Monday, January 26, 2009

look familiar?

See how this reads to you.
We feel that a holistic political conversation--one honoring the powers of mind and spirit to help heal the world--is emerging throughout the global community. The Global Renaissance Alliance embodies its vision through small gatherings of citizens called Citizen Circles. Meeting in living rooms, at churches, around campfires, or anywhere else, we are joined with others of like mind in meditating for world peace; speaking from our hearts about our wishes for a better world; and working together to make it so. Within the Citizen Circle, we commit to cultivating an intimate fabric of deep community, and through our individual and joint efforts to create real change in ourselves and the world around us. Dedicated to the divine love in ourselves and in one another, we seek to extend the principles of forgiveness, atonement, reverence for life, faith, service, and compassion into the political and social dynamic of our time.

This paragraph is on page 413 of the book "Imagine: What America Could Be in the 21st Century", a collection of essays edited by Marianne Williamson. The book is essentially a bunch of articles or essays by such new-agey lowlights as Deepak Chopra (who with a name like that missed his calling as a rap artist), Neale Donald Walsch, and I suppose others who think they've been talking with one god or another. The book claims that all proceeds for the book go the above-mentioned Global Renaissance Alliance (the book was put out in 2000, and I don't know if said alliance is still around or not; anyway, I found the book at one of the 'all the stuff in here is only $1' shops, and while in one sense it wasn't even worth that much, in another it's interesting to see what these types are thinking).

Consider that paragraph from the book, and please ask, "Does this seem familiar?"

I think that it does. I think it's very much like what the emergents are doing and trying to do.

I've thought for a while that, if you want to know where the emergents are going, you need to look at the "death of God" philosophers out there, or those who contend for some variation of the philosophy such as Caputo. I still think that, but maybe that's not the only things we need to look at, too. Perhaps those who are more well-known to the average person, popularizers like Chopra and Walsch and Lamott, are another source for information on where emergents are going.

That makes sense. Most people will not know of Caputo or Vattimo or Altizer, but they will be much more familiar with the people who put out the feel-good new-agey books, who claim to be channeling conversations with a god who doesn't do the judgment-and-wrath thing anymore, or who speak with some kind of strange accents so they must know what they're talking about.

Consider the Seeds of Compassion event last year, essentially a gathering of these kinds of ecumenical all-roads-lead-to-god types. To that event, with sported the luminary Dalai Lama and people from some other religions, two emergents were invited to participate in a Q&A--Rob Bell and Doug Pagitt.

Consider some things said in some of their books. Both Bell and McLaren have made positive comments about one Ken Wilbur, another in the new-agey thought rigamaroll. Bell even goes so far as to recommend a deep study of one of Wilbur's books.

If at one time all roads led to Rome, perhaps now it seems like all road lead to heresy and eventually hell. Or maybe it's just that it's one road, and it's very broad.

1 comment:

Rebel said...

Sadly your post rings loud and true. It seems as though many "Christians" are either unwilling or unable to notice the literalistic change happening in the Body.

Once you remove Biblical authority and Original Sin, you have an unoffensive "gospel" that is relevant to everyone itching ears.