It seems Emergent (the organization) is muddling the Christocentric nature of Kingdom work (see Doug Pagitt's blog as well). In other words, it looks like Emergent (Tony Jones, Brian McLaren, et al) is treating collaboration on social justice issues between Jews and Christians as equally valid Kingdom work. Doesn't that give social justice primacy over faith in Christ so that Kingdom work can be done without faith in Christ? Or is this worse in that Emergent is attributing spiritual life to both groups?
If we are talking about working together to help those who can't help themselves instead of sticking to the same political routes, that's fine. But it seems much worse than that. Read some excerpts.
Synagogue 3000 (S3K) and Emergent have announced a ground-breaking meeting to connect Jewish and Christian leaders who are experimenting with innovative congregations and trying to push beyond the traditional categories of "left" and "right." This will be the first conversation that brings them together to focus on the enterprise of building next-generation institutions.
S3K Senior Fellow Lawrence A. Hoffman, (_Rethinking Synagogues: A New Vocabulary for Congregational Life_, forthcoming 2006) stressed the importance of building committed religious identity across faith lines. "We inhabit an epic moment," he said, "nothing short of a genuine spiritual awakening. It offers us an opportunity unique to all of human history: a chance for Jews and Christians to do God's work together, not just locally, but nationally, community by community, in shared witness to our two respective faiths."
"We have so much common ground on so many levels...We face similar problems in the present, we have common hopes for the future, and we draw from shared resources in our heritage. I'm thrilled with the possibility of developing friendship and collaboration in ways that help God's dreams come true for our synagogues, churches, and world."
"As emerging Christian leaders have been pushing through the polarities of left and right in an effort to find a new, third way, we've been desperate to find partners for that quest," he said. "It's with great joy and promise that we partner with the leaders of S3K to talk about the future and God's Kingdom."
Without a bunch of explanation for how this isn't what it seems to be, I reckon this to be very bad news.
(HT: Mike Noakes)