31 August 2007

Emerging Church: bad as Gutless Grace Girliemen? Worse than Wrongheaded Wrightophiles? Sillier than Leaky Canoneers?

— OR —
Emerging/Emergent Errors; Puerile Pomo Prattle; Abominable Antinomian Aberrations; Novel New-Perspective Nonsense; Crazy Charismaniac Charlatanism; Sanctimonious Sacramentalist Superstitions; Cynical, Condescending Catholicity; Private Prophetic Phantasms; and Seeker-Sensitive Silliness: What Do They All Have in Common?

by
Frank Turk & Dan Phillips, but not Phil Johnson—because you people wear him out

The primary point of this post is to really bring all the people we have had consistent adversarial interaction with out of the woodwork to see if we can't make a comment thread go past the 1,000 mark—because after all, we get thousands of readers every day. Everyone should have something to say for himself.

(There's a possible counter-bonus to being so open about our aims. All our friends among the jolly-raunchers and tongue-waggers and shape-shifters and gutless-gracers might read our goal, and think "Well, I'll be [EC verbiage deleted] if I'm going to oblige those judgmental pinheaded legalistic dead-lettered haters!", and stay away. Net result? We get to whack away to our hearts' content, unopposed. See? Win/win!)

So we're going to write a post determined to engage all of the above categories, and it's going to work like this:
  • We're going to assume that when we type phrases like "inerrant scripture," "personal sanctification," "indwelling of the Holy Spirit," and "regenerate believers," they will be blithely ignored or recklessly misconstrued, and will instantly cause someone in one of the adversarial camps to post a comment which has nothing to do with the point we were making.
  • We're going to take it for granted that all of these groups are actually engaged in more important things—you know: like ministry, or real, high-flown academics—than blogging.
  • We're going to have a calm assurance that, no matter what we say, Steve Camp will find a way to disagree and show us how much better his Kung Fu is than ours.
  • We're going to gratuitously post graphics like this one:




And this one:

Maturity?
Inspired by remarks left in the combox below

And this one:


And this one:



And this one:



And this one:




And this one:



And this one:



But not this one:



And the reason for all of that is this—after our concurrent 3-ish years of blogging, we have come to realize that blogging cannot be serious business. Investing a lot of time in posts which say things like God's provision is usually exactly what we need, or that the sufficiency of God's word far exceeds any experience we could hope to encounter, or that we often discount what God has already done never seems to work out for us. People don't remember them. They're not what people come here to see.

And that, frankly, is a shame.

So no sense in wrecking the rest of our week with prayer, reflection and the real meat of God's word. This is what the people want—verbal meat-chubbery—and frankly, from what we understand, giving people what they really want is called missional these days.

We're down with that, because we've listened, heard, read, dialogued, and it keeps coming down to the same thing: the Bible. It seems to be such a problem for so many of our critics.

If you take the Word at its word, it is God's Word. Because it is God's Word, it is truth (John 17:17), it is inerrant (John 10:35), it is sufficient for every Christian need (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Are you a real disciple ofJesus? The way you treat the Bible tells the tale (John 8:31-32). It is the end result of a long, deliberate process (Hebrews 1:1-2), done through men moved by the Holy Spirit who wrote out God's self-revelation, rather than products of their own will (2 Peter 1:20-21).

And it's markedly complete. No essential God-breathed book has been found that antedates Genesis, nor any that post-dates Revelation. The whole vital, need-to-know story and all the details are there: God, man, the universe, the meaning of life and everything. How it all started, how it all ends, what we're to be believing and doing (and not believing nor doing) in the meanwhile.

And there's so much of it. Sixty-six books chock-full of revelation. So much that most professing Christians (to our shame) have never even read it all.

In the light of that, what explains a movement that in effect trivializes it all? A movement that's fascinated with low-voltage pale imitations, so much so that they will redefine Scripture itself to accommodate them? Why (on their view) did God make this perfect thing, then go mostly silent for long centuries, then recently start muttering and stammering and stuttering? It's like they think God is a one-hit wonder, who made one really great album, and then kept making a succession of tired, hackneyed thrift-shop nothing-bombs.

If these mutterings and burblings are actually meaningful, why did God bother to write the Book in the first place?

Or what of another movement that basically has to stare emptily at so much of the Bible? A movement that makes every imperative into a suggestion, treats the commandments of Christ and the apostles as more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules? That turns every vivid and hard warning into a Nerf-bat? That makes the road to Glory wide and easy, but the road to Hell narrow and hard?

If these commandments, warnings, and conditions are actually meaningless, why did God bother to write the Book?

Or what of yet another movement, a vowel/consonant movement, that reduces the clarion calls, the proclamations, the crystal-clear, black-and-white razor-edged demands of God to a "conversation"? A movement that sometimes seems to love community over clarity, dialogue over die-to-sin, leaven* over Heaven, good feelings over Good News, crass over Cross, reinvention over regeneration, edginess over edges, and hipness over holiness? A movement that has all the wisdom of a 20-year-old who's decided he's smarter than his elders (or smarter than all the wisdom of the ages) and approaches the issues of life as if no one else ever saw anything plainly before him...

...and (more particularly) as if God never said anything about the issues of life, or even if He did, as if no one has wrestled with His words before?

If none of the lines or limits of truth has been discovered, uncovered, and well-covered over the last twenty centuries, it makes you wonder why God bothered to give that Book as long ago as He did.

And if the most central issue of the Bible—how can man be just before God?—has been misunderstood by basically every one of the holiest, godliest, most consecrated and devoted men of God for centuries; if, that is, our most elder brothers in the faith have, every one of them, answered that question wrongly, and only a specialist engaging in specialized sub-category studies can unearth the true answer to this basic question...

...it makes you wonder not only why God wrote the Book, but why He made such a poor job of it. Why couldn't He manage to get it Wright... er, right, the first time? Why didn't He make it plain enough for non-specialists to "get" what He was saying?

And what if we lump together all those bustling, bristling groups that have found (invented) such wonderful ways of packing churches—by substituting arts and crafts, skits and dances, jokes and stories, gimmicks and gewgaws, rather than the red-hot, passionate, truth-full, straight-up, eternal-God- talking-to-you-today (Hebrews 3:7-13) preaching of the Word?

Why, really why, did He bother?

See, we may be really old guys, but we wonder things, too.

Don't you? Shouldn't you, anyway?


*Well, at any rate, yeast.

1,062 comments:

1 – 200 of 1062   Newer›   Newest»
Kim said...

In the light of that, what explains a movement that in effect trivializes it all?

Very good question.

étrangère said...

Hey, blogging can't be a serious business... life is so serious that it must be taken with a sense of humour attached :) But actually I was just thinking yesterday that I miss it when you guys aren't posting gospel meat for us to chew on from Scripture - the to & fro stuff you get comments on can be wearing, but the Word (what you invest so much time & energy in) is up-building. It does what it says in 2 Tim 3.16-17. Keep it up.

DJP said...

The Return of the French-named Red-headed Girl!

David said...

you guys should post together more often

BugBlaster said...

Investing a lot of time in posts which say things like God's provision is usually exactly what we need, or that the sufficiency of God's word far exceeds any experience we could hope to encounter, or that we often discount what God has already done never seems to work out for us. People don't remember them. They're not what people come here to see.

Well, that's not completely true. Those kinds of posts are why I read this place.

DJP said...

Thanks, David.

I'm looking to our more academic readers to do some source-criticism on this.

I mean, do they discern the Q document behind the finished product, the Ur-post? Is there an FT{1}, DJP{1}, and so on? Do they detect PJ deletions and emendations? What is the Vorlage? And can we get behind it all to the Sitz im Leben?

Surely, only by implementing these critical and essential tools, can we achieve Fahrvergnügen!

Helen said...

Do you like to sing hymns to the Bible or do you think that's going a little too far?

Brad Leber said...

"all the wisdom of a 20-year-old who's decided he's smarter than his elders"

Aint that the truth!

I love it when these "new" ideologies discover the "right" way to look at things and discount all of previous recorded history in the process.

Tom Chantry said...

But...but...but... What about Amillenials? I feel left out!

Garet Pahl said...

That was awesome...

DJP said...

Helen, at the risk of violating Rule 5: do you like Psalm 119, or do you think that is going too far?

DJP said...

We don't do eschatology here, Chantry. That rule comes from the Top.

However, I don't want you to feel Left Behind....

centuri0n said...

Helen:

If you'd like to be treated with respect here, you need to start someplace a little less, um, uninformed with your comments. I have been really just letting you go on and on with no real interaction before frankly I think you're a person with issues that debate in a blog comment box will not resolve.

However, if you want to pass on the charge of bible-idolatry as a serious charge, and attempt to defend your view in some kind of serious way, think on this statement:

The disciple of Jesus Christ has an obligation to know the Scripture and do what it says to do.

I would be willing to defend that statement in a forum I host called DebateBlog. One salient feature of D-Blog is that you can see the list of people who have been offered a chance to conduct a debate and have declined; you can also see 5 examples of debates that people have excepted, as well as the general rules of engagement.

If you're going to say thing like that, be prepared to defend them.

art said...

I love it when these "new" ideologies discover the "right" way to look at things and discount all of previous recorded history in the process.

I wonder if the Catholic church was saying the same thing to herself circa 1517.

Point being, just because something is "new" does not mean that it is wrong.

I'm not going to right off the entire system of dispensationalism just because it is a 19th-20th century phenomenon.

If you're going to judge something, judge it on its content.

centuri0n said...

Fahrvergnügen

I prefer Zoom-zoom.

Helen said...

Centurion wrote: If you'd like to be treated with respect here, you need to start someplace a little less, um, uninformed with your comments.

I don't understand - what are you saying? I know too much? I should pretend to know less?

I asked yes or no question. I was in a Bible study where that hymn was sung (more than once) - that's how I know of its existence. I thought it was weird to sing a hymn to the Bible. How about you? Yes? No? Is it going too far or not?

stratagem said...

What a GREAT post. Finally, someone calls the Emergent movement for what it is: A movement that encourages doubt, the polar opposite of faith; encourages rebellion, the polar opposite of submission to God's authority and proclamation. It is patently obvious that Emergent and Christianity have nothing to do with each other. I echo someone else's comment that you two should team-post more often!

art said...

It is patently obvious that Emergent and Christianity have nothing to do with each other.

Please prove this statement.

Or, don't say it.

DJP said...

So, Helen, you're trying to put one foot on "I know a lot," and the other on "I can't understand what I was just asked"?

< shakes head sadly >

DJP said...

Art: please read all of Phil's posts on the subject, come back, show some understanding of their content, then revise your challenge.

Or don't make it.

art said...

Art: please read all of Phil's posts on the subject, come back, show some understanding of their content, then revise your challenge.

Or don't make it


This wasn't made towards Phil...or you.

steve said...

Every one of these movements is the result of not having a high enough view of God and His Word.

Thanks for holding the Word up high, and for the great wit along the way.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Barring the title, you messed up in the first paragraph because you didn’t use gender inclusive language – you barbarians.

DJP said...

Art: This wasn't made towards Phil...or you.

Okey-doke.

But what I said was made towards you.

