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Church Attendance, Emergence and where we are going

January 29th, 2008

I was told by a friend, just a few minutes ago that his High School Sophomore son is thinking through issues being raised by emergent figures such as McLaren and others.  He specifically mentioned open theism.  I then read through a recent survey on Christianity Today where it stated that the largest percentage of respondents in a survey about committed church attendance that–the largest group had been seriously committed to many churches through their lives.  With that kind of picture it is no wonder that open theism, pan theism and Arianism find such a place among emergent adherants.–I, by the way, attend an emergent service at the Methodist Church to which I belong.  My wife and I are among the oldest there [57 and 58] respectively.

1 Comment »

  1. Tim Stoner says

    My son Jonathan, on staff for two years at Kona’s School of Digital Filmaking returned to tell us about a new church experience he and a fellow staffer had designed. They called it Starbuck’s Church. On Sunday, rather than head into the established ecclesiastical venues nearby, they, instead would go to pile into a friend’s Jeep, grab coffee while dowloading a Rob Bell sermon, then head out to drink, listend and gaze at the ocean. I told him I found it all utterly enticing, especially now in the middle of a Michigan blizzard that has closed down even the local colleges.

    I live in Grand Rapids, the home of Rob and Mars Hill Church. I jokingly say I was Emergent before it was cool and now that it is, I’m not. I’m a lawyer and an author. Nav Press is releasing my book: The God Who Smokes the day after Valentine’s. I wanted to alert you that Nav will be sending you a free copy. If the University of the Nations is the correct address.) I wrote it for Jonathan, and my three other 20-something children and their friends. I appreciate most of its critique, it is its theological (or anti-theological) trajectory that gives me great pause.

    The God Who Smokes, could properly be called an autobiographical (personal narrative) theological primer for the X- Gen. It is meant to provide a solid place to stand for those intrigued, or compelled, by Emergent Theology’s deconstruction of orthodoxy. But, because I take seriously the need to “sneak past the watchful dragons” as C.S. Lewis advises, the oblique critique is artfully (I trust) wrapped inside stories of me growing up as a fundamentalist missionary kid on several continents. It also talks about sex, art, beauty and our inconsolable longing for Father and Home. And, because many in that demographic carry a deep father-wound each chapter ends with a father’s blessing.

    I would be honored for you to read it and provide a response. I am hoping that it could be of spiritual profit for the students who are being impacted by the teaching of the SBS.

    Tim Stoner

    January 31st, 2008 | #

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