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Is there a place for me?

Dear Brian,
I work in full-time youth ministry at a Christian centre in XXX. I have been a reader/supporter of yours for about a year now, and...

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Do you know any biblical scholars who are taking these things seriously?

I just read A Generous Orthodoxy, and I wish I had written it--at least parts of it. What an amazing book! I resonated...

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Is Pacifism wrong?

My name is Kevin and I am currently involved with XXX mission agency. I have been directed to your site as a means for deeper spiritual and scriptural understanding.

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Do you believe the bible is the inerrant word of God?

What do you believe about the Bible? Do you believe that it is the inerrant word of God? I appreciate...

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What's the deal with heaven?

I know that I should read the entire book before making comments, but I give a hearty amen to your view of...

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Is scripture an open work?

My main question to you is can Scripture be more of an open work. It seems to me from your writings that you take a more ...

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How do ex-church-attenders and out-of-church Christians fit into the emergent and postmodern converstations?

I have visited your website and found that for the first time in years I can identify with something Christian. I live in the UK- I was a Christian for

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What book do I start with?

As the pastor of a traditional, but open-minded congregation, I want to begin a dialogue about the issues...

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Why bother with church at all?

I've got a question. Why bother with church at all? I have been involved in church since I was a kid and have come to a place where I just do not believe that people are better off going to this place we call "church"...

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What books would you recommend to help me understand how fundalmentalism shaped my thinking?

I'm new to emergent conversation in general. I did see you speak at Catalyst...

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Why have postmoderns given up using pulpits?

Why do "postmodern" communicators seem to like sitting on stools without pulpits or stands?

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Why is there so much hatred towards homosexuals?

I was watching Larry King Live tonight and saw you interviewed. My impression of you is that you have a more level headed way of thinking, and my hope is that you will take some time to answer this question.

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Why did God allow this to happen...

First I would just like to say thank you for the books of yours I have read so far: Anew Kind of Christian, The story we find ourselves in and Generous orthodoxy (I'm up to Ch 11)...

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Aren't you being critical?

I'm reading your book, A Generous Orthodoxy, and have found it refreshing. However, I've also found, to my surprise, that there are instances where rather than embracing Christians who think differently you actually come across critically toward them. Can you explain?

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Haven't there always been "emerging" Christians....

I have been a Christian in exile for 14 years--and even lost my faith entirely for a number of years.

It is only within the last year that I have been healed enough from my experiences with evangelical Christianity to begin once again to grapple with the particulars of my faith. For more than a decade, it was enough to walk with the Lord in the wilderness and to learn about Him precept upon precept through the Spirit. What I discovered was that I could never return to the system of faith I once clung to tenaciously--my new faith is constructed on different principles. It is truly a matter of new wine bursting old wineskins.

A few months ago, I was directed to your Web site, and since then, I have read two of your books: Finding Faith and A Generous Orthodoxy. Many of your assertions about the emergent movement resonate with me. However, as I revisit the trajectory of my faith's development, I can see how every painful mis-step was necessary to bring me to this place. I don't think I could have skipped over the black/white paradigm of fundamentalism. And indeed, as a baby Christian I was prepared to follow Him anywhere. Why, then, would He have chosen to immerse me in that world--which ultimately threatened my very existence as a believer--if there was no value in it?

I think the scope of emergent as you define it is too global. I don't see it as a breakaway movement for our culture as much as for the particular believer. The world, in varying degrees, has always been a stronghold of relativism. When the call comes from the Holy Spirit to the new believer, it usually leads to "deep" and "costly" fundamentalism. Liberalism may be palatable, but many young believers discern that it is a spiritual dead-end. The new believer finds solace in answers, not questions.

What I am saying is that I don't think I would have a capacity for nuance if I had not been grounded first in fundamentalism's clear delineations between truth/lies, light/darkness, and kingdom/world. The conventional Church served as a kind of "rehab" experience for me as my dependence on the world was severed. But ultimately, those boxes became suffocatingly small and my existence in them was revealed as pseudo-reality. But by then I'd learned to hear His voice and because of our history together, I trusted Him enough to follow Him outside the boxes.

So I'm wondering if there have not been long-time believers "emerging" from conventional Christianity at all times.

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