This is the wrong blog on which to feign blinking-eyed ignorance about the dangers of the EC.

DJP said...

JonathanBarring the title, you messed up in the first paragraph because you didn’t use gender inclusive language – you barbarians.

Thank you.

[ Takes off helmet, and bows ]

art said...

This is the wrong blog on which to feign blinking-eyed ignorance about the dangers of the EC.

Never said it wasn't "dangerous." Never said that it was "right." I have many problems with many people within the emerging movement; from their epistemology, to their Christology, to their view of Scripture.

But to say that it has nothing to do with Christianity? It obviously has something to do with Christianity...even if that means that it is not practicing it correctly.

Unless you mean to say that those within the emerging movement aren't Christians? But I don't think you would say something like that.

centuri0n said...

Helen:

This is your opportunity to shine rather than be banned for being a poor guest.

The answer to your question is that nobody here worships the Bible.

Now, will you receive a question about the faults of your question, or will you simply pretend that you're the party being wronged in order to try to maintain the perceived moral high-ground of being (allegedly) a simple seeker of truth?

The question is this:

Does the disciple of Jesus Christ have an obligation to know the Scripture and do what it says to do?

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
centuri0n said...

Sam:

I'll wait for Steve to post his reply to this post before I say another word about it. Suffice it to say that I am sure Steve has something to say about this, and I have a lunch at Elmer's in Tulsa riding on his exact words.

ReformedMommy said...

I'm with Mme (Mlle?) Etrangere et al - I love the meaty stuff the most, but this is meat chub wielding at its finest. Preach it boys!

Daryl said...

Great summation of the whole deal guys! Possibly the most hilarious and pointed post you've ever made regarding the EC.

Well done.

By the way, much as I enjoy the EC back and forth stuff...I miss the meaty stuff as well. This week wore me out I think.

DJP said...

You are not alone, Daryl. One gets dizzy on the merry-go-round.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

I must admit that as one who dislikes the posters and also has many apprehesions with the EC altogether, the Benny Hinn poster desrves attention.

It gives an accurate quote, it identfies the author, and it is down against the backdrop of his own ministry.

And for you guys to resist the temptation to add your own commentary is commendable, that only would have detracted. I would like to see others along the same line. Maybe a poster of Dr. Gene Scott smoking a...never mind, you get the picture.

DJP said...

Reformed Mommy says, "Bring me a chubbery!"

candyinsierras said...

Wow. Alliteration Alert!

Can't wait to see the bluster when I get home from work today.

DJP said...

To continue my challenge that no one has yet taken up...

...I read the funniest send-up of source-criticism many years ago. The "tools" were applied to the Humpty-Dumpty poem. All I remember is the discussion of the hand of the "Deutero-Dumptyist."

Libbie said...

What? No picture of Father Christmas? Next thing you'll be telling little kids he doesn't exist...

*sobs*

This place is too bruising for me.

DJP said...

Libbie asks, Dan answers.

No request too grand for our favorite muffin.

art said...

Dan:

I think you are referring to an article by Edmund Clowney that he wrote for his column "Eutychus and His Pin" in Christianity Today. We had to read it when we were discussing source criticism in our Gospels class.

I think this is the section you were referring to:

The original source material which follows shows the value of a scholarly interpretation of a familiar text:
Humpty-Dumpty sat on an wall.
Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall.
We need not stop to discuss the critical questions which surround this classical text. It is generally understood by modenr scholars to be a conflation of H and D. The Humptyist (H) may well have
written "Humpty sat on a wall." The original Deutero-Dumptyist (D2) probably had the reading "Dumpty had a fall." A later redactor, acquainted with both traditions, and struck by the rhyming possibilities (Humpty/Dumpty; wall/fall) joined the conflicting accounts in a couplet. the adjective "great" is almost certainly a later gloss, which may be traced to lapsarian circles in Great Falls, Minnesota. The formgeschichtlich school traces the term to a sitz-im-kindergarten which favored exaggeration and legendary embellishment, but this has now been decisively rejected by I. E. Hohlkopfig

centuri0n said...

Henry:

{yawn}

Thanks. God be with you.

DJP said...

Art— exactly! I think I have that in an OLD paperback compilation of CT articles.

< sigh >

Man, those were the days. CT used to be something great. Now it's just trendy and pathetic.

Thank you!

Sewing said...

Ah, this must be the post Phil was talking about....

DJP said...

I should say trend-following.

centuri0n said...

Will it count as a 1000-comment thread if half the comments are from me and Dan?

DJP said...

Yep.

kelly said...

Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Where does this movement fit into previous history?

DJP said...

Leviticus 10?

Enoch or Merrilee said...

Turk-n-Dan,
Great post.
I doubt you'll hit even close to 100 on this one, though, as you have banned those who would be most likely to generate huff-n-puff. If people on the Emerging side haven't come out yet, this post is not likely to draw them out. Too confrontational.
But you knew that.

Hellen,
I don't understand why you continue to post here. You do not give the me the impression that you are willing to entertain serious debate on truth.
So I puts it to ya (if you won't answer Cent--he has the primacy as he asked a question first): Is the Bible true?
If yes, then will you follow it?
If no, then why post at a place where "yes" is fundamental all that goes on here?
Enoch

Al said...

"Why didn't He make it plain enough for non-specialists to "get" what He was saying?"

I get that comment a bunch... of course it is usually about election or some such "deepness."

I know, I know... Quit goring my ox.

al sends

DJP said...

Oh really? Yeah, I imagine Arminians say that a lot.

centuri0n said...

Enoch: It's actually too early in the day.

kelly said...

That unauthorized fire before the Lord will get you every time. Wish more would learn.
Leviticus 1:1

thanks Dan

david rudd said...

I mean, do they discern the Q document behind the finished product, the Ur-post? Is there an FT{1}, DJP{1}, and so on? Do they detect PJ deletions and emendations? What is the Vorlage? And can we get behind it all to the Sitz im Leben?

Surely, only by implementing these critical and essential tools, can we achieve Fahrvergnügen!


i laughed loudly. one of your best, dan.

DJP said...

tyvm, David

[ bows modestly ]

DJP said...

David, I actually am a tad more than half-serious. It'd be fun for someone to try to discern which parts are more Frank, which are more me, and if they detect any nicks and gouges amid those portions.

But then there's that whole some-people-have-lives thingie....

Sewing said...

A few observations...

* Source criticism is highly seductive. I bought it hook, line, and sinker for years, and took it to its logical extreme—that the hypothetical "authors" and redactors of the Pentateuch and Gospels (in particular) were uninspired men with secular, worldly agendas. But that way lies madness. I couldn't see the forest for the trees. My faith was effectively non-existent for over a decade as a result. (Well, it was never properly Christ-centered to begin with, and without the hermeneutical paradigm of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, I had nuthin'.) It was only when the Lord supernaturally showed me that Christ is the answer, that I could start to look to the Bible for answers again, and not look to it as research material of merely antiquarian interest.

* Despite your best attempts at humour, I see you couldn't resist getting a nugget of good, sound, prooftexted teaching in there. I reproduce it herewith:

If you take the Word at its word, it is God's Word. Because it is God's Word, it is truth (John 17:17), it is inerrant (John 10:35), it is sufficient for every Christian need (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Are you a real disciple ofJesus? The way you treat the Bible tells the tale (John 8:31-32). It is the end result of a long, deliberate process (Hebrews 1:1-2), done through men moved by the Holy Spirit who wrote out God's self-revelation, rather than products of their own will (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Amen.

stratagem said...

It is patently obvious that Emergent and Christianity have nothing to do with each other.

Please prove this statement.

Or, don't say it.


Art: I will prove it, right after you prove to me that they do have something in common. Given all the anti-Bible, anti-certainty, anti-exclusive-claims-of-Christ statements (and pro-Hindu, pro-Buddhist, etc) the Emergent leaders have made, I believe the burden of proof would be on you (or on them, actually).

I don't know Art, but I know what I like.

Enoch or Merrilee said...

Cent,
I hope so. I usually linger in the background and read. But I'll do my part today to pad the count.
I can't think of anything controversial to say, though.
I need time. and coffee.
Enoch

steve said...

A movement that sometimes seems to love community over clarity, dialogue over die-to-sin, leaven* over Heaven, good feelings over Good News, crass over Cross, reinvention over regeneration, edginess over edges, and hipness over holiness?

Isn't this exactly what all the posters were saying all along?

Take away the visuals, and your diagnosis is still spot-on.

Sewing said...

If I had to take a rough guess, I'd say the title, image selection, and first part of the post to the abovementioned paragraph was largely Frank's work; and the subtitle plus everything from that paragraph to the end was largely Dan's doing.

Broadly speaking, not including bits of editing and finessing.

SB said...

I

SB said...

think

SB said...

you

Justin Evans said...

For the sake of a shameless plug for 1000 comments, here is another.

For the sake of the truth, continue to preach the word! Men, I love this blog, and this post is a distillation of why. Keep it up.

(and by "distillation" I mean " tome")

SB said...

guys

SB said...

are

SB said...

cool

SB said...

.

Mike Morrell said...

I don't know why it's hyper-linking the entire post to my blog; I closed the URL and it "previews" fine. Oh well.

opn said...

Dan said:
"to try to discern which parts are more Frank, which are more me"...

Do you mean which of you is Hanz and which is Franz?

"A movement that makes every imperative into a suggestion, treats the commandments of Christ and the apostles as more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules"?

Excellent point!

I would equate it with saying...

I want to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, but I don't want His words to get in the way of it.

DJP said...

SewingDespite your best attempts at humour....

Well, that is, after all, all I have.

Al said...

They do Dan and it sounds just as vacuous coming from them.

Since we are into one line snippiness to boost comments :-)

al sends

Mike Morrell said...

Actually that really bugs me, so I'm gonna lose the HTML formatting. Sorry for so many deletions...though if you keep 'em they'll help you get to comment 1000!

I'll try and make this succinct, since I'll likely easily be lost in the comment avalanche already present here:

First, lumping emerging churchers and charismatics: Many in both camps would not sit well with this--in fact, most of the latter have never even heard of the former! But as one of rare birds who kind've identifies with both (See http://zoecarnate.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/restoring-worship-an-example), I have to ask: Why do spend so much time dissing God's speaking today? I know, I know God "spoke" definitively in Jesus Christ (a la Hebrews). But if you accept Scripture as true and inspired, and allow for some nuance, you know there's SPOKE (as in Jesus) and spoke, as in God communicating with us via a myriad of means. Its in the Bible, folks...the same Bible you allegedly uphold. Turn off TBN and realize that most charismatic Christians don't listen to God's voice as a substitute for Scripture, nor to invent new doctrine. Such a cavalier attitude makes light of the Holy Spirit's work on earth today. We don't compare you to Gary North, why should you compare us to Benny? And besides, you don't need me to tell you this...you have Sam Storms, Wayne Grudem, CJ Maheney...need I go on? If you want a larger slice of the Christian market share to be interested in your message, you'll need to not alienate the approximately 1 out of 2 Christians on earth who have experienced some degree of our miraculous, interventionist God.

