The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Monday, December 11, 2006

In fear of pogotheism ...

I was talking with Annette Spence, editor of The Call, today, making story suggestions and generally just getting caught up.

One bit of news I passed on concerned the launching of School of Hope, while another bit of news concerned the moving of my personal Web site and the blog Gathering Wool to buzztrexler.com.

"How's that going?" she asked. "Are you still keeping it up, or has things slowed you down?"

I confessed that work at The Daily Times had swamped me to the degree that my blogging had fallen off.

Not only that, but my perusal of other blogs and keeping up with current events in Christendom had pretty much become nonexistent. In this day and age, things can move pretty far in a couple of months time, and it doesn't take long to get behind.

Take the emerging church, for example. Just a year ago I was up to date on the latest thoughts concerning the transformation faced by the institutional church, and the movement of Christians outside of those institutions.

Today, I received an update on Charlie Wear's Next-Wave Ezine. The lead piece was headlined, "Theological Disagreement and The Emerging Church," by Stephen Shields. Shields is a fairly prolific blogger on emerging church matters. After reading his column, I started poking around the posts and comments on his blog. What I found was what I had been missing ... and, quite frankly, a bit thankful in my ignorance.

The Conversation has apparently bogged down in the difference between those who see themselves as "emerging church," but not "emergent." One fellow has even gone so far as to define a group as "Friend of Missional," rather than seeing himself aligned with "emergent" or the "emerging church" -- groups that apparently have found themselves categorized one way or the other.

Don't ask me to get into all of this -- that is the differences between those in the "emergent" stream, as opposed to those in the "emerging church." If you are interested, go to Shields' post Is the Distinction between "Emerging Church" and "Emergent" Obscurantist?

It's all a bit too much for me, but as I noted: I'm probably a year behind the curve in these discussions.

I've decided I have no time for such discussions, or further immersing myself in the varous tomes that have emerged concerning the emerging church. I would rather be missional -- serving the least, the last and the lost -- and going back to the root of the faith -- that is, Scripture.

Furthermore, trying to define something that is "emerging" almost seems by its very nature indefinable.

One thing I would note: It was a lack of this very thing -- theological, doctrinal, creedal and other splitting of hairs -- that attracted me to the emerging church Conversation to begin with. Now, I fear it is heading to pogogtheism -- "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Grace and peace ...