So, Ben Witherington has posted a rant against emerging church rants. Our “anti-ecclesial rhetoric” is gettin’ him down and killin’ his buzz.
After deigning to teach us what the word ekklesia really means, Ben writes,
Thus, when one gets to the emerging church folks, and you hear a lot of their anti-ecclesial rhetoric, it has a long precedent in Protestantism, whether it is Luther railing against the Pope, or Calvin complaining about the situation in Switzerland, or Wesley struggling with the Anglican Church, or the Free Methodists splitting off from the Methodist Episcopal Church or various Baptist groups splitting and multiplying prodigiously. And in all of this, few have stopped to ask—Is all this disputatiousness a good witness to the world? Put another way—Why should the world listen to any church group when we can’t even agree among ourselves, as we speak with forked tongues?
OK, so we’re in league with Luther, Wesley, and Calvin. And the problem is…what, exactly?
It’s “disputatiousness”! That’s our problem!
Of course, Ben seems to miss the irony that his post is the very definition of intramural disputation, being that he spends several hundred words taking his fellow Christians to task. So, wouldn’t that make him part of the problem, rather than the solution.
Further, Professor Witherington owes his employment to one of those aforementioned Reformers. As noted by several commentators, he hasn’t taken his own exhortation to unity to heart or he would — like others have done — convert to Catholicism.