Tony Jones, the national director of Emergent Village, is not happy about Brett Kunkle’s ETS paper which argues that some leaders in the emerging conversation have opened the way to unorthodoxy. I have read Kunkle’s paper, and I think he is on to something despite the protest of Tony Jones.
I won’t rehash the argument of the paper here, but I will point out one aspect of Kunkle’s presentation that is particularly troubling. On page 11 of his paper, Kunkle quotes Emergent leader Doug Pagitt who says that “the Trinity is not wrong but it may not be the only way to understand God.” It’s statements like these that lead Kunkle to the conclusion that the Emergent conversation is but a stone’s throw away from unorthodoxy.
I’ll leave it to you the reader to read Kunkle’s paper for yourself and to evaluate it on its merits. But I will offer one reflection. If some on the radical side of the emerging church think that the Trinity is really up in the air and not a fixed point of Christian belief, how can one come to any other conclusion but that unorthodoxy is afoot?
Like I said, I think Kunkle is onto something here, but I don’t expect Tony Jones or any of the other Emergent leaders to admit as much anytime soon. Rather, what you can expect to hear from them is more questions and deconstructions about the impossibility of knowing what orthodoxy is. As a matter of fact, this is precisely what Jones has already done in his response to Kunkle.
But don’t take my word for it. Go read Tony Jones’ response for yourself: “A Public Response to Brett Kunkle.”
(HT: Justin Taylor)