Friday, August 13, 2004

the inner ring

i have spent a lot of time lately reading the emergent discussion in blog land. i haven't joined into any of the debate. most of them aren't very life giving. i'm okay that others are, i just know for me, it steals my serenity.

i have heard everything from the death knell of the movement to the other extreme that we bloggers are the new theologians. much of it is a great and exciting mix of thought, passions and theories, but i sadly wonder at times if we aren't missing the point.

i wholly respect those who are actually doing the work, in the trenches, building their incarnation of the emergent church. and i think that hashing out the theology and minutea of views is what is truly important and possibly going to bring about the changes i so long to see. but i guess what i seem to be missing is the story, the faces, the changes happening in community. if this is truly going to be a reformation it must change the communities in which it lives and breathes and has it's nuts and bolts, practical outworking of those theologies and theories.

we're using 'the safest place on earth' by crabb (baby steps...) for a small group i'm a part of. there is a quote from lewis that made me wonder about this emergent discussion.

c.s. lewis once told a graduating class at cambridge university that no greater temptation would face them than the urge to create an inner ring of community that was special because it excluded others.

i fear that excluding others may be one of the dangers of the emergent church. if the goal of the 'ec' is to 'do church' better, to fix the brokenness we see in the 'ic' shouldn't that be more welcoming, more practical and more effective?

and by that i don't mean bigger and better - i am under no illusion that the results will look like that - what i mean is are communities safer, more filled with light, less hunger, want, division and need. is the kingdom truly looking on earth as it is in heaven?

i guess i'm just so afraid that what we are unintentionally creating is an 'inner ring' of exclusion instead of the real outworking of the body of christ and his passions. i fear we might be missing the point.

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