Asian American Pastor ministers at seminary

February 6, 2007

Pastor Eugene Cho of Quest Church in Seattle, Washington, was recently featured as a Pastor in Residence at North Part Theological Seminary. Excerpts from this news article, Pastor in Residence Encourages Synthesis of ‘Innovation and Tradition’ in the Church [ht], describe his comments to the seminary’s student body:

[Eugene] Cho and Ray Aldred, a pastor in Canada and member of the Swan River Cree Nation, responded to questions about the emergent movement (EM) during the forum that was open to students. They spent much of the time addressing what they said are misconceptions about emergents.

The movement’s “messy attempt to contextualize the gospel” was a tension that always must be lived, Cho said. “I love tension; it’s exhausting, but I think tension can be a good thing.”

The pastors disagreed with critics who have argued the movement dismisses the idea of “propositional truth,” or that which can be defined. Aldred said there is “a realignment of propositional truth” among emergents, who consider it secondary – but essential – to the community’s experience with “the gospel story.” Propositional truth is best discerned through the entire narrative of Scripture, rather than the other way around, he explained. …

“Everything must point to Jesus,” Cho said. “Everything must point to the triune God.” …

The church must continue to be innovative but informed by the best tradition, Cho said. “The church is more beautiful as a result of a synthesis of innovation and tradition.”

Cho said he honors the approach to living the gospel differently as do members of the EM, declaring, “Praise the Lord there are different churches and there are different methodologies.” All Christians must be missional, however.

Questioned as to whether the EM missional approach hasn’t already simply become reactive — or guided — by culture, Cho responded, “The church can be reactive and pro-active. It has to be both.”

If the church is to be both, however, it must know how to relate to the people around it, the pastors said. “What we really have lost is the art of conversation,” Cho explained. “We don’t know how to have a normal conversation with the rest of the world.”

Cho added, “You have to be aware of the rhythm and pulse of the culture to see how Christ is moving in the culture.”

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