20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Demonstrates the Diversity within the Movement,
This review is from: Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches: Five Perspectives (Paperback)
Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches is a well-writing book that represents the diversity within the movement. The writings of Mark Driscoll were the real highlight of the book. There were a number of times that this pastor surprised me with his insight and intellectualism. A first example is found in his response to Kimball's chapter. Kimball references his adherence to the Nicene Creed a number of times and he gives the impression that he is unwilling to be dogmatic on theological points that are outside the scope of this ancient statement of faith (i.e., the role of women in ministry). I praise Kimball for his commitment to the Nicene Creed, but Driscoll is right in pointing out that the Nicene Creed is silent on a number of important doctrines. Driscoll writes, "For example, when a gay couple walks in and expects their lifestyle to be accepted, a Wiccan walks in and invites people to attend her pagan eco-spirituality festivals, or The Da Vinci Code fans start inviting people from the church to their house to learn about Jesus' wife and kids, the Nicene Creed, though true, is not sufficient because it does not answer any of these sorts of current issues (107)."
Driscoll is correct that Kimball's adherence to the Nicene Creed is not enough. Another example of Driscoll's intelligent analysis is found in his response to Burke's assertions that religion (including other religions) and morals can lead a person into a relationship with God. Driscoll states, "But Jesus stands against religion and morality as enemies of the gospel because, as Martin Luther said, religion and morality are the default mechanisms of the human heart to pursue righteousness apart from him" (70). Lastly, Driscoll calls some of the other writers out on the carpet for not fulfilling the purpose of the book, which is to address theology within the movement. After reading Pagitt's chapter, he writes, "we were assigned to articulate our views on the Trinity, the atonement, and Scripture, and having read Doug's chapter, I remain uncertain of his position on these issues" (144). Addressing Ward's chapter, Driscoll responds,"Karen's chapter raises the important question of what exactly is the level of authority that Scripture holds in the church. Karen's chapter uses only three Scripture references, an old worship song, an indie rock band, a postmodern philosopher, a church blog, a movie, an obscure theologian, and Hindu Ghandi as her authorities(184)." Here, Driscoll addresses a concern that many within the established church have raised about the emerging church, "What is its view on the authority of Scripture"? The book is a good read, however Ward and Pagitt were a disappointment.