In a Relevant magazine interview, Erwin McManus states the following:
Because people don’t know where to put our community [Mosaic] they put us in the “emergent” category, and we really are a different animal than emergent. We’re not against emergent, but we are not like them.
While it may or may not be true that Erwin McManus is not part of what people think of as emergent, McManus is part of what we call emerging spirituality. There is a difference. Emergent would be within the confines of certain emerging church leaders (Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, etc.), but emerging spirituality encompasses much more. It is a belief system that has pervaded much of Christianity today. And this belief system has its roots in New Age theology (which goes back to the Garden of Eden and says man is like God and all is united with God). In this scope, Erwin McManus is emerging, and it doesn’t really matter if he calls himself emergent or not. But what does matter is that his influence continues to grow right in the midst of Christianity.
With David Jeremiah publicly endorsing and promoting McManus and Rick Warren bringing him on board at the up coming Saddleback Church Worship Conference & Festival, many more people will be introduced to McManus’ spirituality. While it is confusing why Jeremiah would promote him, it is understandable why Rick Warren resonates with McManus – the two are going in the same direction. Regardless, it would be worth our time to examine the underlying layers of both emerging spirituality and Erwin McManus’ doctrines. In the past, we have written several articles pertaining to this, and we encourage you to read some of them. Below is a link to the recent Relevant/McManus interview and several links to related information.
In the interview, McManus says, “Our dilemma is that we are trying to create an entire new category and people keep trying to put us in different ones.” Typically, if someone is trying to build a reputation or convince people they are a certain way, they will do what they can to paint a picture of who they really are. Part of this process would be hanging out with like minded people and sharing similar visions with the public. With McManus’ rejection of “emergent” and his joining with Rick Warren, it certainly gives some food for thought. And this fall McManus will be joining New Age sympathizers Laurie Beth Jones and Ken Blanchard at the Lead Like Jesus conference. Their common vision they say is “Souls serving souls. Imagine 6.8 billion souls served by LLJ leaders by 2010.” I think we’re beginning to see this “new category” you wish to be linked with Mr. McManus.
Quotes by Erwin McManus:
The Barbarian Way was, in some sense, trying to create a volatile fuel to get people to step out and act. It’s pretty hard to get a whole group of people moving together as individuals who are stepping into a more mystical, faith-oriented, dynamic kind of experience with Christ. So, I think Barbarian Way was my attempt to say, “Look, underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient.” That’s what was really the core of The Barbarian Way. from another Relevant interview
My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ (said in a telephone interview).
Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right. (from The Barbarian Way)
For more information:
The Relevant/McManus interview