Derek Elkins offers some critiques of emerging churches:
It seems that the principal that most defines the postmodern religious experience happens to be the one the Church is most threatened by: pluralism. In an effort to keep things cut and dry, black and white, the Church has laid out it’s own “12-step” program for Christian faith and experience of God. When I compare the beliefs of an emergent church with those of a traditional congregation, there’s virtually no difference…
…For the emergent church to truly emerge, the people inside the Church, like you and me, are going to have to figure some things out too. We can add flash to our websites, we can cover every song Chris Tomlin can write. We can light every candle in the world and dig up every ancient prayer ever written, but if we don’t change our hearts and our minds, if we don’t change our faith and our theology, then the people waiting for the emergent church to emerge will continue to look right through us.
No surprises that I agree with this guy for those who know me well. Yes, yes, he’s stereotyping a bit. But while there are voices within the emerging church movement that are tackling the pluralism issue, they are still way too few and far between. Unfortunately, missional and emergent are still far from synonymous.
Pluralism can’t be addressed from within the deconstructing monoculture.
Fact is, I recon we need a submerging church more than an emerging church.