Here are my notes on Chapter 3.
The emerging and the traditional crowd ( I read emergent and conservative evangelical crowd) are poles apart and regularly seem to sling mud at each other. Belcher ask ‘ Is there a way forward? How do we get to the point where both sides can talk about their differences and learn from each other without being accused of heresy?’
Belcher proposes taht a way forward is possible by going in the way which Tom Oden describes as ‘new ecumenism’. We should not expects emergents to sign up to Piperesque calvinism, not should we expect Driscoll to renounce his reformed tendencies. No, the way forward is to commit to classical orthodoxy as the launching pad for discussion and interaction. This classical orthodoxy is found in the Apostle’s creed, Nicene Creed and the Athanasius Creed.
We should adopt a two tier system,
Greer says, ‘ A two tiered system reflects the phenomenon of family resemblances within the Christian faith. The top tier establishes the overall family resemblance. The bottom tier makes room for different looks within the family. This sense of unity plus diversity offers the church an opportunity to love one another, as Christ prayed in his high priestly prayer, and thereby an effective witness to an unbelieving world.’
This makes sense. We don’t deny doctrinal distinctives but will embrace those who differ on the bottom tier but are commited to the orthodox essentials of the first.
I came across an interesting podcast of Belcher on the White Horse Inn. I got the impression from listening to this that Belcher was being pushed to being anti-emerging.