2.) As far as you vehemently making fun of and caricaturing us...sigh. I really don't have much to say to that. Except that such arrogance is one of the things that drove me away from the PCA, many years ago. If we emergers have ever made fun of you in such a way, I apologize. I have always intended any theological critique to be *self*-critique: It's not them or you I take aim at, but what *I* believe or used to believe. But such hysterics shows me--and again, I know this from experience, having been "Reformed" and around many Calvinist types--that there is a monumental gap between what you *say* you believe about God's sovereignty and what you sense in your hearts. In other words, if your worldview is right, you've won! God wins, and God believes pretty much exactly as you do. (Of course you're a finite, fallen worm, etc...but still! God's enabling grace enables you to get doctrine right if nothing else) So why get all bent out of shape if we apostates with hardened hearts have our day in the sun? Isn't this what you want, so that you can rejoice as we are tortured in hell for eternity by your loving 'god'? Relax...enjoy the show. Your truth will bear out, if it does.

3.) And this brings me to my final thought, a word of encouragement/exhortation:

You said "We have come to realize that blogging cannot be serious business. Investing a lot of time in posts which say things like God's provision is usually exactly what we need, or that the sufficiency of God's word far exceeds any experience we could hope to encounter, or that we often discount what God has already done never seems to work out for us. People don't remember them. They're not what people come here to see."

Well, brothers, you bear part of the responsibility for this, and you can change this. I am a writer; I know the constant temptation to write what I think people want to read. But it needs to be resisted, both for personal integrity and long-term good branding. If you truly want to attract quality apprentices and not low-grade emerging hecklers, well...stop writing about us! It's easy! Do you know how many thousands of Reformed/Baptist blogs there are out there that we don't have a clue about? We emergers were minding our business 'till about 2005, when some (well-meaning I'm sure) heresy-hunters started coming out of the woodwork attacking us. And then some of us, I know, began exhibiting a defensive posture that doesn't do well by our spirituality and praxis, and doesn't display that life of Christ that (really! truly!) we wish to live by. So...I'm sorry. I propose a five-year moratorium on speaking much to each other. I'm serious--it's better than the constant back-biting that seems to ensue. Leave us to "die" in our "sins". We don't want your "gospel." If we do, we'll discretely read one of the Johns (Owen, Piper, MacArthur)...but we'd rather not encounter you in the blogosphere, not for awhile. And this, by the way, would be better for you, too. In the short-term you might lose some readers who come here for the sensation of it all, but in the long-term if you devote yourself to teaching in positive terms what it is you believe instead of tearing down what others believe, you'll gain more appreciative and genuinely-growing adherents. When the Secret Service trains agents on how to spot counterfeit money, they spend the vast majority of their time examining the real thing until they're so familiar with it, they can spot a fake a mile away. Similarly, brothers, I'd encourage you to expend your time and energy articulating the Christian life as you understand it with full force and vigor--because, by anyone's definition, there are just too many heresies out there to occupy oneself with. It's a full-time job. And you guys have better things to be doing with your time...like blogging.

DJP said...

opnI want to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, but I don't want His words to get in the way of it.

Ding-ding-ding-ding

Excellently put.

Grace said...

Fabulous! I have this hilarious picture in my mind from Phil's post about zombies. Picture it...

All the Pyro's are lined up against a brick wall in a blind alley wielding meat chubs. They watch the advancing zombie army with grim determination as it closes in.

Phil: "You take the three hundred on the right, you take the three hundred on the left, and I'll take the middle thousand."

And as one they spring forward with meat chubs held high, the Braveheart-esque cry spilling from their lips: "SOLA SCRIPTURA!"

Tim Bertolet said...

Good post, hope it makes it to the 1,000 count but so far everybody is for the most part singing praise, which is nice but hard to make to to 1,000 with.

I loved the nerf bat analogy.

Two things: (1) what about the 'ole "well we don't believe the Bible is revelation in the Platonic sense"-- I've heard that tag as a way to dismiss "from God"/"God-breathed" aspect in contrast to Psalm 119:89 "Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens."

(2) I've been mulling over that comment that the comfy chairs poster quoted "preaching is often an act of violence" or something to that effect. The sarcastic part of me wants to say "That's right it is, it mortifies the flesh!" {Hebrews 4:12 and a whole mess of others}.

"the red-hot, passionate, truth-full, straight-up, eternal-God- talking-to-you-today (Hebrews 3:7-13) preaching of the Word".

AMEN.

Enoch or Merrilee said...

Cent,
I stand corrected. I think you may look back at Mike M's post as the post that launched a thousand quips.

art said...

For the sake of continuing to pad the comment count...

Strategem:

I will prove it, right after you prove to me that they do have something in common.

I would like to preface this by saying that there are, truly and honestly, some heretics within the emerging movement (I am thinking specifically of Karen Ward and Spencer Burke, but I know there are probably others). But this fact alone does not prove anything. There are heresies that sprout up from every corner of the church: emergent, fundamentalist, whatever.

I would also like to say that I do not agree with many, many things that are floating around in the emerging church. I understand what the emerging church is attempting to do because I have many friends who are part of emerging churches. I have read a lot about the emerging church because of my concern not only for my friends, but for the larger body of Christ.

With that said, it is patently unfair to say that the emerging church has "nothing" to do with Christianity. People within the emerging movement are Christians. They believe in such things as the Trinity, Scripture, the Resurrection, Salvation by Faith, and other key doctrines.

Even at the "propositional-statement-fobic" website, Emergent Village, you will find statements such as this:

"We are committed to a “generous orthodoxy” in faith and practice – affirming the historic Christian faith and the biblical injunction to love one another even when we disagree."

And:

"As participants in the historic Christian faith, to be humble learners, to stimulate learning in others, and to give priority to love over knowledge, while still valuing knowledge."

The emerging movement does have something to do with Christianity. They are Christians who are attempting to combine certain forms of postmodernism and current culture into Christianity, or visa versa.

Now, do I agree with what they are doing? For a large part, no.

Are there heretics within the movement? Absolutely.

Will I conclude that they are not Christians and that the entire movement has nothing to do with Christianity? Absolutely not.

Feel free to disagree with the emerging movement on points of their theology. Feel free to disagree with them on their methodology or their adoption of a postmodern epistemology. I do this more often than not.

But please don't say that they have nothing to do with Christianity when they affirm the essentials (i.e. the Apostle's and Nicene Creed).

I don't think it is wise to only adopt this minimalist view of theology, but I'm not going to say that they are not Christians. I wish that they would develop a theological statement or a statement of faith because any movement that is not grounded in sound theology is bound to implode on itself and dwindle into non-existence and, somewhat ironically, non-relevance.

With that said, I'd love to hear your response.

donsands said...

"hipness over holiness?"

The spirit of "hipness" seems to rule don't it.

Terrific post. What a great duo you two make. Sort of like, Rogers & Hammerstein, or Batman & Robin maybe. Or Laurel & Hardy maybe too.

Loved all the comments.

Thanks for lifting up the Word of God where it should be.

"I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and for Your truth: for You have magnified Your Word above all Your name." Psalm 138:2

Garet Pahl said...

8% of the way there.

art said...

8.1%

:)

david rudd said...

perhaps tonight after the kids are in bed and the wife is asleep, i'll take a stab at it...

not before.

and on second thought, i probably don't want to wade through all the previous posts that serve as source material do i?

i'll just look for someone else to write something in a couple hundred years that will clear the whole thing up for me... probably buried in north africa.

Tim Bertolet said...

I propose a five-year moratorium..., very original, must have got that one from Spurgeon, or was it Machen? You know because Christians have always handled their disagreement this way.

low-grade emerging hecklers --way to win friends and influence people. I don't know though, I've seen some serious thought in the threads (and yes some heckling from people who agree and disagree with the critiques team-pyro has offerred.).

We emergers were minding our business 'till about 2005. --Should I laugh or cry? Seriously though, you may not have said anything but I hardly think this describes "emergers" until 2005.

DJP said...

ArtThere are heresies that sprout up from every corner of the church: emergent, fundamentalist, whatever.

To beat Phil's drum for a stroke or two, prove it. Find me a fundie who teaches heresy, who is not publicly denounced.

You really do — and I am meaning this nicely — sound as if you haven't heard anything that Phil has argued so thoroughly and soundly. You imply the movement is self-correcting; he's shown it isn't. Then you speak of it as if it had coherency, yet every time Phil speaks in specifics, he gets "Oh, we're not with him."

david rudd said...

i should have clarified, that last comment was to dan.

one more comment, i guess.

Mike Morrell said...

Oh, one other thing: I realize my parting advice (articulate affirmatively what it is you believe, as the "authentic Gospel" is what draws, rather than kicking over other peoples' sand castles) can be hard to take for pre-Barthian Reformed types. I know, there are passages in the NT about the great falling away that took place before AD 70--oops! Is that a little too "contextual"?--that you feel are a part of your positive message. But...I dunno...there's just gotta be a way to "demolish vain philosophies" with grace. 'Cause here's a lesson: Most of the young people in your congregations aren't gonna hear about "emerging" (or whatever your heresy du jour is) unless you tell 'em about it...naming it elicits curiosity! I know it did for me...my parents subscribed to Dave Hunt's Berean Call (I know his name's verboten here b/c of his opposition to Calvinism--but y'know, different theology, same fight-dog tactics), which warned about apostasies every month of the year based on his reading of the Text and Tradition. Well you know what? Eventually I started reading the books he was warning his readers against! I discovered a lot of good books that way...

And so my thought is, there must be some way you can be faithful to your understanding of these passages without naming so specifically...you could take a more irenic tone, more like Joel Hunter or ...those are Reformed guys I can exist in the same universe with.

Mike

DJP said...

one more comment, i guess.

And that's... a good thing!

art said...

Dan-- You imply the movement is self-correcting; he's shown it isn't. Then you speak of it as if it had coherency, yet every time Phil speaks in specifics, he gets "Oh, we're not with him."

I never meant to imply that it is self-correcting. I'm trying to understand where I implied this in my comment. If I really did, I honestly didn't mean to. I thought by quoting the fact that they seek a "generous orthodoxy" would imply that they aren't self-correcting, but almost the opposite.

I also didn't say that it was coherent. I tried to speak in broad terms so as not to violate the emergents cry "we're not with him." I even mention that I wish they would compose a statement of faith so that there would be some theological coherency. This would make it easier to evaluate the movement theologically instead of having to deal with each individual and then deal with others who claim they do not believe the same thing. The only thing I said the emerging movement was coherent about was their affirmation of the Apostle's and/or Nicene Creed.

I will get to your question about heresies in a few hours. I have to do to a meeting with my pastor.

SolaMeanie said...

See what I miss when I am in the hospital! Grrrr.

Since I am officially recovering from surgery, I will just sit back, read, enjoy and chuckle.

Mister Larry said...

While reading the beginning of this post, I was left wondering if the Pyro crew had just set off the biggest 'pyroclast' that I've ever witnessed. I thought of a comment that Frank made in another ancient thread about the seemingly endless throng of [insert you-name-it group] who get upset at the Pyro crew's statements on their pet errors. Here's what Frank said a long, long time ago....

