After attending the debate last night between Bob Dewaay and Doug Pagitt, I'm afraid I still don't know anything about the Emergent Chuch, probably because there isn't supposed to be anything to "know." Doug Pagitt got up first and gave eleven very vague points that summed up his "beliefs" and then qualified them by saying that "Not everybody in the EC is necessarily going to agree with all of these points and that's okay." According to Pagitt the EC is:
- Kingdom of God focused and wants to join the Kingdom of God wherever we find it. (Most likely in a Starbucks judging by...never mind.)
- Pursuing faithfulness through new practices, structures, and understanding. (Because the old way is soooo first century.)
- A hopeful and positive view of God's engagement with the world. (As opposed to the negative view of those who believe God actually spoke authoritatively.)
- Committed to loving God, neighbor, and enemy in "real" ways. (As opposed to the fake ways of those who have a high view of Scripture I guess.)
- "Deeply" connected to the story of God and the Bible. (Funny, I didn't hear him quote God or the Bible once.)
- Living with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Whatever that means.)
- Theologically active. (Active in resisting any kind of theological truth.)
- Open to the "other." (Unless the "other" starts quoting Scripture.)
- Wants the good news of Jesus to change the world and be good news for all creation. (Whatever that good news may be for you.)
- Understanding community to be an essential part of the Christian life. (Especially if it's a community of people who don't care to know any kind of truth.)
- Interested in the future more than fighting battles of the past. (Blah, blah, blah)
Then Bob Dewaay gets up there and starts spitting out truth like a Pez dispenser. He gave an example from Acts about how Paul dealt with people who weren't interested in truth. He talked about how we are accountable for the truth that God has spoken to us in Scripture and that we will not be able to claim ignorance because we didn't know there was any such thing as truth. He clearly explained that there is one way of salvation, not multiple ideas cooked up in our imagination that are just as valid, and that we are bound by it. It sounded much like a conversation between a Christian and Deepak Chopra, but sadly, the guy playing the part of Deepak was also a Christian.
Overall it was pretty one-sided and I could only stand to stick around for the first hour or so. I can see how much of the EC would appeal to some people, especially people who have a low view of Scripture, like having their imaginations and ideas raised to the same level as God's authoritative words, and enjoy growing little patches of hair under their lower lip. But unfortunately I have a very high view of Scripture, I have a good idea of how wicked I am, and I don't like facial hair or coffee so I just don't think I would fit in.
As for Bob Dewaay, he just made my hero list last night. He got up there and just hammered away with Scripture after Scripture to the point where I kind of felt bad for the other guys. I think I'm going to have to head over to Twin City Fellowship one of these Sundays so I can hear him preach.
(Click here for exclusive audio from last night's debate)