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David Fitch’s Five Theological Issues in Emerging Church

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : March 23, 2006

I think David Fitch is correct in pointing out these five theological areas being addressed within the emerging church:

  1. THE AUTHORITY, INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE, AND COMMUNITY
  2. SALVATION, SANCTICATION AND THE ATONEMENT
  3. JUSTICE AND THE CHURCH
  4. PLURALISM AND CHRISTIANITY
  5. ECCLESIOLOGY

In his post, David Fitch encourages those of us coming out of evangelical or conservative traditions to avoid the trap of simply applying liberal answers to the questions we’re asking.  It is easy to do–and I see it all the time: upset evangelicals rebelling against the inadequacy of their system to the extent that they take up liberalism in its place.  It is important for emerging folks to avoid such an impulse. 

I also recommend that they avoid simply picking up one of Brian McLaren’s books or Tony’s or Doug’s books and treating them like templates for "doing" emergent.  I think these gentlemen would agree–the beauty of being a part of this emerging movement is that there is freedom to struggle through these sorts of issues with a fresh pair of eyes, with a sensitivity to history and the Tradition, and within whatever particular context you are in.

In other words, don’t rush things.  Take your time to struggle through the issues.  Dialogue with folks.  Think through the issues.  Live out your faith in context.  And be the Church that God is calling you to be. 

for further reading . . .

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Comments

5 Responses to “David Fitch’s Five Theological Issues in Emerging Church”

  1. blorge on March 23rd, 2006 4:05 pm

    The fact that the emerging church is complex is exemplified by the fact that four out of his five core areas have “and” in them. They’re linking different ideas (and ways of doing and being things) together.

  2. Alan Hirsch on March 26th, 2006 12:48 am

    Good comments. Wise advice.

  3. Tim Bednar on March 27th, 2006 10:20 pm

    And the biggest practical question has to do with raising kids and teaching them in the so-called emerging church.

  4. Van S on March 28th, 2006 11:44 am

    Tim,

    Could you say some more about that?

  5. tana on July 2nd, 2007 7:11 pm

    Thanks for these insights. I needed to hear this.

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