Dr. Russell Moore gave a great lecture on the identity of Southern Baptists entitled, "Confessions of a Fundamissional Dean: Are Southern Baptists Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, or What?" Click here to download the MP3 file from the seminary website.
It's a good look at who Southern Baptists are.
As I'm listening to the lecture now, I appreciate some of Dr. Moore's comments on the emerging church. He used an analogy in which he compared them to bungee jumpers. Bungee jumpers want the rush but without the danger. He said that often emerging church folks will darken the rooms, use candles, etc. in an attempt to be counter-cultural and see themselves as returning back to the ancient church. However, even in the midst of a dark room with candles, they aren't facing the dangers of the ancient church. It's just not the same.
Dr. Moore also pointed out that they strive to be counter-cultural, but you find that most of their views on culture tend to be quite in step with the the culture. Granted, they are counter-cultural to evangelical culture, but they tend to be quite like the world. They desire to distance themselves from the plain folk, like me and my family.
After listening to Dr. Moore's lecture, it made me think a little more about this emerging church business. I must confess that I don't wear Birkenstocks, hang out in coffee shops, or use mild profanities. I don't show video clips during my sermons, and I rarely go to the movies to find engaging quotes for sermons or lessons. I don't refer to myself as a story-teller or elevate narrative. I'm not particularly fond of using props in sermons, and I believe that some types of humor profane the sacred task of expositing God's Word. I don't particularly try to shape myself to fit the mold that the world expects, because, truth to be told, I'd never look cool anyway and would just come across as a phony. I guess the only book I could write is White Like a Cracker.
So, call me simple...I realize that I'm far from emerging, and the emerging folks would say that my "plainness" is keeping me from having more of an impact on the culture. However, when did culture become the starting point for how we live our lives as believers? Food for thought...