One can't help but be impressed with the gentle, compassionate, and intellectual effectiveness demonstrated by some leaders in the emergent church movement. This is an attractive mosaic, energized by service and a call for community. Scot McKnight, in particular, author, scholar, and webmaster of the most popular emergent site on the 'net. In perusing his site, it is clear that McKnight is well intentioned, well educated, and well published.
McKnight's intellectual prowess is demonstrated in his post, Emergence: How so Ecumenical? He weaves a tapestry of subtleties and distinctives, creating a new image of postmodern ecumenism. An image that McKnight entertains as reflective of the emergent church movement.
What is rooted in McKnight's intensely intellectual presentation is the tenet that ecumenism is inherently appropriate in the church today.
In McKnight's own words "what I like most about this is that it is not a power play to get everyone agreed on something but a living celebration of the entirety of Church history, the diversity of its faith, and the sheer glory of its manifoldness."
McKnight's suggests a celebration over this history and diversity. The obvious implication is the emergent church movement is doing the same.
For example, one of McKnight's many speaking engagements in 2007 includes
Inside the Missional Matrix . Also speaking is Todd Hunter, the national director of The Alpha Course USA. This certainly a strong indication of the ecumenical under girding of the emerging church movement. The host of the event, The Vineyard Community Church observes the Catholic-rooted Lenten season with Henri Nouwen’s Show Me the Way.
The "diversity of it's faith" can be traced to the divisions caused by false teachers and poorly grounded Christians. This diversity can also be found in Paul's warnings to Timothy regarding teaching of proper doctrine. The diversity of church history reveals the battle to separate the truth from the lie, the holy from the profane. It is a history that should serve as an epic warning, not an ecumenical wedding.
In their efforts to be more missional, incarnational, and transformational, the emergent church movement would be wise to be Biblical, first.