Emergent Conference at Biola

Biola-Talbot Emerging Church Conference. 400 people attended. David T blogged it, as did A-Team’s Murdoch, Melinda and Dan but in my opinion (as one who was not involved) I felt that Laura had the skinny:

“. . . I think the real issue in the emerging church is ecclesiology and missiology, not philosophy. Maybe that could be Talbot’s next foray into conversation with the emerging church.”


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • As one who was there, I think it would be more accurate to say that the real point of divergence between the emerging church and the folks at Talbot is in the area of philosophy. In other words, we don’t take issue with the ecclesiology and missiology of the emerging church, which are good for the most part, but we have major issues with the philosophy of the emerging church, specifically in its epistemology.

  • The faculty at Talbot are generally modest foundationalists (I don’t know one that isn’t), though not the strong Cartesian foundationalism that’s usually bashed. Their main concern, and mine as well, is that we understand the stories of the Bible to be objectively true facts- that the resurrection took place in time, space and history. It’s not a question of certainty, we can’t be epistemologically certain, but a question of whether it’s objectively true or only true for me or my community.
    I think you’ve at least affirmed the objective truth of the Biblical narratives, though I don’t think I seen you comment on foundaitonalism. From my selective readings of emerging church folk, I think perhaps 80% affirm this much. What do you think?
    As I commented on Timbo’s blog, I think there’s more a divide theologically than philosophically. One common strand I’ve seen emerging church material is the idea that praxis precedes theology (Which Bolger mentioned yesterday). That is a huge point of divergence from where most of us non-emergent folk stand.

  • Talbot is strictly a Bass Ale and Samuel Adams school, while, as I understand it, you are more of a Toohey’s Old sort of guy …
    Other than that, I dunno.

  • I was also there–and attend Talbot and ec stuff–and truly think the actual divide is theological and practical. Now, the discussion Friday–at least from the profs–was philosophical, but I think this has more to do with a cultural-philosophical language barrier than it does with actual differences. EC is not nearly as postmodern as the profs think and the profs are not nearly as foundationalist as the ec folks think. I’m glad Biola/Talbot entered the conversation, but I hope the next outing will be an actual conversation. (btw, thanks for the link, Andrew).

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