Between reading Listening to the Beliefs of the Emergent Church and Preaching Re-Imagined I feel like I have a fairly good grasp on Emergent/emerging/emergentising/emergentologist/emergentherapist Doug Pagitt. I agree with Mark Driscoll who responded to Pagitt in Listening to the Beliefs that “I am left to wonder if his pleading for love is something he also believes should be ‘ever-changing,’ and some future evolution of Christianity could embrace violent injustice yet remain faithful?” (146-47).
FOOTNOTE: Some of you may be wondering why I would even mention this kind of rubbish on a blog that is for preachers and preaching. Well, Doug Pagitt is talking and writing a lot about preaching and the bottom line is that he hunts preaching down, cuts out its heart, mounts it on his wall and then takes his picture by it (in the form of his book Preaching Re-Imagine).
For those wanting to interact further allow me to suggest that a recent edition of The Master’s Seminary Journal (vol. 17, Num. 2, Fall 2006) should be required reading for expositors if for no other reason than Rick Holland’s article on “emergent preaching” entitled: “Progressional Dialogue & Preaching: Are They the Same?” Rick takes on the growing trend that has turned the pulpit into a place for “progressional dialogue” resulting in “intentional interplay of multiple viewpoints” which has been part and parcel of the emerging church dialogue. The chief proponent of this view has been Doug Pagitt who has authored the provocative Preaching Re-Imagined. Holland argues (persuasively in my mind) that Pagitt’s counsel has more footing in Fosdick than Scripture. Surrounding the whole “emerging church” debate there has been little shortage of thoughts and ideas from a plethora of viewpoints but relatively little has been written specifically dealing with the preaching style of the movement. Rick’s analysis is a great place to start and will certainly balance-out the presently vapid tone of discussion that has permeated this overlooked area.