Today I was talking to a friend who felt like sometimes emerging/ent folk can emphasize the teachings and ethics of Jesus to the exclusion of the indwelling mystical presence and empowerment of Jesus’ person. And I can totally see this. I hope we can move from Hegalian pendulum-swinging to some holism and balance here: Jesus is way as well as life, and the latter empowers us to travel along the former.
I think most of us grew up with a gospel of self-referential, watered-down churchianity, where our version of the good news was to get involved in some rather banal, self-serving, institutional-maintenance programs. By contrast, the gospel of the inward/contemplative journey of intimacy with Jesus and the gospel of the outward/active journey of following Jesus are each, on their own, better than the ‘gospel’ of churchianity. But oh, wouldn’t it be great to have both the inward and outward, the active and contemplative, together? I think this is the heart of the gospel–sense and substance, beauty and vocation. We need a whole God revealed in a whole Jesus for all of life.