"Apparently, the truce is not only off, it's been kicked into the well and we are oiling up our massive Spartan pecs in order to do final battle with the hordes of misshapen (Continualists, charismatics, emergents, etc....) and their hairless Emperor Xerxes.

Dudes, you just declared holy mayhem for the next few days to come. 1000 posts? Yikes!

SolaMeanie said...

BTW, one suggestion for future graphics. The meat chub needs a handle. I suggest one of those brass-knuckle-type handles that Pecadillo would arrest you for having out in California.

Habitans in Sicco said...

I'll be very disappointed if you reach 1K with a bunch of one-word "comments." That's cheating.

What we really need to see to make this meaningful is more long comments, like Mike Morrell's, telling you guys what terrible cads you are.

That's what I really come here for. It's not just the pictures and parodies. But the comment-threads at this blog are the one place on the Internet where you can watch the meltdown of evangelicalism in microcosm, and at time-lapse speed.

It's like that scene in Indiana Jones where the guy's face melts off. That's a great metaphor for the spectacle some of the commenters here give us on daily basis.

Today is their day to shine.

Don't waste the opportunity people. Rant.

Mike Morrell said...

No really, Tim, it was late 2004-early 2005 when you all became aware of us. See The Emerging Storm by Stephen Shields--who's Reformed, by the way--for a history of this.

And I just hate it, Tim, for all of us, because then our theologies, spiritualities, and praxes become more like a bad rap song, all self-referential instead of singin' about what we want to sing. Instead of conversing about what we've conversing about (or, if you prefer, theologizing), we start conversing about the conversation itself...which is kinda nerdy and boring. Hence, the moratorium idea...either that, or a face-to-face meeting of aggressors, 'cause this internet thing sucks for handling disputes.

Okay, I'm heading out to Borders to pick up a book for ; I probably shouldn't, but I'll check back here later.

silly old nana said...

Very powerful red-letter words, found in the TP testament. However, the words in black say it to a T.
Steve's description of the EC movement is right on (8:11 a.m.) and his poster comment, too.

TP knows where they are going with shedding light on the errors of ECM. I sometimes wish TP would use a flashlight though, I don't like the sight of blood (in posters either).
And the old Smeagol picture. Everytime I see it, I think it was a tragic thing Tolkien didn't bring redemption into the picture for him. Doomed forever.

May God have mercy on us all.

Tim Bertolet said...

Mike,
BTW, Barth formed a lot of his theology based on the emptiness he encountered first hand in the European Liberalism of his day. His Romans commentary was a "bombshell" on their ideas not just a 'neutral affirmative articulation of the Gospel'.

I have problems with Barth, but his articulations were hardly void "kicking over sand castles". --The same is true with the neo-orthodox 'Reformed' who followed him.

steve said...

But the comment-threads at this blog are the one place on the Internet where you can watch the meltdown of evangelicalism in microcosm, and at time-lapse speed.

No wonder it's so much fun to hang around here.

We're at 100 now, and nary a ranter with a serious response.

Tim Bertolet said...

Mike,
I agree with the dangers of forming our theology in reaction to what we see going on "out there." But that is different from having your theology and confronting what you see has errors in an attempt to stand on the Word of God.

I'll check out those articles you linked to. I can only speak to how I became aware of it and that was by people who were involved in it and reading the original material as it was coming out in books.

I would think that there are people out there like me who was reading about it, familarizing myself with it well before I entered the blog world. I think a lot of people around here would foreshame those who fight for the sake of fighting.

I also agree that the internet thing doesn't always help in disputes. I don't see how to really get around using it, unless all emergents are going to swear off using it too as a form of media. Personally, I have talked to some who are more involved in missional/emerging stuff, although none who are spouting the stuff I would consider as heresy or close to it.

Anyways, have fun buying books, there is a love I can identify with.

donsands said...

"Question Everything.
FAITH.
doubt

This is my favorite. Speaks the loudest for me of what is at the heart of the EC.
And it made be have one of those laughs that more real than some of my other laughs are.

centuri0n said...

A-hem.

| First, lumping emerging churchers
| and charismatics: Many in both camps
| would not sit well with this--in fact,
| most of the latter have never even
| heard of the former! But as one of
| rare birds who kind've identifies with
| both (See
| http://zoecarnate.wordpress.com/2007
| /08/30/restoring-worship-an-
| example), I have to ask: Why do
| spend so much time dissing God's
| speaking today?

Because you (that would be "you-all", not "You, Mike") cannot demonstrate that it has happened once apart from Scripture in any way which Scripture describes as "God speaking".

You see what I'm sayin'?

| I know, I know God
| "spoke" definitively in Jesus Christ (a
| la Hebrews). But if you accept
| Scripture as true and inspired, and
| allow for some nuance, you know
| there's SPOKE (as in Jesus) and
| spoke, as in God communicating with
| us via a myriad of means.

Yes, I think that Heb 1 is a great place to start talking about what it means for God to speak to us, and by what means he would do such a thing. If we grasp what is being said in Hebrews, it is saying that God made promises explicitly to (as it describes them later) the great cloud of witnesses, and then fulfilled them explicitly in the life and work of Jesus. That is: what we receive, this side of the cross, is a fully-orbed (thx, James White) picture of who God is and what He is doing in the scripture and in the work of Christ.

Not much there about speaking in a tongue nobody can make heads or tails of.

| Its in the
| Bible, folks...the same Bible you
| allegedly uphold. Turn off TBN and
| realize that most charismatic
| Christians don't listen to God's voice
| as a substitute for Scripture, nor to
| invent new doctrine. Such a cavalier
| attitude makes light of the Holy
| Spirit's work on earth today. We don't
| compare you to Gary North, why
| should you compare us to Benny?

I'd welcome the comparison to Gary North. Make it stick.

The reason it keeps coming back to, for example, the Benny Hinn-isms of charismatic culture, is that that's what you guys are ultimately invested in. I'd be willing to stipulate that you don't want his airplanes and crass materialism – but you do want the transubstantiation of personal experience into divine revelation. (how's that for merciless beatings?) You want to be the personal conduit of the Holy Spirit when you play your guitar or when you write your blog or whatever – which is not a slam on artistic expression, but a knock on the idea that something is happening there in which we should take some spiritual assurance – because that is apparently a necessary component of church life.

Anyone can reject the Hinn-isms of using spiritual language to extort millions from people who are frankly spiritually defenseless and rationally impaired. It's another to see the reason they are spiritually defenseless.

| And besides, you don't need me to tell
| you this...you have Sam Storms,
| Wayne Grudem, CJ Maheney...need I
| go on? If you want a larger slice of
| the Christian market share to be
| interested in your message, you'll
| need to not alienate the approximately
| 1 out of 2 Christians on earth who
| have experienced some degree of our
| miraculous, interventionist God.

Let me say something plainly and rather bold-facedly: my repentance from my old life to this life in Christ as His disciple didn’t happen by some conventional means. I cannot be qualified as anything but a miracle. I was made a new man by the intervention of the Holy Spirit in order to see my need for a savior.

I believe in the God who is There – the one who is not a deistic watcher of history but the active Sustainer and Creator of all things.

But I do not believe in a God who is random, or who is unfolding His plan in this universe by random, supernatural fire crackers. My salvation was undeniably by the Holy Spirit through the power of God's word in Scripture. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

I believe in God's means – not in something which, in the best case, is a spectacle which the masses may enjoy but are not compelled to believe.

| 2.) As far as you vehemently making
| fun of and caricaturing us...sigh. I
| really don't have much to say to that.

... as if ...

| Except that such arrogance is one of
| the things that drove me away from
| the PCA, many years ago. If we
| emergers have ever made fun of you
| in such a way, I apologize.

Oh please – I'm a man, not a child. Have a laugh. Make fun of my comic books or my sandals or my bookstore. Live a little.

| I have
| always intended any theological
| critique to be *self*-critique: It's not
| them or you I take aim at, but what
| *I* believe or used to believe. But
| such hysterics shows me--and again, I
| know this from experience, having
| been "Reformed" and around many
| Calvinist types--that there is a
| monumental gap between what you
| *say* you believe about God's
| sovereignty and what you sense in
| your hearts.

This part is bound to be good. Watch:

| In other words, if your
| worldview is right, you've won! God
| wins, and God believes pretty much
| exactly as you do. (Of course you're a
| finite, fallen worm, etc...but still!
| God's enabling grace enables you to
| get doctrine right if nothing else) So
| why get all bent out of shape if we
| apostates with hardened hearts
| have our day in the sun? Isn't this
| what you want, so that you can
| rejoice as we are tortured in hell for
| eternity by your loving 'god'?
| Relax...enjoy the show. Your truth
| will bear out, if it does.

The primary reason we cannot do this, dude, is that we are not fatalistic hypercalvinists. We affirm the agency of men, and of the –whole- message of Scripture, which includes the responsibility of the church to examine, confront, and reject publicly the errors of men who are making a shipwreck of faith.

| 3.) And this brings me to my final
| thought, a word of
| encouragement/exhortation:
|
| You said "We have come to realize
| that blogging cannot be serious
| business. Investing a lot of time in
| posts which say things like God's
| provision is usually exactly what we
| need, or that the sufficiency of God's
| word far exceeds any experience we
| could hope to encounter, or that we
| often discount what God has already
| done never seems to work out for us.
| People don't remember them. They're
| not what people come here to see."

I wrote that, btw. I like it.

| Well, brothers, you bear part of the
| responsibility for this, and you can
| change this. I am a writer; I know the
| constant temptation to write what I
| think people want to read. But it
| needs to be resisted, both for personal
| integrity and long-term good
| branding. If you truly want to attract
| quality apprentices and not low-grade
| emerging hecklers, well...stop writing
| about us! It's easy!

BWAHAHAHA! Oh man – that's awesome! On the one hand, we shouldn't write about you-all because God is sovereign, and on the other, we shouldn’t write about you-all because, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson as the Joker, in some sense we make you.

That's fantastic, Mike. I am now under much opprobrium, as are all of us.

| Do you know how
| many thousands of Reformed/Baptist
| blogs there are out there that we don't
| have a clue about? We emergers were
| minding our business 'till about 2005,
| when some (well-meaning I'm sure)
| heresy-hunters started coming out of
| the woodwork attacking us. And then
| some of us, I know, began exhibiting
| a defensive posture that doesn't do
| well by our spirituality and praxis,
| and doesn't display that life of Christ
| that (really! truly!) we wish to live by.

Yes. It's very sad – you were all provoked, nay baited, to tread from the narrow path of salvation to the broad way of sarcasm and hellfire because somebody realized that you guys are full of baloney.

The problem, Mike, is not that you are finally saying something to defend yourselves – it's that you're all full of baloney. Hence, you say things like this:

| So...I'm sorry. I propose a five-year
| moratorium on speaking much to each
| other. I'm serious--it's better than the
| constant back-biting that seems to
| ensue. Leave us to "die" in our "sins".

That's perfect McLaren, dude. Did he put you up to it? "We might be wrong, but in order to avoid conflict which might prove that out, we propose that it not be talked about in polite company until 2012." Think about that: you're so afraid of conflict you can't even accept criticism from other believers. Should we have a moratorium on evangelism because it';s going to cause a verbal stir?

