To be honest, I had completely forgotten that I was a contributor to this blog. Back in April of last year I had started a post called, “farewell emergent?” Up until that time, I was really interested in the whole “conversation,” and I wanted to be part of it. I was reading as much as I could, listening to as many podcasts as I could, and I even started a group that was sort of an emergent “cohort” of skeptics and progressive Christians here in Raleigh. I really thought that I had found a niche, a group of people who felt “stuck.” Maybe there are still a lot of those people around. I don’t know.
Since that time, I’ve mostly backed away from these conversations. I’ve stopped reading almost entirely. I don’t listen to very many podcasts any more. I handed off the group to a few others, and, as far as I know, it has died. So, what happened? And, where am I now?
I think I quickly came to realize that emergent seems to exist primarily as a “brand” and not so much the “future of religion” as I once thought it was. I also see much of the effort being put into the “new atheist” or “humanist” movement(s) in the same way. And, both of these brands seem to be primarily parasitic upon fundamentalism. If you pay much attention to these blogs, podcasts, and so on, much of it is about making fun of “those stupid fundies” (or the hipper evangelicals). Which is fun. But, is that what you really want to be known for? To be blunt:
Nothing in either of these movements has caused me to re-examine anything in my life.
And, that’s fine. Different strokes for different folks. But, I love my life. I have a great marriage. I love my kids. I have a decent job. Good friends. And so on. I guess I came to see that these movements and conversations just weren’t going anywhere. And they are completely optional.
I don’t think emergent (or atheism/agnosticism/humanism) are “the future.” At least not for me. I’m gonna just keep on keepin on. Maybe at some point we’ll cross paths again. But, for now, it’s just really boring.
Thanks for inviting me to participate. Please consider that, for many people like myself, your movement is the final stage in a long process of opting out of the conversation completely.