Well, Sam told me about this, and I was going to blog on it, but he already beat me to it. Figures.
Jim Wallis (above) wrote a blog on the Huffington Post discussing the new “twentysomething evangelicals”…. and using Fuller Seminary as one of the key examples of the changes happening in evangelical Christian thought and culture in America.
In one sense, I beam with pride for my now-alma mater, because I feel like the changes that are happening are positive ones. I also feel like Jim is describing me when he says that more and more Christians ID themselves as “Matthew 25, Luke 4, and ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Christians” who seek to live out the Kingdom of God in this life as much as the next one…although this change in my head and heart was rooted in events and biblical discoveries that happened before I ever stepped foot onto the Fuller campus….Fuller simply helped the seeds to grow.
I also am left wondering, “Almost every new movement, every fresh breath of the Holy Spirit, becomes over-systematized and dogmatic eventually, setting the stage for a new movement… when will that happen for us?” In other words, when will we take our new “hooks” and theological toys and push them to the extreme, using them (and not the Spirit, nor the Biblical narrative) as the litmus test for legitimate Christianity? I suppose we are years away from this, since we’re still the minority… then again, maybe in some circles, we’re not.
The rhetoric has been from the beginning that we continue to “emerge,” not to ever close neither our ears from dissension nor our eyes to seeing God’s fresh movement in the world…this is what makes people who desire a definition for the emerging church tear out their hair. (minus the “we are democrats” part, this might be one of the better attempts to give some definition to the movement, particularly as it is ID’d as an evangelical movement, primarily.)
My question is, will we stay open to the Spirit, and to criticism, and to theological balance?… B/c human history suggests that we won’t.