That's baloney, dude. Have some spiritual moxie and face up to criticism. Paul says this to the Corinthians which he spent 15 chapters correcting and cajoling: "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."

When you-all can get that part of the NT in some kind of place in your picture of spiritual maturity, you won't be calling for moratoriums on discussion.

| We don't want your "gospel." If we
| do, we'll discretely read one of the
| Johns (Owen, Piper, MacArthur)...but
| we'd rather not encounter you in the
| blogosphere, not for awhile. And this,
| by the way, would be better for you,
| too. In the short-term you might lose
| some readers who come here for the
| sensation of it all, but in the long-term
| if you devote yourself to teaching in
| positive terms what it is you believe
| instead of tearing down what others
| believe, you'll gain more appreciative
| and genuinely-growing adherents.

See: you have obviously not read this post or this blog much. Because by a long shot, that's what we do. However, we don't live in a refrigerator box or solitary confinement: things like this come up.

And we're more than willing, and more than happy, to respond. Not close our blog down or stick our typing fingers in our ears saying, "LALALALALALA – this is not happening!"

| When the Secret Service trains agents
| on how to spot counterfeit money,
| they spend the vast majority of their
| time examining the real thing until
| they're so familiar with it, they can
| spot a fake a mile away. Similarly,
| brothers, I'd encourage you to expend
| your time and energy articulating the
| Christian life as you understand it
| with full force and vigor--because, by
| anyone's definition, there are just too
| many heresies out there to occupy
| oneself with. It's a full-time job. And
| you guys have better things to be
| doing with your time...like blogging.

Don't worry, Mike. As they say in the Doritos commercial, we'll make more. Just because you don't hear the trees falling in the woods doesn’t mean they didn’t make any sounds.

And this is for the kids:

grace to you, and Peace.

~Frank

Garet Pahl said...

10%- boy do I have good timing

opn said...

"reinvention over regeneration"

Another excellent point!

"Always stand to it that your creed must bend to the Bible, and not the Bible to your
creed, and dare to be a little inconsistent with yourselves, if need be, sooner than be
inconsistent with God’s revealed truth". Charles Spurgeon

On a separate note:

The ministries of TeamPyro and numerous comment contributors lead me to a dictionary more than the Scriptures.

Can we not keep it so a child could understand?

Libbie said...

I can't tell, is Mike Morrell doing impressively nuanced irony, or is he entirely serious? The '5 year moratorium' was the killer for me...

centuri0n said...

Libbie --

I had that same thought. Then I posted this thing.

Timotheos said...

Ouuch.

and

Amen.

Seriously, this emerging church concept is showing up all over the place.

One of the students that I went to Moody with just completed a movie called 'Rebellion of Thought' in which they grapple with the whole postmodernism philosophy. In the movie they interviewed Carson and a few other theologians - and then concluded that they needed to get out of the church to be the church.

How in the world do you do that? In an effort to demonstrate your love for God and for others you ditch the body of Christ???

Daryl said...

OPN,

Why keep eveything at a child's level of understanding? So that growth can't happen?

Every hear of anyone complaining that the NBA guys are too big and couldn't they just relax so the kids can keep up on the court?

Doesn't make much sense does it?

If you're being driven to the dictionary, rejoice that your mind is being stretched.

IronWill said...

Mike Morrell sez:
We emergers were minding our business 'till about 2005, when some (well-meaning I'm sure) heresy-hunters started coming out of the woodwork attacking us. And then some of us, I know, began exhibiting a defensive posture that doesn't do well by our spirituality and praxis, and doesn't display that life of Christ that (really! truly!) we wish to live by. So...I'm sorry. I propose a five-year moratorium on speaking much to each other. I'm serious--it's better than the constant back-biting that seems to ensue. Leave us to "die" in our "sins". We don't want your "gospel." If we do, we'll discretely read one of the Johns (Owen, Piper, MacArthur)...but we'd rather not encounter you in the blogosphere, not for awhile. And this, by the way, would be better for you, too. In the short-term you might lose some readers who come here for the sensation of it all, but in the long-term if you devote yourself to teaching in positive terms what it is you believe instead of tearing down what others believe, you'll gain more appreciative and genuinely-growing adherents.

And how does this line up with Scripture? Rather than actually being anywhere in line with Scripture, this is completely out of sync with Scripture. The Bible tells us how to deal with heretics and those in error, and it's not only by teaching the truth. We are also to expose heresy and other errors present in the Church. The example in Scripture follows this pattern. The Apostle Paul demonstrated this when he turned Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan and let everybody know about it, because they were false teachers and blasphemers. If I believe someone is teaching contrary to Scripture, it is my Biblical duty to expose them for the frauds they are so that others may be warned. Now I ought not do this with a haughty spirit, and I should approach(or attempt to approach) them first and show them why they are wrong. But if they refuse to recant their error, I have a duty to protect weaker Christians from the false teachings of wolves.

Tim Bertolet said...

Frank, can you tell those of us who are unedumucated in HTML how you do that cool quote thing with the vertical line stuff.

ALL FOR ONCE/ ONCE FOR ALL said...

Wazuuuupdawg? MyfellasDoneBusameatchub “indie”hood.
Aaight- waz crackin….yositeoffdahook- yonowazIm sayin ?? representin".
You bez fallback else my hommieBizzaro get medieval witcha

opn said...

Daryl,

You missed my attempt (and apparently a bad one) at humor.

That being said, I do feel some extracurricular reading is essential to help build basic understanding. However, to much leads to losing your touch with the reality of basics and thus becomes dangerous.

You said:

"your mind is being stretched"

Who said that was a good thing? As far as I'm concerned, my mind does not need to be stretched; it needs to be renewed.

mensa reject said...

OK, I have a quick question about the horse Mike Morrell rode in on. Is he able to climb down from it directly, or is it so high he has to slide off of it onto a shorter horse, then again to a shorter one, and then maybe onto a tall dog before he’s able to descend to the level the rest of us dwell on?

Thanks, Mike. Now I won’t have to take my pompous pills today.

XOXO

gods.geek said...

timotheos said: "and then concluded that they needed to get out of the church to be the church.

How in the world do you do that? In an effort to demonstrate your love for God and for others you ditch the body of Christ???"

Which just led me back to a thought I had while reading the Frank-n-Dan post:

19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:19 [ESV]

BTW Frank-n-Dan, this one was out of the park good!

Daryl said...

OPN.

Sorry man, we're talking past each other. I agree, we need our minds to be renewed. The stretched thing had to do the with the learning that comes from grabbing the dictionary in order to understand the post...that's all.

stratagem said...

I don't think it is wise to only adopt this minimalist view of theology, but I'm not going to say that they are not Christians. I wish that they would develop a theological statement or a statement of faith because any movement that is not grounded in sound theology is bound to implode on itself and dwindle into non-existence and, somewhat ironically, non-relevance.

With that said, I'd love to hear your response.


Art, well at least I'm glad to hear that you are not in agreement with Emergent. Responding to the above, frankly I don't care if Emergent comes up with a statement of faith; I'll be more interested when they start acting/talking as though they believe the creeds they have on their website, instead of talking out of both sides of their mouth. If I go to the Mars Hill (Michigan) website, they've got a pretty solid doctrine statement. However, if you've read anything their pastor has written lately, you'll know that it gets loopier all the time.

I'm not sure the book of Jude concurs with you, that we should accept anything that calls itself Christian, as being Christian. We do have to judge, after all, although that is a very non-PC thing to say these days.

I recently looked at one of the projects that McLaren is involved in, and found that most of the sponsors of it are from Eastern religions. Personally I'm not looking for a generic religion, I'm looking to follow Christ alone. I'm sure you feel the same way, but your defenses of Emergent and this are either divergent or uninformed, in my view.

"Woe to you when men speak highly of you" When I see McLaren, Jones, Bell, and others actually taking heat from the world in defense of Jesus's exclusive claims, then I'll know a new day has dawned. We are a long way from that.

Daryl said...

in order to increase the comment count...mensa reject, timotheus and gods.geek...you guys just don't get it do you. WE'RE the heretics, the EC finally got it right after 2000 years. WE'RE the ones preaching heresy...or something like that.

Seriously though...great comments you three.

Jason said...

Centurion's response to Mike M. was almost like a second post.

I think that means 2,000 comments are needed to reach the Pryo-goal.

Daryl said...

"opprobrium' What a great word!!
Thanks Cent, my vocabulary has just expanded...if I can still remember what that means tomorrow...

david rudd said...

If I go to the Mars Hill (Michigan) website, they've got a pretty solid doctrine statement. However, if you've read anything their pastor has written lately, you'll know that it gets loopier all the time.

strategem,

i might not say "loopier" but i certainly wouldn't argue the sentiment voiced here. since i know "their pastor" and live and work in proximity to their church (meaning i have many friends who are part of Mars Hill), i've taken the responsibility as a brother in Christ to do the best i can to reconcile Rob's "loopiness" with his affirmation of his church's stated beliefs.

it's not always easy.

sometimes it's proven nearly impossible.

and there are issues i see that are unresolvable...

but i know that you would address seeming "contradictions" in the Bible the same way right?

so should we give the same grace to one another that we give to God's Word?

david rudd said...

daryl,

particularly which SUBSTANCE in mensa reject's comment made it "great"?

it seemed to me to be nothing but an attack on the person of mike... something that has been noticeably missing from the thread for the most part today!

Sewing said...

Mike wrote:

"No really, Tim, it was late 2004-early 2005 when you all became aware of us. See The Emerging Storm by Stephen Shields--who's Reformed, by the way--for a history of this."

I can't comment on Reformed awareness of Emerging/Emergent before the ancient past of 2004-05, but this "meme" of the newness of Emerg* bugs me. According to a CT article linked to in Shields' piece, in A New Kind of Christian, McLaren posited a dichotomy between "modernism" and "postmodernism"—but I see the whole Emerg*/PM movement as an extension of liberal Protestant, ecumenical "modernism."

Who turned me on to source criticism, the Jesus Seminar, Marcus Borg, John Shelby Spong and the like? It was my liberal feminist pastor at the Methodist-Presbyterian United Church [of Canada] I once attended way, way back in 1992-93. I was reading the liberal, crypto-mystical and social-justice Jesuit Compass magazine way back in 1990. I read The Sayings of the Desert Fathers and took their epigrams and stories to heart. Our church was dealing with the issue of ordaining gay clergy in that same time period of the early 90s, and those opposed to it were already by that time a minority (at least in our denomination, the largest and most liberal Protestant denom in Canada). In the mid 90s, I was reading books on ancient Hebrew goddess worship, suspected Moses never lived, that God in his original man-derived incarnation was merely a tribal desert deity (Lord have mercy on me), and half suspected that the whole Pentateuch was written in the post-exilic period.

All this to say that, all this emerg* nonsense now is old hat, yesterday's news, passé. I was motivated by the same thing that the emerg* crowd is now: a fundamental dissatisfaction with evangelical Christianity. But what the Lord God in His sovereign grace has shown me is that the antidote to that is not a dilution of His Name, but His faithful Word, His Word that has sustained His remnant over the course of four thousand years—his ongoing plan for redemption which He has revealed to us from Genesis through to Revelation.

