Making Visible The Kingdom Through Convergence

A Response to “Evangelical 2.0: The Deception of Driscoll’s Acts 29 Network”

I regularly read Everyday Theology, a blog by Bo C. Sanders devoted to the “intersection of Theology & Culture.”  It’s one of the few things on the internet I consider a must read…this too…and this as well, but seriously, that’s it.  Bo made a few comments on the Emergent Church vis-a-vis the Acts 29 Network and posted a link to an article on huffingtonpost and I took a moment to respond…

“I read Mr. Piatt’s article and I am somewhat confused about the use of the word “Deception,” which is a rather strong word. The use, at least to me, connotes deception on the part of Pastor Driscoll and Acts 29 (think of all the tragic cases of deception involving sexual misconduct involving clergy in the past 30 years). However, Mr. Piatt’s observations and statements, drawn from what appears to be a cursory glance of a website, imply that Mr. Driscoll and Acts 29 are very forthcoming with their beliefs and/or doctrinal views (I went to the website and found everything clear. I found no mention of anything “Emergent” or the “Emergent Village,” i.e. they don’t claim to be part of anything “Emergent”).

I would caution Mr. Piatt to scale back to the use of language that does little for the unity of an already terribly fractured image, e.g. “I’m all for congregational and denominational change. But when it’s the same old white guys preaching largely the same old agenda, it smacks more of a desperate power grab than a genuine longing to better know and connect with the world around us.” From what I understand Mr. Driscoll was quite young when he started a church in his home and is only now reaching the status of “old white guy” and I fail to see how a man who can ministry in his living room is desperately grabbing at power.

As another example take Mr. Piatt’s his statements on gender roles “.. get behind the men (emphasis added) who are planting churches by networking with men in different denominations and networks for the kingdom good of the city. Translated: no penis, no dice.” Now, I think Mr. Piatt and I are on the same page regarding women in leadership and think he’s probably drawing the correct conclusions, but he seems rather quick to make a value judgement and criticize a group for making a value judgement he disagrees with…all from a cursory review of a website.

Wherever believers gather together in His name; there is the church. Regardless of how uncomfortable this may make me, it means that there are believers gathered who may look and sound radically different from myself; yet, to ignore that they are part of a larger picture or (worse) to criticize too quickly leaves a part of the larger picture of Christ out. I will miss out on His complete image and ultimately and failing to attend to the fullness of the presence of the resurrected Christ.”

As I recently stated, we often fail to extend grace to fellow Christians with different viewpoints and assume that they have a deficit.


One response

  1. Jason Luna

    Well said. I think many are suspicious of the so-called emergent church for the wrong reasons. Often times it’s not always about sound doctrine, it is -in my view- jealousy. People claim that Emergent leaders are popular because they preach something other than the Gospel. To me it’s just sour grapes because so many traditional and conservative churches have declining numbers. When they see new and hip, so to say, instead of embracing it, they tear it apart and look for anything they can to call it “false.” They seem to think that a large church must be large because it has compromised doctrine.

    March 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm

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