To start off, I would point out that the rather ambiguous, overarching term “Emerging Christianity” is used throughout this blog by the hosts of this conference. Judging from the theological stance of guest speakers, this conference should more accurately be called an “Emergence Christianity” conference.
As Apprising Ministry’s Ken Silva has so astutely observed, the Emergent Church movement is “morphing” into Emergence Christianity. See:
In some cases, Emergent Church speakers are separating themselves from the inherently New Age-ish Emergence speakers. But this is the exception rather than the rule. In most cases, Emergent speakers have no qualms about associating very closely with Emergence speakers.
Examples of Emergence-leaning Emergents are Brian McLaren and Tony Jones. It could be said that McLaren and Jones are actually taking up residence in the Emergence camp. In fact, Phyllis Tickle has called Brian McLaren the Martin Luther of Emergence Christianity. Scary, in view of the fact that McLaren is making the speaking rounds of many traditionally born again evangelical colleges and seminaries.
Another issue that concerns me: there seems to be no line of demarcation between the Emerging, Emergent, and Emergence movements. Consider this scenario of a born again Christian student (in the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence targeted age group of approximately 13-25 years old). He gets involved in the Emerging Church movement through a Spiritual Formation (i.e. contemplative spirituality) seminar conducted for his church’s youth group. Then he attends a Christian liberal arts college, where a professor and/or Spiritual Director persuades him to read Emerging Church author Dan Kimball. Dan Kimball associates with Emergent/Emergence Brian McLaren, so the student out of curiosity reads McLaren. He falls for McLaren’s writings. After moving on from college to seminary, he learns that McLaren is associating with Phylllis Tickle. Finally, he becomes enamored with Tickle’s writings. Being hooked on Emergent/Emergence author McLaren and Emergence author Tickle, this student has become like the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling kettle. This once biblically sound, born again Christian student is now an admiring student of New Age-ish Emergence teachings.
I have copied and pasted the following blog in its entirety. The blog itself is in italics. I am emphasizing certain points of concern by bolding and [bracketing] various sections. The original blog can be found in its entirety at:
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Emerging Christianity Leaders Hold Two-Day Conference
FORT WORTH – October 22, 2010
Brite Divinity School  and Tarrant Area Community of Churches  join Life in the Trinity Ministry  as sponsors of “Emerging Christianity,” a two-day conference at TCU’s Brown-Lupton University Union. Renowned leaders in the Emerging Christianity movement will address pastors and lay leaders at the Dec. 3-4 conference. A pre-conference workshop also will teach church leaders new approaches to attract youth to new faith communities.
“The Emerging Christianity movement is attracting people from all over the world, mainly those who are disillusioned with the institutional and organized church,” said Joe Stabile, founder of Life in the Trinity Ministry and pastor of Cochran Chapel in Dallas. “Rather than letting these people of faithand [sic] sincere seekers disappear from traditional churches, Emerging Church leaders are trying to show them new ways of following Christ.”
Keynote speakers at the conference will include some of the founders and most notable leaders in the Emerging Christianity movement:
• Richard Rohr , a Franciscan priest and internationally known speaker, is best known for his numerous recorded teachings and spiritual books. He is founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation  in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
What does Richard Rohr stand for, when it comes to biblically sound Christianity? His teachings are quite the antithesis of biblical Truth. Check out Ken Silva’s detailed critique of Rohr:
And see this lengthy list of critiques of Rohr:
• Phyllis Tickle , considered an authority on religion in America, is founding editor of the religion department of Publishers Weekly. She is the author of more than two dozen books in religion and spirituality, most recently “The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why.” Sheis [sic] frequently quoted in print publications, including USA Today, Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times, as well as in electronic media.
Sounds like a very knowledgable person, right? But is she a biblically sound Christian? Not hardly. Here is an excellent, detailed blog by Ken Silva, critiquing Tickle:
And a list of many more critiques of Tickle:
• Brian McLaren , author, speaker, pastor and networker amonginnovative [sic] Christian leaders, thinkers and activists, is a frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs. His work has been covered in Time (where he was listed as one of American’s 25 most influential evangelicals)[is this what evangelicals have come to? – McLaren is far from being biblically sound], Christianity Today, Christian Century, the Washington Post, and many other print media. His 2004 release, “A Generous Orthodoxy,” has been called a “manifesto” of the emerging church conversation.
Interesting. As mentioned above, Phyllis Tickle calls Brian McLaren the Martin Luther of Emergence Christianity. Here are several discernment ministry critiques of McLaren, detailing what he really stands for:
And here are links to many, many critiques of McLaren:
• Suzanne Stabile, an internationally renowned teacher and director of retreats, offers a unique and creative approach to the practice of spiritual formation. A master teacher of the Enneagram, Suzanne and her husband, Joseph, are the founders of Life in the Trinity Ministry and the Micah Center in Dallas, Texas .
• Tony Jones , author of many books on Christian ministry and spirituality, is a popular speaker and consultant in the areas of emerging church, postmodernism and Christian spirituality. Jones is theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch  in Minneapolis.
Jones is yet another Emergent/Emergence speaker who is far from biblically sound. See the following critique of Jones:
And a long list of critiques:
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, Dec. 2 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Social Media Bootcamp The Micah Center, 9027 Midway Rd., Dallas
Friday, Dec. 3 1 – 5 p.m.
Will there be Youth Ministry in the Emerging Church? Brite Divinity School, Weatherly Hall, 2855 S. University Dr., Fort Worth
Conference Events with Keynote Speakers
Friday, Dec. 3 7 – 10 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 4 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Brown-Lupton University Union
2901 Stadium Dr., Fort Worth
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One final note – Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren and Tony Jones are just a few of the Emergence Christianity speakers. In addition to these, many more are making the rounds in colleges and seminaries across America (again, many of which are traditionally born again evangelical schools). For more names (Doug Pagitt and Leonard Sweet to name a few), see my blog-under-construction at:
More links for research:
(1) Brite Divinity School –
(2) Tarrant Area Community of Churches –
(3) Life in the Trinity Ministry –
(4) Richard Rohr –
(5) Center for Action and Contemplation –
(6) Phyllis Tickle –
(7) Brian McLaren –
(8) Suzanne Stable, the Enneagram, and the Micah Center –
 Tony Jones –
 Solomon’s Porch –