Habitans in Sicco said...

Rudd: "and there are issues i see that are unresolvable... but i know that you would address seeming "contradictions" in the Bible the same way right?"

Well, no.

Because we know that God cannot lie.

But false teachers do it all the time.

Daryl said...

David Rudd,

"so should we give the same grace to one another that we give to God's Word? "

Uhhhh, no... We don't extend grace to God's Word, we believe it. I'm under no such compulsion when listening to someone do a hatchet job on the Bible.

Daryl said...

David Rudd,

Regarding Mensa Reject's comment, no substance per se, but when someone calls someone out, I tend to like it. Sorry dude.

SolaMeanie said...

I hate to say this, but I am becoming increasingly dismissive of doctrinal statements that people either sign or put up. Not because I disagree with the statements per se, but how often have I see the official doctrinal statement not match the yappings out of said ministry or minister? I know for a fact that there are pastors who dutifully sign their fellowships' doctrinal statements to have their credentials renewed, but they don't believe some points in the doctrinal statement any longer. People, that is a SERIOUS integrity issue with me.

Secondly, when I see the objections of the EC folks, all they really manage to do is underscore why we have concerns with them in the first place. Above all, I find it tragic that so many -- Emergent, charismatic or not -- are so bored with God's Word they either have to ignore it, redefine it, or try to make new Scripture (even though they'd deny doing that).

God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. I can't imagine the Christian life without being guided by God's Word as my ONLY authority. Note - the Holy Spirit will not act in ways opposite to Scripture, and He acts THROUGH Scripture when it is faithfully proclaimed and read. Can He act sovereignly and apart from Scripture i.e. doing something miraculous today? Of course He can. He is, after all, God. But we have a whole host of people who have grown entirely too dismissive of the Bible simply because it doesn't give them goose bumps in the same way someone falling face first on a television stage does.

It's sad.

David said...

I think the problem with Team Pyro's position is that we (Evangelicals) want them (TPyro)to be wrong.

We want the emergents to bring life into peoples lives so that they live the Christian life rather than be stuck on being fundi pharasee's (bad sp, I know)or Republican lap dogs.

The problem is, TPyro is basically correct. And by basically I mean on every point they are right.

If the church does not embrace God's word fully, well, then that church really isnt a christian church. And too much of the emergent church does not believe the bible for what it says.

And we just don't want to admit that. Certainly I don't want to admit that. I don't want to be lumped in with those fundi nut jobs that make Chuck Swindoll a heretic because he is within 6 degrees of someone who once said something even remotely positive about contemplative prayer. I want them (emergents) to be right.

But they are often wrong for all the reasons Team Pyro points out.

Helen said...

djp, I misread the double-negative in 'less uninformed' - that was my fault - but I really don't know what Centurion meant by that.

Centurion asked: Does the disciple of Jesus Christ have an obligation to know the Scripture and do what it says to do?

Disciple means follower so I would say the person who claims to be a disciple of Jesus Christ should demonstrate that by being intentional about finding out what following Jesus means and then doing that, to the best of his/her ability (as enabled by God).

That person is answerable to Jesus for how he/she follows.He/she is not obliged to accept any particular other person's definition of what 'following Jesus' looks like. However if he/she rejects what someone else says I think it's wise to have a reason for doing so.

The disciple of Jesus Christ has an obligation to know what Scripture says and do it if that's what the disciple believes is necessary in order to follow Jesus faithfully.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bravo for the t-shirt, Frank.

Jesucristo rescato a Ernesto said...

Hi Team Pyro (minus Phil J.)

Since its my first post, and grain of sand for the 1000 comment mark, I would like to congratulate you for having such a great blog, filled with Sound Doctrine and fun meat-bashing of the heretics.

I Just loved the part when you compare the Emerging Movement to a 20 year old, that's Just the plain truth to this and other apostate movements through history, Satan hasn't changed a bit the tactics used, appealing to the eternal 20 year old in every human heart, the sinful nature.

It's great also that the fact that Denial of the Bible and it's truth and sufficiency and authority is pointed as the point in dispute with Emerging folks, because as we see the very root of their movement is against Scripture, and with bad bases it's just a House built over sand, as large as a megachurch but still over sand.

with many thanks for all the Bible-Meat you post, and your terrific Graphic design, may God Bless your ministries greatly.

Greetings from a bit south of the border, Mexico City
Ernesto

notw said...

You folks seem to take yourselves way too seriously. Get over yourselves.

Mike said...

Helen,

So the disciple gets to decide what a disciple means?

Just trying to follow you... that is, your thought pattern.

farmboy said...

Mike Morrell offers the following as to why he left the PCA: "As far as you vehemently making fun of and caricaturing us...sigh. I really don't have much to say to that. Except that such arrogance is one of the things that drove me away from the PCA, many years ago."

Whew, I was worried for a moment. I thought he might have left based on something serious like doctrinal disagreement.

wfseube said...

>>>You folks seem to take yourselves way too seriously. Get over yourselves.<<<

Profound. It's those kind of deep and meaningful comments that will take you over 1000...

notw said...

When Jesus had the opportunity to say what it meant to be his disciples he said that we will be known by the love we have one for another. So having love one for another shows thw world we are Christians and disciples of Christ. Arguing over doctrine and trying to out do each other with scripture references is more along the lines of being a Pharisee than a disciple.

Daryl said...

Helen,

The Bible's not so complicated as all that. There's not as much wiggle room in the "if he/she believes that the Bible..." as you'd like to think.

In fact the disciple is obliged to submit themselves to what they are taught unless they can prove that the Bible teaches otherwise. The onus is on the dissenter, not the teacher, to provide the rationale for walking away from the orthodox teachings of the church.
So far, the EC hasn't done that. Their only arguements boils down to "We don't like how you relate to the world, so we don't need your doctrine". And then they ignore doctrine that has NOTHING to do with how they think they should live and everything to do with what the wish God hadn't done. Really really lame.

Daryl said...

Notw,

Then you don't understand what a Pharisee was. Do you know that they were respected and honoured for how well they kept the law? Do you know that Paul's issue with them was that they had a zeal WITHOUT knowledge.

What is the faith once for all delivered to the saints for which we must contend? Is it, "be nice to people so they will believe"? or is it the theological ramifications of what Jesus came to do and what he did on the cross?

If defending and proclaiming the doctrine Paul taught is Pharisaical, then was Paul a bad guy?

Mike said...

Dahhhh... I'm not gonna have time to dialogue in real time, so I'll just give it a shot.

You said that the answer to Frank's question is Yes only if the disciple believes that's what it means to be a disciple. That makes the category of a disciple subjective. First of all, that's ridiculous because it's unfalsifiable. If anyone can decide that they're "x" because they get to define what "x" means and they don't mind that other people define "x" completely differently, you have a category that defines everyone. The problem with a category that defines everyone is that it really defines no one.

Second, the definition of "x" (x = disciple) has been given by God Himself (John 8:31-32, to cite one such example, as Frank has... or maybe it was Dan. Don't remember anymore). So, not only is it logically and linguistically absurd to have a category that is subjectively defined by those who 'belong to it,' but it is pretty much in glaring contradiction with Scripture... and really everything central to Christianity.

Sorry I can't hang around more and ride the merry-go-round (cf. Dan, 6:36 AM).

Dan, Frank, and even Phil, I guess now's a good of a time as any to thank you guys for doing this, for contending over and over for the faith. Even if no one in the world is ever convinced by anything anyone writes here (posts or comments) -- which I'm sure won't be the case -- I've been greatly encouraged just to know that you guys exist, that you love the Word, and that you're fighting for the Truth, even if it makes you extremely unpopular. Thanks for ministering to me.

Oh... and great post, btw.

lordodamanor said...

djp-

"To beat Phil's drum for a stroke or two, prove it. Find me a fundie who teaches heresy, who is not publicly denounced."

Billy Graham said that one does not even need to know the name of Jesus to get into heaven, that it was merely the intentions of the heart that gets one there. He largely got a pass and had a statue erected to him. To question his theology at all unsheaths the knives of vengence of members of the SBC. Now, I know he was taken to task for this by the likes of Ian Murray in 'Evangelicalism Divided'. As Murray concludes correctly, much of what we know as popular evangelicalism has gone down the wide road of Mullinsism (from Y.E. Mullins the father of modern lattitudinarianism). Fundamentalism was a reaction to liberalism in biblical criticism, that spawned hyper-fundamentalism which took an approach that undermines the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture even though this is what both fundamentalist camps initially sought to prevent. An anti-intellectualistism (J.White's term) has largely taken over and this non-Christian genre, hyper-fundamentalism produced such notables as Jerry Falwell. It is non-Christian, not because it is devoid of believers, but because its central tenet of the rejection of knowledge, is antithetical to Christianity.

As SBC, I am often befuddled by the denial of Biblical texts and the refusal to honestly handle those that many in the SBC propound. But, beyond that, Pastor Max Jensen of SunnySide Baptist, Cheyenne, said, in an article titled, 'Approach to Truths and Heresies in Calvinism and Arminianism,' 5-9-2006, "Faith is what we do not know." Honestly, the article is on my desk right now. A deacon there said, we do not need commentaries, we only need the bible. Little did he understand that every dialogue, every lesson, each hymn, study guides, sermons, are all commentary. This was sounded back to him by the vast majority of the congregation, young and old, very old, alike. This kind of hyper-fundamentalism which was opposed by the likes of Machen is the status quo today in evangelicalism, and has been so for generations, just ask MacArthur. So, it is a little disengenuous to say that fundies do not get away with error or heresy, and that easily, because they represent the "popular" majority. Their reactions to the pop culture fads like the emergent types in time becomes one of accommodation when and if it is realized that to maintain the organization and evangelism, cooperation by compromise becomes the key to "Kingdom Growth." The obvious is, that the outcome of accommodation in doctrine, and liberalization of priciples like freedom of conscience and liberty of the believer, has produced the emergents. They are the fruit of the fruitcakes within. They are not a movement that has given birth to themselves. Their bad clones.

morrell-

"Dave Hunt's Berean Call (I know his name's verboten here b/c of his opposition to Calvinism--but y'know, different theology, same fight-dog tactics)"

Wrong, Dave Hunt's problem is the same as the emergents. He lacks knowledge, logic and the skills necessary to exegete the Scripture. He lacks the humility to admit it and to humbly accept the engrafted word. He flatly refuses to handle the word of God honestly, and that is why the likes of Hunt make little in road here. I am sure, that for his contribution to Cult Apologetics, he is appreciated. And, even in that, his work is primarily borrowed. Beyond that he has not demonstrated competency.

Turk-

"You want to be the personal conduit of the Holy Spirit when you play your guitar or when you write your blog or whatever – which is not a slam on artistic expression, but a knock on the idea that something is happening there in which we should take some spiritual assurance – because that is apparently a necessary component of church life."

