a guy names Nick shared his disappointmentt with the direction of Emergent on his blog a few days ago. It was a risky post in which he shared his heart on the subject. Since then a number of commenters have shared similar feelings. Some of the commenters have taken the opportunity to misread the writer's intentions and been needlessly harsh at times, not taking to honest criticism and expressions of feelings to well.
However, that does not diminish the validity of his feelings. In fact, I have expressed similarly misgivings to a few of my friends, not towards the men and women that have put so much energy into it from the beginning (Tony, Doug, Brian, etc.) and need to be freed to move on to something else. But, my feelings (which I will not express) are conflicted towards the present direction of the group, especially surrounding the DC 24 gathering.
Feeling the need to give context, defend the past (which he should because of the nature of some of the comments towards him at Nick's blog) and challenge his readers, Tony Jones jumps into the fray in his latest posting.
Tony wants those that complain to do something. So, to follow Tony's advice, I will be beginning a new group for the post -Emergent Crowd (a friend from the 24 that met in DC told me he considered me Post-Emergent, which I know he meant as a compliment).
When involved in Emergent, I always jokingly told people that started asking big questions that Emergent is the Dark side, and I now wanted to welcome them to the dark side. Well, if Emergent is the dark side, post-emergent is the darker side. It is for those weary of much of the conversation and interested in moving on to something else and having different discussions.
So, my new group Post-EV is for those people. We will have a list of discussion topics. They will be discussed at our future conference, mentioned below, along with local groups which we will call Post-Horts (working title until we come up with a better name). I, of course, will be national coordinator of this group.
Here are some of the topics:
1) A discussion of the weird names associated with the Democratic Party of Minnesota (Democratic Labor and Farming Party or something like that) and whether Doug Pagitt knows anything about farming. A submeeting will discuss whether Doug should remove his facial hair for the remainder of the campaign. Another meeting can discuss Doug’s selling out by using an acronym for his campaign (SMART) if there is interest.
2) A discussion of Tony Jones’ book on the Didache, followed by an intervention to force Tony to write about something that will pay the bills in the future. Debate over fiction vs. straight reporting is encouraged. We will then move on to his future career options, especially what schools he should be allowed to teach at.
3) A discussion of why do so many of these Emerging Christians have such poor taste in movies and music. Why do they listen to so much whiny drivel by whiny white guys with guitars? Why do they like pablum like American Beauty? Do they like Coldplay because it appeals to their longing for the crappy worship music of their youth camps?
4) A discussion of why Lebron James is not a king, but more of a Little Lord Fauntleroy. Ohio residents are not invited.
6) A discussion of why so many in Emergent (not the “leaders”) are so self serious and have no sense of humor, especially when the mockery is directed towards them.
7) Self defense classes and required readings of "Art of War" to prepare to have a gang war against the New Reformed camp. it will be kinda like that scene in Anchorman, only bloodier. The pacifists will win and quickly repent.
8) A study of justice issues and politics from a pragmatic and realistic realm, with no white guilt or blatant Left/ Right distinctions involved… ok maybe a little.
9) A discussion of officiating in major sports. We will invite Tony to discuss what makes a strike a strike. This will not be a metaphor for Scripture, but focus on the issues of real importance, such as the incoherence of NBA officiating, the debacle of officiating in the Super Bowl and the strike zone. No discussion of soccer or NHL allowed.
10) There will be an event which will invite 51 women to speak and 49 men, thereby mirroring the percentages in the USA. 74 of these speakers will be white, while 13 will be black. It will get complicated with Latino and Latina speakers because they could be white or black, according to the census (Rudy C will be on the board to help with this dilemma). We will invite 4 gays or Lesbians, but it could be up to 10. We will even invite speakers from other countries, but we will deny that they are there, or shun them during the breaks.
The event will be called 2010 Christianity. And it will happen in 2011.
and beer will be involved. Lots of beer. And no Vegans are invited. Sorry, but I would not want to offend you. Also, if you think we should follow Kosher laws regarding shellfish and pork, you will have to begin your own group. We will even have workshop in which people will debate the merits of corn vs. rye vs. barley as ingredients in their favorite drink.
I thought about Minneapolis or some other popular Emergent place, but since this is Post-EV, you are coming to Florida because Emergent is scared of gators, mosquitoes, snakes, cougars, Europeans in inappropriate swimwear, New Yorkers and Mickey Mouse. That is why they never came to anything below Atlanta. But, this is a new day.
So, lets all begin our own groups, each one of us. Then the groupings and subgroupings won’t matter. Heck, we will be half way on our way to the Protestant Reformation at that point (2.0).
And then if we invite each other to be a part of them, we can add them to our resumes so we can actually get a job. Or, we can just snipe at each other from behind an avatar on a blog, which is the new American way.