it is theologically now? From the divergence there, and in the PCUSA vs PCA differences, it appears that reformed theology itself is not able to navigate a straight and narrow and consistent theology among itself?

    And, about the emerging/emergent church, you may find a historical perspective helpful, as Mark O and Dan Kimball do their respective flashback storytelling: http://www.ysmarko.com/?p=510 and http://www.dankimball.com/vintage_faith/2006/04/origin_of_the_t.html

  15. Billy Park says:

    DJ, Good questions and I think I have a good response but thoughtful responses take time, and I have a sermon to finish up for Sunday and family to spend with, so I’ll have to respond on Sunday night or Monday. Have a great weekend in the Lord.

  16. Billy Park says:

    Hello there! I’m back, at least for a short while. I’m going to the Together for the Gospel Pastors Conference (http://togetherforthegospel.org) April 26-28 in Louisville, Kentucky. I have not had time to sit down to think about a response to DJ’s questions. There’s so much going through my mind in response to our ongoing online conversation. I wish we can sit down face to face over a good cup of coffee and talk this out. Anyway, it’s been great so far and I’ll be back, if you are still up for it.

  17. Billy Park says:

    Hello again! What a great conference Together for the Gospel! Amazing!

    Now to continue or at least bring some closure to this discussion, I will answer two questions that DJ raised, that I never got around to answering.
    DJ said, “While it is valuable (and safer) to have a tightly and consistently defined theology to uphold for a historic biblical Christianity, is it not also valuable to define those boundaries by those who affirm the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed? Doesn’t that provide sufficient bounds for the diversity and freedom of the 3,000+ denominations and sects in the US and the 30,000+ denominations and sects in the world.”
    My response: DJ, you seem to want to have a big tent in which you can explore your faith among the various traditions and new movements of broad, catholic Christianity. Praise God that we can affim the apostolic, catholic faith of the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed. These creeds deal mainly with the critical Christological debates of the first 4 centuries of Christianity. However, as important as these creeds are, they are not enough because people have become so familiar with these creeds that they affirm them by attributing their own meaning to them. For instance, TD Jakes, voted the most influential Christian leader in a recent poll, is known to embrace a view of the Trinity called “modalism” which is a denial of the historic definition of Trinity. I’m sure TD Jakes would affirm the Apostles Creed, yet he denies the that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are indeed distinct persons, but modes of the one God. This is only one example. The critical questions of our faith — who is God? who is Christ? what is the nature of man? what is sin? what is salvation? and how does one comes to faith? — call for clear definition. I’m sure you would agree. However, you seem to want to explore more than to define. You seem to have no problems dabbling into “dangerous” territory and reject “safer” ground. On the one hand you don’t reject “historic biblical Christianity” but you don’t want to seem bound by it either. For me, give me the safe ground of those who have stood firm on the Scriptures and on biblical Christianity. I’m sure that many in the Emerging Church would consider themselves as “reformers” or “revolutionaries” who are trying to rediscover the Scriptures and the Jesus of the Bible. I guess only time and rigorous testing of our views by Scripture will tell.

    DJ said: “From the divergence there, and in the PCUSA vs PCA differences, it appears that reformed theology itself is not able to navigate a straight and narrow and consistent theology among itself?”

    My response: The formation of Westminster Seminary was a response to the Princeton Seminary going wayward from orthodoxy in the 1920s. The same with the PCA departing from the PCUS (later PCUSA). No institution is exempt from corruption and straying from its original founding principles. That is what happened at Princeton and the PCUSA. And this is what I see happening with the Emerging Church… you are going the way of Princeton and the PCUSA… into theological ambiguity and openness to things that we ought not to be open about. That is why I stand with the Westminster school (the Old Princeton tradition) and with the PCA. These are not perfect institutions yet they are trying to be faithful to the biblical faith and not be tossed to and fro by the spirit of the age.

    This is my concern for you and for those who are open to the Emerging Movement – tossed to and fro by ever wind of doctrine and human cunning (Ephesians 4:14). Rather, let us speak the truth in love and grow up into Him who is our head, even our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  18. djchuang says:

    Billy, thank you for taking the time to reply and I’m glad you enjoyed the T4G conference. I love conferences myself, and wish I could have been there. I hear your concern for those who are into theological exploration without any grounding or conclusion, and certainly share your concern for those who redefine the essentials of the faith in your one example.

