Is AGMergent Toking the Jesus Bong?

12 05 2008

I suppose it was only a matter of time before I was outed.



In a recent post, Steve Knight introduces his readers to John Crowder, a clearly pentecostal/charismatic preacher who is apparently tagging himself as “postmodern,” if not wholesale emergent. Steve is tempted to label him an “emergent pentecostal,” but hesitates to do so and points out in a footnote that I may disagree with such an alignment.

Well, I do indeed; which provides a very interesting platform for me to paint a more nuanced picture of what I believe the budding relationship between the charismatic movement and the emergent conversation might actually be.

So here I am, at 11:17 p.m. PST, getting outed by Steve Knight and John Crowder as neither a cessationist (I believe in the continuation of the charismatic gifts, including speaking in tongues and prophecy) nor an unthinking, emotionally-fixated Holy Spirit junkie (I also believe that the entire counsel of Hebrew-Christian scripture has more to emphasize than those charismatic gifts alone, and that we Pentecostals would do well to balance our gifts-of-the-Spirit-diet with some of the fruit of the Spirit… particularly self-control).

My own theopraxis regarding the role of the Holy Spirit, to boil it down, is pretty straightforward:

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Pentecost: Peace Carried on a Violent Wind

3 04 2008

It was a feast to mark the end of the harvest season. Hebrew people, having been scattered throughout the world like so much seed by the whims of political fate and fortune, had gathered in the holy city on pilgrimage to observe Pentecost, the fiftieth day of what was once newfound freedom from harsh Egyptian rule. History had filled the gaps in-between, obscuring at least in part the significance of that miraculous day from the collective memory of those chosen people. With time came the rise and fall of a Jewish dynasty, followed by one oppressive regime after another, leading ultimately to this pilgrimage, standing at the end of a long procession of feasts observed and traditions handed down, today in the shadow of the mighty Roman empire.

One favorite story passed down in the Jewish tradition was of humanity’s first hand at empire-building: the Tower of Babel. The story was told of all humanity sharing a single language and a single dream – to build a monument to itself that would scrape the foundations of heaven. Of course, everybody knows what happens next: Yahweh, in his omniscience, brings confusion and disorder to a race of humans whose highest goal was to honor itself. Who knows what terrible consequences awaited a world in which a megalomaniacal humanity held endless possibilities? And so it was a world splintered, divided, and confused that the Hebrew people walked. Along dirt roads they walked the obligatory mile, with bloodied crosses on a distant hillside casting shadows over their liberty, the chosen walked to Jerusalem, likely wondering what ever happened to the dreams of their fathers. Is this Pax Romana the only way to live?
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Renovatio: Even More Emerging Pentecostals

31 03 2008

Emergent Village announced once again the development of a pentecostal stream in the ongoing conversation, this time from Brazil. People familiar with the AG are acutely aware that the pentecostal movement is growing almost exclusively outside our borders, most notably in South America. This is either great news or the canary in the coal mine, depending on one’s perception of the emerging conversation.

A Match Made in Heaven

While the sheer number of pentecostal believers in South America should cause those of us in the emerging church movement to take notice, what’s most interesting is the marriage between emergent philosophy and the pentecostal experience. I have sensed since first wading into these postmodern waters Read the rest of this entry »