Friday, February 20, 2009

Blurb ruckus- Labeling that has created a Blogexplosion

I don't think I have ever seen, in the history of blurbing (mind the exaggeration), a blurb getting so much attention. So much so that it is riding the waves of N. T. Wright's new book called "Justification: God's Plan, Paul's Vision". But on the other hand I hope all the talk generated by the label that Scot McKnight called NeoReformed would spur people to read Wright's book whether you agree with him or not. Heck I'm even going to buy Piper's book (I have my reservations on him but that does not mean he has nothing to offer me theologically) just for the sake of being generous and fair. Though I'm a Wright fan it does not put me in a position of being on the right side (although at time I do feel that way, mind the bias).

Anyway back to the labeling stuff. I don't have any specific discussion stuff in my head on this because there are literally numerous discussions about it in the blogspere and I don't think I have the capacity to plunge into the discussion. There are many more informed people who can do that and I'm enjoying their comments.

One of the things that I notice though is, people seem to want McKnight to name names of who he is labeling NeoReformed. Apparently some are saying that McKnight should come clean and name some names. I got this from a comment in the blogspere

"Scot McKnight is erecting and then burning strawmen. Not naming names of who he labels as "neo-reformed" is moral cowardice."

Whether it would appease their curiosity or judgement if names are revealed, I have a feeling that fingers are going to be pointed right into McKnight's face that he is simply being uncharitable with his labeling. I hope McKnight, or I believe he will not bring up the names. I like and agree with his definition of those whom he calls the NeoReformed. Much of what McKnight is saying is true in my opinion that is. And to put it further quoting from a book written by Tim Stafford on the qualities of Jesus when he warned people was that "...he (Jesus) never singled out individuals". That implies that Jesus also used labels. I think Jesus would make much more blog discussions with his labeling compared to McKnight :). Which brings us also to the implication that McKnight follows on the same stream as well.

But much more credit also in him mentioning Horton. Horton's explanation of evangelicism is spot on to me

One of my favorite Reformed theologians is Michael Horton. We don't agree on theology but I like this guy and I like to read his stuff. Michael recently wrote a piece that uses a different image than the big tent image above. He says evangelicalism is like the village green of early American communities. It was where folks, all folks, gathered to chat and share commonalities. He says evangelicalism is the village green but evangelicalism is not the church. Churches have confessions, and his confession is Reformed. He says we need to worship in our churches and that the village green is not enough; it is where we join with Christians most like us. The key point I make here is the distinction between being evangelical and being Reformed. Michael Horton, I am assuming, thinks the best form of evangelicalism is Reformed; and he probably thinks Arminians and Anabaptists are wrong at some important points. Fine. (I think the same of Reformed, and I think they are sometimes wrong at central points.) But Michael Horton knows that a local church (or denomination) is not the village green. I agree with him 100%.

Echoing McKnight on this, I too agree with him 100%.


Kurt said...

neoreformed. I see this influence in my context way too often. The more I have shifted theologically, the more i have noticed how the neoreformed have decided that they define orthodoxy. I think the label is helpful and do not see it as an insult, but a broad category kind of like "emerging church." No need for people to get their panties in a bunch! ha ha
Thanks for leading me to the conversation on Jesus Creed!

Tremonti said...

I'm with you! I think it is pretty narrow to assume that a certain confession (reformed/neoreformed/emergent/pentecostal/RC) is the most faithful to true orthodoxy. I simply find the fuss on neoreformed really annoying. Anyway it is just an opinion.

Tremonti said...

Oh, and what i meant by "I simply find the fuss on neoreformed really annoying" is the relentless fascination on who is labeled with the name. I enjoyed Scot's definition although it didn't have to be explained too much, but because of the heated debates the label was creating, it seems that a definition simply has to be made.

Kurt said...

I am with you all the way!

Hopeful Theo

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I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations