[TBC: We have warned of the problems of the Emergent Church. Others have noted similar problems.]
Emerging Church Confusion: What Does it Really Mean? [Excerpts]
Some books and several articles have now been written about the emerging church, and interestingly, nearly all of them lack the most important element—the emerging church (which incorporates the teachings of the Emergent leaders: McLaren, Pagitt, Kimball, etc.) is a conduit for mysticism and is heading right into the arms of Catholicism and eventually a universal interfaith church.
The emerging church is fundamentally mystical as can easily be seen by the leaders who feed the emerging movement a steady diet of contemplative spirituality. Leonard Sweet, one of the emerging church movement's most prolific leaders explains the role of mysticism in the emerging church:
"Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is now situated in postmodernist culture near the center.... In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, 'The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing.' [Mysticism] is metaphysics arrived at through mindbody experiences. Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology" (Yungen, A Time of Departing, p. 160).
Another influential emerging church leader is Spencer Burke, director of The Ooze. He explains his views on mysticism as well:
"I was struck by the incredible wisdom that could be found apart from the "approved" evangelical reading list. A Trappist monk, [Thomas] Merton gave me a new appreciation for the meaning of community. His New Man and New Seeds of Contemplation touched my heart in ways other religious books had not. Not long afterward my thinking was stretched again, this time by Thich Nhat Hanh—a Buddhist monk ... Hanh's Living Buddha, Living Christ gave me insight into Jesus from an Eastern perspective." (Yungen, A Time of Departing, p. 157).
Some may say, "But there are positive attributes to the emerging church movement." Yet would you drink a glass of mountain spring water if it had only a drop or two of cyanide? Not if you didn't want to get very, very sick.
Jesus Christ made it clear in Scripture that we are to cling to truth. HE is truth, and He is the only way to salvation....