friendly dialogue over breakfast
Met up with an old (recently married) friend, Jeff Jue, over breakfast today. He mentioned a few quotes attributed to him in a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the emerging church [also mirrored at the official Emergent blog]:
“It’s gaining popularity, and there is the potential there to change the entire landscape of what Protestant Christianity looks like,” said Jeffrey K. Jue, assistant professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Glenside and an academic critic of the emergent movement. “It’s not just a new form. It’s not just window dressing. They’re talking about something more radical than that.”
“My opinion… is that the intellectual depth of this movement is really lacking,” Jue said. “… The concerns that the movement has are quite valid – how to address 19th- and 20th-century evangelicalism in a contemporary context. But do we start all over?”
Sounds so “Jeff”. Knowing of my affinity for the emerging church, he was kind to mention it to me personally, face to face, and express concern and care for our friendship. I thanked him for doing that, and reassured him that I do not mind public discourse and dialogue about differences of convictions, persuasions, and perspectives. In fact, I think it is healthy and fun to have differences out in the open. Not everyone can handle that. And, it was kind and gracious of him to pay for breakfast too.
My friends do not have to agree with me 100% on everything to be a friend. Not even 50%. My friendships do not crumble on a few differences or disagreements.
[update: Jeff Jue’s article, What’s emerging in the church, was published in Reformation 21 (online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals), for his full treatment, thoroughly footnoted. Also published as “What’s Emerging in the Church? Postmodernity, The Emergent Church, and The Reformation,” Themelios 31:2 (January 2006): 20-39. The opening paragraph is his description of an encounter with me; 01/26/06 – Jeff adds a cynical comment about emerging church]