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Feb 26, 2007


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Thanks for the very interesting post. I agree with the premise that the theology only matters when it's applied. However, what makes me uncomfortable with some of the emergent movement is the dismissal of theological doctrine. In search of orthopraxy, we ought not abandon orthodoxy.

My point is theology matters! You will end up applying what you truly believe whether you're aware of it or not...so we need to get it right.

thanks Michael for the post.

Michael Kruse

I share your apprehension, Andre. Every movement is to some degree "messy" and there are excesses. If the aim is to replace doctrine with community then we have a problem.

I would suggest that the thrust of many emerging churches is to recover the interconnectedness of doctrine and community. The Bible is not for the most part a book of doctrine. It is testimony (testament) about a story God is unfolding in history and God's intention for the world. There is no doctrine without community (it was a community the decided what books were inspired or not) but there is no community without doctrine.

I don't know if the makes much sense but that is how I would frame it.

Dana Ames

Another case of both/and ;)

Good point about theology and church history. As I've only dipped a bit into the church fathers, it seems that at least a major point of the councils was for the bishop/theologians to actually take decisions back to congregations so that all the people would be able to live a right life and render right praise (ortho-doxy) with increased understanding. Hammering out "doctrine" wasn't meant to be for the rarified theologs only. It seems that is still the intention in the East, though I don't know if/how it's carried out. In the West, it seems to me that so much was invested in the ecclesiastical structure, along with specialization of the academy removed from the people; this was certainly one of the things that engendered the Reformation- which the Eastern churches didn't have.


Michael Kruse

Orthodox, RC, Protestant or whatever. I think we all have our issues.

I think it was Greg Ogden who wrote that we only completed half the Reformation. We removed the priest as mediator from our soteriology (how we experience salvation) but we left him in our ecclisiology (how we organize ourselves for mission.) What we may be experiencing is "The Reformation: Part II."

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