Some emergent has got to answer this. I thought we were all like the Ark in Indiana Jones, only more? Melty faces apart, you have to admit that to be the temple of God, would be like even more like powerful, like, ya know? I mean, isn't it the priest that sanctifies the sacrifice? Are you telling us that the Word of God can stand on its own with out touch of a teachers hand? Wow. Imagine that, it is what it is, and we donnot have to make it what we think it is? Naw, too simple....

"I believe in the God who is There – the one who is not a deistic watcher of history but the active Sustainer and Creator of all things."

Shades of J Edwards- God is the Ever Present Creator, now. I wonder, when two or more emergents are gathered together does the Christ in their midst mind if he is not understood? Brados, Jesus said to the stupid fools on the road to Emmaus, to not believe the things that were written about the Christ.

"We affirm the agency of men, and of the –whole- message of Scripture, which includes the responsibility of the church to examine, confront, and reject publicly the errors of men who are making a shipwreck of faith."

Is that like be ready to make a defense of the faith? And we're not secret agents speaking in code, are we? Define the terms, then let's talk. Coversations cannot be without coequal comprehension of terms. Apologetics....ahhh a breath of fresh air.

"That's perfect McLaren, dude. Did he put you up to it? "We might be wrong, but in order to avoid conflict which might prove that out, we propose that it not be talked about in polite company until 2012." Think about that: you're so afraid of conflict you can't even accept criticism from other believers."

You know what, this is exactly the arguement that is coming from the majority power brokers in the SBC.

And, I am not changing subjects. Rodney Kingism demands the circumcission of the tongue from the oral cavity. When everything is tolerated, nothing will be. The history of the church is conflict and a battle of engagement. Christ said, "The Kingdom of God is taken by violence, and violent men make their way into it." (My paraphrase.)

Mike Morrell said...

Hi "Farmboy." I will be replying to the thoughtful comments of many others later (I have the daily grind of work and coursework to wrap up, TGIF), but for now I thought I'd reply to yours, in brief--you said: "Whew, I was worried for a moment. I thought he might have left based on something serious like doctrinal disagreement."

To me, love IS a doctrine affirmed by Scripture. To be unloving is at least as erroneous as any of the other sins you allege we emergers are dabbling in. So if I left because of a lack of love, I'd say this is a biblically sound reason.

With that said, I don't want to caricature my old church. I'll simply say it wasn't a good fit...and I still have many friends there.

Trinian said...

I'm looking to our more academic readers to do some source-criticism on this.

I think the only way we can truly know what Dan said and what Frank said would be to form a committee of 200 readers and vote on the contents. The link troll picture totally gets black-beaded...

notw said...

daryl,
I think I understand the "spirit of Pharseeism" pretty well. It puts practice over people and religion over relationship.
Obviously your question about Paul was rhetorical but I'll respond anyway. Paul got it pretty good after all he wrote the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Saul was the Pharisee who was all about a form of godliness and stuck on shoving doctrine in someones face even if he had to hold someones coat while they taught them a lesson. Paul was about the love and mercy of Christ who knew that "the greatest of these is love."

Libbie said...

So having love one for another shows thw world we are Christians and disciples of Christ. Arguing over doctrine and trying to out do each other with scripture references is more along the lines of being a Pharisee than a disciple.

Yes! That's where we've all gone wrong! I just knew the biblical answer would be a group hug!

(BTW, could we have an addendum to Godwin's Law, specifically about using 'pharisee' in christian debate?)

Helen said...

Mike wrote: You said that the answer to Frank's question is Yes only if the disciple believes that's what it means to be a disciple. That makes the category of a disciple subjective. First of all, that's ridiculous because it's unfalsifiable. If anyone can decide that they're "x" because they get to define what "x" means and they don't mind that other people define "x" completely differently, you have a category that defines everyone. The problem with a category that defines everyone is that it really defines no one.

All the definitions in here are subjective; they are what the people here believe.

I am saying, people shouldn't be expected to accept someone else's definition just because that someone else says "My definition is The Right One". People should get their definition of following Jesus from Jesus.

If they do then who is any other human being to say "No, you're wrong!" If they say that they are setting themselves up as a greater authority than Jesus.

DJP said...

Jesucristo rescato a ErnestoSatan hasn't changed a bit the tactics used, appealing to the eternal 20 year old in every human heart, the sinful nature

¡Bien dicho, Ernesto!

Libbie said...

People should get their definition of following Jesus from Jesus.

If they do then who is any other human being to say "No, you're wrong!" If they say that they are setting themselves up as a greater authority than Jesus.


Define 'Jesus', Helen.

HarryJ said...

Sam
I agree with your comment here. For Cent to slur Mr. Camp and his excellent ministry is ridiculous. I have heard Mr. Camp minister on serveral occassions, he is solidly reformed; a fine expositor and preacher of God's Word; and songwriter/worship leader.

I hadn't seen the Chan video until today when you mentioned it. If Mr. Camp came out against it, he should have. That video, though beautifully made, does not represent the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if Frank and Dan supported it, then that is unfortunate.

Mr. Camp's blog is also one of the finest in the Christian blogosphere. Always challenging, edifying and theologically rich.

It's obvious that Phil is allowing the kids (Frank and Dan) to play in the sandbox today. That's fine. But they should play nicely.

Mr. Camp
If you are reading this today may I strongly suggest to you not to comment. You don't need to lower yourself to their mentioning you here. From what I have read recently in some of the comment threads here, it is obvious that you have a great respect for Phil and his ministry; but what Frank and Dan are about here is quite another thing altogether. You're in ministry--stay focused on the work that God has for you and don't get sidetracked by this.

Frank and Dan
I am a reformed Baptist and no supporter of the EC by any means. I even agree with several points you brought out here in this article. But come on guys, like Sam said, for you to single him out because he may disagree with you from time to time and include him on this post is crazy. You owe Mr. Camp an apology and should take his name off this post. Many here would probably like to say something in his defense, but don't want to get smacked down by you guys. You both are known for being cutting with those that challenge you and that is not a good witness for the gospel.

Speaking biblically about the EC and your concerns is one thing. But this is something else to say the least.

In the grip of His grace,
HJ

DJP said...

notwYou folks seem to take yourselves way too seriously. Get over yourselves

OK you guys, you heard him! Or her! Come on, now, you know who you are! Now, get over yourselves, on "three." One... two....

the postmortem said...

"The disciple of Jesus Christ has an obligation to know what Scripture says and do it if that's what the disciple believes is necessary in order to follow Jesus faithfully."

Helen,

You write that, after reading the Scripture, only "what the disciple believes is necessary" is what he or she is required to do.

I just have to ask...

Why does a disciple have "an obligation to know what Scripture says" if the Scripture doesn't necessarily tell anyone the actual way to follow Jesus?

If there's nothing in Scripture that necessarily must be followed by all who claim to be disciples of Christ, I don't see why knowing any of it is necessary.

Paul, on the contrary, makes a claim that, irrespective of anyone's own yea or nay on various portions of what Scripture works for them...

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17)

Furthermore, Jesus himself said to the Pharisees,

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." (John 5:39-40)

So, I would ask you, do you believe the Scripture make demands on us only insofar as we interpret it to do so? If so, where did you get that belief? Because, at least according to Jesus and Paul, Scripture itself is the authoritative source of information about Jesus and how to follow him.

DJP said...

wfseubeProfound. It's those kind of deep and meaningful comments that will take you over 1000...

And responses to those comments.

AND responses to the RESPONSES to those comments!

(c:

Habitans in Sicco said...

notw: "When Jesus had the opportunity to say what it meant to be his disciples he said that we will be known by the love we have one for another. So having love one for another shows thw world we are Christians and disciples of Christ. Arguing over doctrine and trying to out do each other with scripture references is more along the lines of being a Pharisee than a disciple."

Now that's the kind of content we're going to have to get if this thread is even going to crack 500.

Come on! Before someone dusts off the "talking past one another" cliche, let's hear from the folks who feel misrepresented and misunderstood by these guys who surely could've done more homework. Think of all the pages of NT Wright they haven't read yet. Someone has got to mention that.

Go for the golden ring, I say.

Daryl said...

Helen,

If Jesus sets the standard for what following him really is then lose the charade of -you can't tell someone else how to follow Jesus-. If he told us, we can know. If we can know, then we can tell someone who doesn't know, where they are wrong.

It's not like the Bible has a million viable variations of shat a Christian is.

For the record, for someone who doesn't believe the Bible, are you really the person to be granting a blessing onto someones interpretation of it?

Helen said...

daryl wrote: In fact the disciple is obliged to submit themselves to what they are taught unless they can prove that the Bible teaches otherwise.

It seems to me that what you said is in conflict with Jesus' words below, which say there is only one teacher - himself:

Matt 23: 8 "But you are not to be called `Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth `father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called `teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

DJP said...

Lordodamanor—your example count stands at zero.

I said "Find me a fundie who teaches heresy, who is not publicly denounced."

Is Billy Graham a fundie? Ask the guys over at Sharper Iron, you'll get a deserved laughing-at.

First fundie church I went to IN 1973! had tracts and booklets up denouncing Billy Graham.

Find me an EC with tracts and booklets up, warning about or denouncing McLaren, Bell, or the others.

Get it? And try to respond in under 500 words; we're looking for number, not length.

DJP said...

trinianI think the only way we can truly know what Dan said and what Frank said would be to form a committee of 200 readers and vote on the contents. The link troll picture totally gets black-beaded...

I love it!

But you'll have to wait 2000 years to form the committee.

(c;

Daryl said...

Helen,

Which is, of course, why God has given "some to be teachers". Jesus never said, - Don't let snyone teach you-

Yep, it's just me and Jesus, and I get to decide what Jesus wants, all by myself

Sojourner said...

Dan and Frank,

I don't have much substance to add to this, just trying to help you get to 1,000. Part of this reminds me of the million mothers out there who have lost sons and refuse to share the gospel with them for fear of losing their relationship. At some point, you simply have to tell the truth, and I have yet to see how a clear explanation of sin can possibly be "non-confrontational."

And all of this hand-wringing about somebody actually claiming to know the truth, and then having the chutzpah to speak the truth, and what that might do to someone's feelings and culture and view of smoking cigarettes and getting a tatoo, well, it's juvenile, really.

Jesus Christ the King, Jesus Christ the sin-bearer, Jesus Christ the Judge, Jesus Christ: God of God, Light of Light, , 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, the Immortal and Only-Wise Ruler of the Universe: Doesn't the proclamation of His glory and greatness scatter post-modern doubt like chaff in the wind? I'm boggled why I would ever go back to that long night of doubt when Christ has been so clearly potrayed before my eyes in His wonderful, clear, and life-giving Word.

DJP said...

harryjif Frank and Dan supported [the Chan video], then that is unfortunate.

Gosh, Frank. If only we'd... I don't know... written something about that. You know? Explain ourselves?

Then we could have, like, put it up on some public place. Maybe a couple of public places? Maybe on that Internet thingie I keep hearing the kids talk about?

And then that public place could have, like, a Google search feature, so that people could look, and see what we wrote about things? And read them? And think about them?

Yeah. That'd be neat.

centuri0n said...

The vertical line thing is a WORD trick.

[1] copy the text your' responding to into a blank WORD document.

[2] select all the text and make it 28pt sized text.

