Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fuse is Burning

First voice: Are you sure?

Second voice: Yeah. We're good. Let's do it.

First voice: I dunno, man, what if it's not the right time?

Third voice: Aw, c'mon, you guys! What are you waiting for?!? Just light the dang fuse and stand back!


After several months of online silence, while all manner of technical glitches mightily interfered (thanks for the help, Bro. Maynard), robbymac is back!

Here at the new blog address (don't forget to update!), with some of the "classic" articles and posts to be found in the links to the right, blogging can now continue. Look for some updates on what's been happening with the Clan McAlpine in Tijuana soon.

So let's just dive in, shall we?

In recent weeks of wandering about greater blogdom and catching up, I notice that Sir Brian of McLaren has written yet another book: A New Kind of Christianity. Turns out that it's a classic case of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  • the GOOD: Brian has finally (begun to) come clean with what he really believes
  • -- the trajectory has been getting clearer over the past five or six years, but it's nice to have the smoke begin to clear
  • the BAD: it's not historic, orthodox Christianity
  • -- not that this constituted shock and surprise for many of us, but it's good to finally have it all on the table
  • the UGLY: some of the heresy-hunters were right, after all
  • -- not in their attitudes (bad), tactics (sleazy), or factual research (shoddy at best, GBA at worst), but isn't it kinda ironic that, flaws and all, they called it?
In a funny way, it's kind of "permission-giving". People who have been growing increasingly restless and uncomfortable with the trajectory of Emergent™ in general, can now move on and create new things that aren't tethered (by reputation and/or association) to what the "Big Three" (McLaren, Pagitt & Jones) are pushing.

Without having to defend or explain things that are increasingly divergent from what they believe and consider important.

And without fearing the reprisals of other bloggers; of being put on the dreaded "out" list of those who dare to question the emerging status quo.

To enjoy the freedom to continue exploring ways to be Biblically faithful and culturally engaged.

And that's a good thing. Let the journey continue.


  1. Welcome back Robbie!! I had just gone to the new page to get a quote from the detox series today and found that you had posted for the first time in a long time! I don't write much but try to keep up with a few of my favorite bloggers. I'll update my reader to the new address.

  2. A Big Robby Mac Attack! Yippee!

    Welcome back, bro. You've been missed.

  3. Welcome back! Although we get you LIVE IN PERSON on a daily basis... how spoiled we are.

  4. Hi Barb, good to hear from you again! It feels good to be writing once more.

    Bill, my fellow curmudgeon! It's so rare that I get to use the word "curmudgeon", thanks for bringing it back!

    Scott & Jamie (the Durhams), you probably should get martyr points for having to share such a tiny office with me. :)

  5. Hi Rob, thanks for the note that the blog is back. I hope you can find time to write more often. I'll be sure to stop by.

    I really enjoy your elder/younger stories. I'm glad you're "above the fray" wrt to the dust-ups over just how "historically orthodox" McLaren, Pagitt and Jones are. Doing the work you are doing with YWAM is more important and certainly keeps one grounded, and getting involved with all the kerfluffle is probably not very profitable.

    Interestingly, I have been in friendly conversations with all of them (spent the most time with Pagitt) at the Zondervan pastors' conferences. Although I don't know all the particulars about their doctrinal stances, Jones has argued for the bodily resurrection of Jesus, McLaren focuses on the kingdom of God with overtones of Dallas Willard, and Pagitt is within spittin' distance of NT Wright on some things. I mistakenly thought Jeremy at novuslumen might listen to some thoughts I tried to put up during his recent Pagitt vs Pelagius series, but most of the comments I made would not go through, even with joining his comment service. Aside from that, he never answered my concerns expressed in the couple that did go through. I gave up.

    I haven't hung around Emerging Church blog circles for a while, because I'm not in that theological place anymore. After praying, thinking and researching for nearly three years, I was received into Eastern Orthodoxy last June, so I don't have any dogs in any of those fights. I just think the further splintering and finger-pointing among people with basically the same motives- to see more of the life of Christ coming through the Church and call people to relationship with the Triune God through Jesus- is sad and regrettable.

    Dana Ames

  6. Hey Rob,
    Try looking at James Belcher's Deep Church. He posits a nice via media between traditional and emergent.

    Worth a read. Hope you are well

    Ken Light