Funny enough to be worth replicating in its entirety. Plus I've linked to fascinating comments or amusing comments from the BHT from years ago that don't exist any longer.
Here are my running thoughts:
1. Any time you talk about what’s happening in “the Church,” and you’re
talking about some sliver of Western Protestantism, you are being historically,
geographically, and culturally unaware. Most Christians are Catholic. Whatever
you think about Catholicism, that’s a numerical fact. Period. Are you changing
Catholicism? If the answer is “no,” you’re not a major movement in “the
2. The Emergent Church is an insignificant movement. Let’s put it this
way–Martin Luther changed pretty much everything. To belong to a church
in the 21st century is still, to this day, to belong to an organization
decisively shaped by the ideas of Luther, whether acceptance, rejection or
modification of them. Same with Gregory. You can’t be a Christian today
without being fundamentally affected by Gregory’s assertions of papal supremacy,
whether you are Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, or Lutheran. I’m just not seeing
that kind of effect happening due to the Emergent movement, because I don’t see
them making some kind of fundamentally earth-shaking assertion that hasn’t been
3. There is no such thing as “post-Protestant.” If you are Protestant, the
only way to stop being Protestant is to join a communion that either (a)
predates the Reformation, (b) split off from a pre-Reformation communion, or (c)
isn’t recognizably Christian. If neither (a) nor (b) nor (c) hold, you are a
Protestant, like it or not. So you read Aquinas and think he’s smart. BFD, so
did John Calvin. Do you think the pope is infallible? No? Hi, you’re a
Protestant, welcome to the club you never left.
4. “Gettiing rid of Christian exclusivism” is not new. It’s not unique. It’s
called “liberal Protestantism” and is old, boring, and busted. It’s got a really
short organizational half-life because people stop waking up early and donating
money to a church body if there’s no eternal significance to anything.
5. No one is impressed by you reclaiming bits of liturgy from the 4th
century. The vast majority of practicing Christians already do that. Let me
bring you down to earth, Emergents. There are about 2,265 million
Christians. Over half of them are Catholic. Add in the Orthodox, and you’re
up to 62%. Throw in the Lutherans and Anglicans for good measure, and now we’re
up to around 70% of Christianity. Really, truly, we think it’s nice that you’ve
discovered some value in the heritage your Calvinist and Anabaptist forebears
threw out. But the Emergent discovery of the Kyrie is no more revolutionary than
some guy in Idaho discovering that rice can be cooked and eaten.
Good thing I included the body of the post here because it looks like the Boar's Head Tavern has experienced another one of its semi-annual site crashes!