Among emergents, all of this subtle sophistication is largely passed up, but the same point is, nevertheless, made.  [Rob] Bell’s Velvet Elvis, for example, distinguishes between Scripture as a trampoline and Scripture as a brick wall.  The doctrines of Scripture are like the springs in a trampoline that propel us upward in our journey with God.  However, as trampoline jumpers know, the direction in which they are propelled is a tad unpredictable.  So it is in life.  We can only say what “seems” to be right in terms of what we should believe and do.  We have to make our way, in our own way, having been projected by Scripture.

Scripture, to change the image, is not about living in a brick world where nothing changes and where one brick dislodged in the doctrinal wall may threaten to bring down the whole edifice of Christian life.  It is not about having one painting, to change the image again, that we carry all the time.  No.  It is, Bell says, about making our own paintings through our own explorations as we move along.  So, to go back to trampolines, would it matter if we took one or more springs out?  Such as the Trinity or the virgin birth of Christ, for example?  Clearly not, he thinks, so long as there are enough springs left to get us airborne.

From: The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-Lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World by David F. Wells (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008), p. 86.


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