Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Emergent's Secret Past

Brian McLaren and Tim Keel, along with others from Emergent have made a big deal about training or education for pastors in an emerging culture. They have realized that the traditional seminary education is sorely lacking for competence in ministry to the ever-changing world. To this end, they have teamed up with schools such a Mars Hill Graduate School and Biblical Seminary.

Also, within the undergraduate community there are also many schools and professors that are friends with Emergent and the emerging church conversation.

However, it has increasingly come to my attention that this is unneeded. Instead of attempting to convert seminaries and colleges to a worldview which is more sympathetic to this conversation, we should attempt to work within structures which are already conducive to forwarding the emerging church conversation. In fact, we should look closely at who is involved deeply in Emergent and its conversations. We should look for patterns, such as undergraduate education and, if a trend is found, we should encourage whatever has happened within those environments to create such fertile ground.

To this end, it is my proposal that Emergent move its headquarters to Lynchburg, Virginia. Tony Jones could attempt to gain faculty appointment at Emergent's biggest inadvertent supporters, Liberty University. Laci Scott could handle the weather better in Virginia (it is mild, with 4 distinct seasons).

I have come to this decision, based upon some disturbing facts. Liberty is an incubator for the emerging church conversation. Why, you ask?

A few years ago, a former youth from my church attended Liberty. After seminary he joined me in Boston for ministry. He latched onto the emerging church conversation and leads a group in Massachusetts. Jeff Bailey, early Young Leaders contributor and church planter is a Liberty grad. Troy Bronsink, leader of the Atlanta Cohort and convener of our last Theological Discussion- Liberty Grad (in fact, he has told me other Liberty grads have attended the cohort). Mike King, leader of the Kansas City Cohort and general emergent guy is another graduate. In fact, he comes out of the closet on his blog where he also outs Will Samson, emerging church uber-blogger and Emergent Village webmaster.

Could it be that all this repression is actually a good thing? Has EmergentNo explored this connection? They need to make a stand against Liberty once and for all. Discrediting Liberty is the beginning of discrediting Emergent.

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. We need to check the diplomas of Thom Olson, Steve Knight, DJ Chang, Rick Luoni, Stephen Shields and Joe Meyers, for starters.


Anonymous said...

Diploma? I don't needs no stinkin' diplomas!? Seriously ... I don't have ... a ... diploma ... And if I did, it wouldn't say Liberty University, I'm pretty sure of that.

As for those other chaps, I really can't say. Although I will reveal this startling fact: DJ, Stephen, and myself are all founding members of the Lynchburg Emergent Cohort (

So, yeah, you may be on to something here with this whole Liberty/Emergent connection ... And here, I thought Charlotte, NC was the next Colorado Springs ... Maybe it's really going to be Lynchburg ...

Very funny, Rick. I love it.

Steve K.

DJ Chuang said...

Check my diplomas? Sure, it's already there on my about page at - so, what does it tell you? :)

New Life said...

This was a great post.
I laughed out loud.

No Liberty here for me. There may have been a time when I would have considerd it. My dear mother saw the ads on TV a few years ago and thought that I could attend school closer to home. :) Oh, how I love my momma. I would do anything for lovem but I wouldn't do that. :)

DJ Word said...

I figured I could find out who else was a LU grad by baiting a few of you.

If you were baited, take it as a compliment. And, the fact that you are some of the few, the proub, the East Coast emergent conversers.

Stephen said...

i'm unable to comment at this time.

jonathan said...

"The RCC and GO are not denominations of biblical Christianity. They are different religions altogether. What they have is absent from Scripture in much of their doctrines and practices."

wow - so EmergentNo managed to set me straight by the third paragraph. No need to understand the Emergent movement better if I'm not even practising their religion.

Will said...


Don't know you if you know this but at least one of those you list at the end ALSO has a degree from Liberty. I will leave you to figure out who.

Bwahaha! Ve vill own ze emergent vorld.

Anonymous said...

Way too funny. Brian could start a new TV program called The New Time Gospel Half Hour.