Well so far, we have begun to discuss some individual points with some people. Perhaps not surprisingly I have had a number of people respond stating that “neo-liberal” is a good description of a rather nebulous movement in the church.
What is interesting is that I have also had a number of people from the emergent movement state “I am not a liberal” but no one has said “yes you are right Adrian, the term neo-liberal is one I will own proudly- that is what I am”. I am fairly sure that there have been plenty of people who would happily describe themselves as liberal, but yet the current movement seems eager to challenge many different traditional doctrinal positions whilst still trying to say they are evangelical or even in some cases “reformed”. I am not at all clear why that should be.
I dont claim to be able to identify an entire movement as neo-liberal but there is no doubt that many emergents would hold to liberal positions on a number of issues.What I would argue is irrefutable is that the Emergent folk are quite right to say that there are major problems with the traditional churches. I am no traditionalist in some senses myself and attend what has been described as one of the so called “New” Churches (we existed before New Labour, but like them one has to ask how old can you be and still call yourself “New”!)
So I certainly do not throw out all attempts to explore how the church needs to change and be reformed in the 21st century. It is a vital task that each generation must perform.
Lets keep the discussion going in a godly direction and explore issues that grab us. This one will run and run- I suspect it will probably be one of the key subjects of my blogging for this year.