As pointed out in the Apprising Ministries post Emergence Pastor Rob Bell To Have Friend Peter Rollins In Conference this July pastor Rob Bell, the Elvis of Emergence, will be featuring his “friend” Peter Rollins in Bell’s upcoming pastors conference.
In fact, Bell refers to Rollins as “one of the freshest voices” that he’s heard in this Emergence rebellion against Sola Scriptura, whose basic message appears to be: God has a man-shaped hole in His heart.
A transcription follows below:
Tickle: I’m Phyllis Tickle and I’m here talking with Pete Rollins and what we’re talking about is Emerging or Emergent Christianity, which increasingly I call, as I just told you, Emergence Christianity cause there’s a bit of a confusion, especially in this country…uh, between Emerging and Emergent…and a lot of feeling I think globally, too about whether it’s time to get a different name and I don’t think that’s going to happen, so we have a problem. But I think we’re all sort of more or less on the same page…that there are characteristics about whatever “X” is…we may not have the word we’re happy with, but we know we’re Post-Christendom, we’re Post-Denominational, we’re Post-Protestant, we’re Post… Can you sort of talk about what it is that this mindset…this is a conversation right now; it’s got to grow up to be more than a conversation. But, can you kind of characterize what Emergence Christianity is or what Post-Denominational, Post-Protestant, Post-Christendom means…what characterizes this thing that’s happening now?
Rollins: Ah, I suppose you could say one of the definitions of someone in the whole Emerging Movement is that they don’t like being defined as being part of the Emerging Movement—
Tickle: (Laughing) I think that’s the first principle, yes. And I feel the same way. Sometimes people lay that label on me and you think, “No, that’s not quite true.”
Rollins: Actually, the Existentialists didn’t like to be called Existentialists; the Post-Modern thinkers don’t like to be called “Post-Modernist” thinkers, but we need labels and we need to kind of try to loosely define.
Rollins: Actually Leotard the philosopher wrote a book called “The Post-Modern Condition” and I like that because he didn’t call it the “Post-Modern Possession.” He said it’s a condition, it’s something you “catch”, it’s something you feel and sometimes you can’t articulate it, but you know…you sense something differently; you’ve got a different kind of mood and feel, And so, the whole emerging scene I think, is more of a condition than a possession…
Tickle: I like that.
Rollins: And it’s people like yourself being able to reflect on it and uh, kind of show its possession, but first and foremost it‘s felt here…
Tickle: It is.
Rollins: …that’s very exciting. But some of the bodies I think, that the emerging uh, community have are…one of them is, I think… what I called suspended spheres. What I mean by that is, we try to create a place in our week, a liturgical hour, where there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, Republican nor Democrat, employed nor unemployed, Liberal nor Conservative, where we can encourage each other on a deeper level on our mere affirmations…not because they’re not important, but because they’re…uh, we need to have a place where we can encourage each other at a deeper level.
Tickle: Yes, yes.
Rollins: That’s exciting for me. Another value that I see at work I it call a donut structure. A lot of churches are like jam donuts, you know, they’ve got a jammy center and you tie it to the center and you get your parcels of support from center, and I love the idea of a community that has no center…the center is void; at the center is where God is…and we practice relational tithing and relational pastoring. In Ikon, for example, we say, “We don’t care if you’re going through a divorce or if you stubbed your toe…”
Rollins: …but, we say the only person who cares about you is the person sitting beside you, and if they don’t care about you, you’re stuck, because we have to do this.” Um…we call this the idea that the ruler…the leader is to refuse to be a leader so is to “push back” and get a priesthood of all believers.