A good friend is a little more skeptical of the emerging church movement than I am. He has some legitimate concerns that sometimes post moderns don’t feel the need to come up with any answers at all.
The thing that occured to me is that this is like countless other debates. Put one way, it’s a matter of balance. One can even go so far as to say that it’s about idolatry on either side.
On one side stands the traditional church. I would submit that the traditional church– at it’s worst– has made an idol of the end result/product/destination. A stereotypical old-school pastor simply wants his flock to agree with his conclusions. He doesn’t much care how they get there.
On the other side stands the emergent church. The emergent church– at it’s worst– has made an idol of the journey/process. A stereotypical emergent just wants everybody wandering. There’s minimal concern that this wandering might be aimless, or even headed to destruction.
The bible is filled with stories of people on important journeys with meaningful destinations. We’d be hard pressed to find an example of someone in scripture sitting a person down, using only words to explain things, and then the other person says, “Oh! I get it now!” and then that person experiences true life change.
On the other hand, the life experiences of biblical figures had a point. Even if it wasn’t clear to the Isrealites why they wandering in the desert, the fact that they endeded up in a land flowing with milk and honey is significant.
People on either side are ignorant at best… and dangerous at worse. A person who knows what to believe but not why the believe it hovers near facism. A person who is only about the “why” and who is unclear about the answers lives a life that is devoid of true meaning.