Emerging Liberalism

Hengar ArticleNot a few critics of the emerging church have charged that the emerging movement often looks like made-over liberalism. While the charge is probably overly simplistic, there is nevertheless something that rings true about it.A recent essay by Walter Hengar in byFaith magazine explores the emerging movement’s outreach to old liberal protestantism. The essay is titled “More than a Fad: Understanding the Emerging Church.” In it Hengar writes:

Emergent leaders who are eager to reconcile with liberal Protestants may soon find they have too much in common (source).

If the Emergent Village podcasts are a reliable indicator, I would have to say that I think Hengar may be correct. In these podcasts, there is a multi-part series of interviews with Yale theologian Miroslav Volf. These interviews indicate that the impulse within the Emergent Village appears to be one of consistent protest of conservative evangelicalism and of rapproachment and identification with liberal Christianity.

If you think I am overstating the case, I would like to hear from you. But please, listen to the Emergent Village podcasts first. In the podcasts when Volf suggests that some people may be saved apart from faith in Christ, Tony Jones and company respond as if this were an open question.

When that response is held next to Jones’s gushing affection for the rest of Volf’s work, it just seems to me that Hengar might be on to something. These emergent guys may have too much in common with the liberals.

One Comment

  • David Emme

    I do not think you are understating this. In fact I would say most critics of emergent philosophy is understating this as in many critical-though they are right in why emergent philosophy is wrong but almost never see anyone really make these connections. If you study the beliefs of postmodern Christianity and modern Christianity I do not think you will see any differance. When postmoderns teach we are to bring in the kingdom of God I wander what is the differance between this and a-milloinealism which teaches the same exact theological construction.

    Really I see it as not only this being true but when one defines fundamentalism as based on modernism and rationalism-to me this is nothing different then a lie designed to devieve.

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