« The Stretching of Social Space | Main | The Emerging Church and Teenage Girls? »

April 02, 2007



Here is a youtube video of me promoting the emerging church idea (I didn't put it up on Youtube). I think it is about one or two years old. Wow, am I really that serious? What is funny is that my name changes from Ryan to Ray by the end of the video (something that has happened to me all my life) -- the whole 'Ray Bolger, Wizard of Oz scarecrow' thing..


"I think that the emergent church is taking out the truth & replacing it with distraction & worldly objects"... A mentor of mine is standing by this statement, thoughts?


I would want to know what truths your professor would see disappearing, and what distractions and worldly objects are being introduced. It's quite easy to make the same statement about the institutional church. It has taken out the truth of a faith which is lived out in every moment, as we learn to love God and our neighbors, and replaced it (in many ways accidentally) with a Cartesian logical system where all God demands is our apologies (as in 'saying sorry', not codifications of a belief system) and belief that Jesus is God. This would be a major distraction. If you throw in a few WWJD bracelets and a collection of Purpose Driven life books, journals, and stationary, then you have your worldly objects.

Any movement can easily devolve into a spiritual gimmick, but it is rare that the entire movement would do so. Not every institutional church member has bought into the concepts above, but many have, and it is fair to call them on it. Some emergent churches are doing the same, and it's unfortunate, but it certainly doesn't represent the entire movement. I would suggest it's less likely to happen in this context, because the accusations your mentor makes are precisely the complaints of many emerging churches regarding the institutional one.


Insightful answer, Cody!


Well, after much debate & discussion, my mentor has taken what he knows out of John MacArthurs book "Truth War"... so I did my research and came up with this: http://buzzplant.com/truthwar/ecard1/

I read it cover to cover, and I'm totally confused as to where I stand. For a while I was all for the emerging church, now I feel that there should be caution. I'll have more later, but for now, I recommend that Truth Wars be read by everyone involved & against the emerging church. Although John is definately Black and white. I believe that there are some valid Truth-keeping points made...


the emerging church is about their ideas and what is right for them and what ever I believe is truth. It doesn't matter what I think is truth is it from God's Holy Word and is what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross enough. Jesus said I am the way the TRUTH and the LIFE no one comes to the Father [GOD] except through me. It's not about whether I had some kind of experience or said some little prayer; is Jesus my all now and for eternity.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Hi, welcome to my former blog! My name is Ryan Bolger, and this is where I posted my thoughts on Jesus, culture, new forms of community, among other things. Come visit me at my new blog: http://www.ryanbolger.com. I still teach at Fuller Seminary in Southern California where I'm doing some writing as well. Feel free to bounce around the new or old website -- I hope it might stir your imagination -- feel free to stir mine as well by leaving some comments, preferably at the new site... Peace...


  • www.flickr.com
    thebolgblog's photos More of thebolgblog's photos

Fuller Seminary

Current Classes

Upcoming Events

Recent Events




Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2005