    While there is a notable divide between PCA and PCUSA, and that divide has specific theological differences, I was not able to discern what you’re saying about what to do about that kind of difference. Are we supposed to disfellowship? Are we supposed to be vocal with an attitude of “I’m right” and “you’re wrong”? Are we supposed to excommunicate or declare heretics?

    Or, can we dialogue in some fashion? Can we find points of agreement as well as points of disagreement, while we also fellowship and accomplish some things of Kingdom value?

    This is perhaps a difference for me, that I believe that I can hold on to my theological distinctives and doctrines, that which I believe to be essential (and within the spectrum of a traditional evangelical doctrinal position), while I am in dialogue with Christians in the other 2,999 denominations and sects with whom I do have differences in theological details.

    My previous comment dated 4/18/06 defined some categories of those that get lumped into the umbrella term “emerging church” — namely relevants, reconstructionists, and revisionists. Within this umbrella, a wide spectrum of theological persuasions can be found, even those who are PCA Reformed.

    Now, granted, perhaps many of those in the “relevants” category may not want to dialogue with reconstructionists or revisionists, but some of them do. The point here is, not all who are considered “emerging church” want to be associated with “emergent conversation”. Note the difference (and also overlap) of the 2 terms.

    The publicity that’s been generated by the “emergent church conversation” has been overly characterized as consisting of solely revisionists, when in fact, it is probably more fairly described as a “safe place” for Christians of differing theological convictions (relevants, reconstructionists, and revisionists) to honor one another’s differences, but yet still come together for mutual friendship and explore how to live in a way that honors God, does good for the world, and follow God in the way of Jesus.

  19. Billy Park says:

    DJ, I’m glad that you read my comments. I was worried that these comments were lost in the blogosphere. Anyway, I’ll end this discussion here. Hopefully we can continue in another venue. I appreciate this discussion. See, I believe in dialogue (that’s what I’m doing here). But dialogue is not the end goal (as it is with some). God is the end goal. I’m just saying, not all roads (conversations) lead to God.

  20. dpark says:

    Billy, the blogosphere is a big place, but please don't think that your comments arent' being read. Actually, you should be concerned that they are being read too closely. For instance, in your last comment, while you say otherwise, I would come to the conclusion that you really don't believe in dialogue, because you don't address DJ's questions and simply end it there. Plus, your last sentence seems to insinuate that DJ somehow is a pluralist for perpetuating dialogue. I know that may not be your intention, but put side-by-side with your preceding sentences, and I would think it would be very easy to misconstrue your intentions for dialogue.

    My impression is that a key question behind DJ's is how do you invite others who, as you would say, "dabble" or play in "the big tent", into the "safer ground" that you speak of? As Christians, it is unacceptable to disengage with the culture, but in our contemporary society, where we live in a culture that is willing, at the slightest hint of intolerance or absolutism, to cut us off — to isolate us, if we don't already do it ourselves, how do you proclaim the truth of Jesus? People that we live with, go to school with, work with, are willing to disengage with us unless we show openness to who they are, where they've come from, what they believe. And they are fine with it! They are perfectly content never fully knowing the historic biblical Christianity that you speak of. So, how do you win them? Do you simply cut them off as theological nitwits? Do you write TD Jakes off as a heretic? Do you criticize Rick Warren and his cheapening of the gospel? Or Joel Osteen? and Bruce Wilkinson? and John Eldredge? C.S. Lewis? Then what chance do we have of speaking truth to Muslims, Hindus, etc. when we can't even acknowledge fellow Christians? Are they not to be considered Christians? Are they not to be considered fellows? 

    You are right, dialogue is not the end goal here, and not all conversations do lead to God, but we certainly do need a lot of it. I say, if you've got the truth — speak it! Don't ever stop speaking it! Let's get it on. Many bridges historically have been burned and dialogue is an absolute must to build those back.

Trackbacks

  1. […] David Park (of Stone Mt., Georgia) interviewed DJ Chuang (of djchuang.com fame) on April 11, 2006. David and DJ are both very intelligent and friendly to the Emerging Church movement. I've thrown myself into the comments section of there posting. David has been a gracious listener and thoughtful in his response. […]

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