[3] save the document as plain text. In WORD 98 and earlier, you will save as file type "text with line breaks"; in later versions of WORD, you will save as text, and when the dialog box comes up check the "insert line breaks" box.

[4] close the document and reopen it.

[5] use the "replace all" function to replace "^p" (paragraph breaks) with "^p| " (p-breaks with vertical line and a single space).

[6] insert your comments.

[7] copy and paste finish result into blogger comments.

Helen said...

daryl wrote: Yep, it's just me and Jesus, and I get to decide what Jesus wants, all by myself

Not all by myself (whoever said that?)

With the help of people who are respectful.

notw said...

libbie,

way to drip with sarcasm.....I was not prescribing a group hug. I was saying that is how JESUS (remember Him, Son of God and all that....)said that we would be known. BY LOVE....sorry to squash your little legalistic love fest....or just substitute your own word in there since love seems so blasphemous to you.

Daryl said...

Helen,

Sounds like teachers to me...

Further to your previous comment, do you have a father? Ever call him that? Is that unbiblical?

Notw, If learing correct theology is legalism...then Paul was a really really bad guy.

Daryl said...

in order to increase the count...I'm stepping out to cut the grass...is that biblical?

BugBlaster said...

habitans-in-sicco is either an effective exhorter or a verifiable prophet.

And Frank, you are a geek.

Tim Bertolet said...

Helen,
You quoted Matthew 23:8-12, now don't dodge it:
Do submit to the Word of God since it comes from the Father and Jesus Christ [and the Spirit], or "is it more of a guideline really".

How do reconcile Matthew 23:8-12 with "The disciple of Jesus Christ has an obligation to know what Scripture says and do it if that's what the disciple believes is necessary in order to follow Jesus faithfully."

And "All the definitions in here are subjective."

It would seem from the verses you quoted that there is one definition that is not subject and that's those from the Father and the Son, which would bring us back to the perspecuity of Scripture {something that never denies hermeneutics but keeps hermeneutics from becoming power games]. If Christ really teaches us in the Bible, then are we not obligated to follow it?

..."With the help of people who are respectful." Aren't we back to listening when people say "the Bible say" {so long as they are rightly handling the Word of God}?...

Helen said...

the postmortem wrote: Because, at least according to Jesus and Paul, Scripture itself is the authoritative source of information about Jesus and how to follow him.

When Jesus or Paul mentioned Scripture they were talking about the Jewish Scriptures. Nothing in our New Testament was in what they called Scripture. The New Testament didn't exist until later.

DJP said...

notw—would that be the same Jesus who said, "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent" (Revelation 3:19)?

Or is that another part of the Bible you find icky?

Good way to show Jesus' kind of love, Libbie!

Libbie said...

Blimey notw, if sarcasm is a sin, you should probably leave it to the nasty folk who actually see 'love' as a bit meatier than saying 'shhh, doctrine is just for pharisees'..

(Can I add 'legalist' to my Godwins law variant?)

Tim Bertolet said...

Frank,
Wow, that vertical line thing is pretty complex. Here I thought there was a quick easy way to do it with HTML codes I didn't know about.

Ah, and I thought blog posting was for the weak, lazy, feeble minded who just like to hack at people without intellectual rigor.

DJP said...

Nothing in our New Testament was in what they called Scripture.

Remarks like that show how conversant you aren't with the Bible, Helen.

A little study on 1 Timothy 5:18 and 2 Peter 3:15-16 might be rewarding to you, for starters, if the data mattered.

DJP said...

Libbie, tell me about Godwin's law. Please?

Tim Bertolet said...

Helen

When Jesus or Paul mentioned Scripture they were talking about the Jewish Scriptures. Nothing in our New Testament was in what they called Scripture. The New Testament didn't exist until later.


2 Peter 3:15-16 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

1 Timothy 5:18 18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages."

Luke 10:7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.


OK, so the first one is from Peter. But it still applies.

centuri0n said...

Kent:
I'm pleased that you were not offended. It is a strange world we live in when you have the best sense of humor of those we are speaking to.

Steve Camp fans:
I want you all to consider something -- one of the more serious problems with the Emergent clan we have encountered is that everything toward them must be stone serious, but their replies can be of any tone, tibre, tenor or trade. If the only tone we can use with Steve is urgently reverent -- in spite of his human foibles and exegetical mistakes -- then maybe the problem is not the message or the messenger.

Live a little.

Dan:
He's not gonna respond. We're both gonna lose the tontine (no wagering -- we're baptists) on his response because he's not gonna respond.

notw said...

djp: same Jesus....at least you are quoting Jesus now instead of some legalistic mumbo jumbo. "Icky" nice word.
Don't claim you and libbie are showing Jesus' kind of love its anything but. By the way libbie its hard to hug anybody when you have stones in your hands. Lay them down. That is real love....when you do that. That is the only "doctrine" that really matters.

DJP said...

Hm... what notw says... what Jesus says... what notw says... what Jesus says....

Which to choose, which to choose....

Helen said...

djp & time - ok, my mistake, I forgot about those verses.

It's still true that the NT didn't exist as such.

farmboy said...

Again referencing Mike Morrell's reason for leaving the PCA: "As far as you vehemently making fun of and caricaturing us...sigh. I really don't have much to say to that. Except that such arrogance is one of the things that drove me away from the PCA, many years ago."

Based on the above, to engage in vehement fun-making and caricaturing is arrogant, and based on Mr. Morrell's follow up comment, unloving.

What if the vehement fun-making and caricaturing is an effective way to address doctrinal error? What if there is an evidential basis for such vehement fun-making and caricaturing? Is this arrogant? Or, is this loving?

Mr. Johnson, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Turk have all provided ample evidential and doctrinal support for the vehement fun-making and caricaturing that they engage in on Pyromaniacs. They are effectively exposing doctrinal error. Does this turn off some emergent types and such? I suppose it might. However, how many others avoid being ensnared by these doctrinal errors because of the effective warnings provided by the Pyromaniacs?

At least at Pyromaniacs, what Mr. Morrell calls "arrogant", I call "loving". But then I really like John Wayne westerns and war movies and the default use of masculine pronouns.

Let's see, 2/1,000 = 0.002 or 0.2%. That's my relative contribution to reaching the goal of 1,000 comments.

Mr. Johnson, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Turk, keep up the good work!

the postmortem said...

"When Jesus or Paul mentioned Scripture they were talking about the Jewish Scriptures. Nothing in our New Testament was in what they called Scripture. The New Testament didn't exist until later."

Helen

Hey...if that's what you're saying you'll agree to, I'll take it!!

I'm just happy that you're willing to agree with Jesus and Paul that the entire OT is authoritative! I won't even argue with you how 2 Peter 3:16 and 1 Timothy 5:18 demonstrate Peter and Paul saw the gospels and the epistles as equal with the Hebrew Scriptures!

But, hopefully, you'll take the Acts 17:11 approach to what Paul says, and realize, with the Bereans, that what he's saying lines up perfectly with the Hebrew Scriptures, making it authoritative as well.

centuri0n said...

Helen:

I think you have a deficient view of canon history.

1Tim 5:18 says this --
[QUOTE]
For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages."
[/QUOTE]

Where are those two passages found? Because one of them decimates your view of when Scripture was believed to be Scripture.

notw said...

djp....i have been saying what Jesus said...show me where I didn't. Jesus said the world will know you are my disciples by....___________________ you fill in the blank.

donsands said...

"OK you guys, you heard him! Or her! Come on, now, you know who you are! Now, get over yourselves, on "three." One... two.... "

and Three!

I'm over myself? I guess.

Hmmm. What's next.

Tim Bertolet said...

Helen,
"It's still true that the NT didn't exist as such. "

Does that make the whole NT any less authoritative for us? Abraham lived before Moses and the prophets wrote, but that didn't keep Jesus from following and using all of Scripture written up to that time as authoritative, in much the same way the prophets used Scripture itself to rebuke the people.

The question still is does a disciple submit to the Word of God or judge himself over it when it is neccessary?

In all sincerity, and I don't mean this as a cheap shot or a dig, your worldview seems to be falling in on itself. I would invite you to examine a more Biblical worldview of things. {and my that I don't mean "my way" or "Team Pyros way" I mean a more Biblical worldview that for better or worse submits to Scripture.}

[Quick, were are those people that said this blog isn't L'Abri enough?]

DJP said...

Notw—“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32)

Or was that another bad Scripture?

donsands said...

"Define 'Jesus', Helen." -Libbie

This was a great question and I thought you may have missed it. Or I may have missed your answer.

This is the fastest commenting post I have ever seen, east of the Mississippi.

steve said...

notw: "When Jesus had the opportunity to say what it meant to be his disciples he said that we will be known by the love we have one for another. So having love one for another shows thw world we are Christians and disciples of Christ. Arguing over doctrine and trying to out do each other with scripture references is more along the lines of being a Pharisee than a disciple."

The apostle Paul did an awful lot of arguing over doctrine in his letters. Does that make him unloving?

Why did Paul emphasize correct doctrine so much? His admonishment to the pastors at Ephesus is well representative of his many other warnings elsewhere: "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will rise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!" (Acts 20:29-31).

Paul cared about the church and its doctrinal purity. It was his love for the church that compelled him to warn against those who "distort the truth."

It's when we fail to call error for what it is that we have failed to show true Christian love to a brother or sister in Christ. God's kind of love seeks the best for our brethren, and that includes ensuring that they are walking in truth, and not error.

Helen said...

the postmortem - I said Jesus and Paul said the OT was authoritative; I didn't give my own opinion of it.

Centurion, yes, I acknowledged I was mistaken; I overlooked those verses - that's in a comment a bit above yours.

tim, I am very happy with my worldview. I don't know whether the Bible is true and that works fine for me.

donsands, yes, thanks, I did miss that. Libbie, Jesus is that guy the NT says is Messiah and Lord.

notw said...

djp,

Wow....you do like to dance don't you. You should know that you shouldn't and can't refute one text with another.
I gave you what Jesus said and you try to tell me something else he said. Your reference is correct but nevertheless I say this again without love...true agape love the world will NOT know we are His disciples unless we show His love. People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care. You can make fun of that all you want and call it names and be sarcastic about it but love is why Jesus came and what He has called us to do and I don't know you but I love you even though I think someone has really contaminated you with legalism and justice and forget to show you the incredible love and grace of our Lord. I wish you well and pray you find the right balance and in turn real relation with Jesus.

Jonspach said...

"Libbie, Jesus is that guy the NT says is Messiah and Lord."

But then you're not sure if that's true or not as you're unsure whether the Bible is true or not, right?

I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just trying to see the logic...

Sojourner said...

Speaking of Kung Fu, did you guys see where those Shaolin Monks demanded an apology from that Japanese guy who said that a ninja came over and beat them all up? They believe that it was a national disgrace to China to say such things. The nerve!

Just sayin'. You can read about it here.

Glenn said...

Helen - Who do *you* say Jesus is?

wordsmith said...

Ooooh, cloze activities! Hurray!

Here's one (hint: two distinct words):

If anyone ________ Me, he will keep My ________ ; and My Father will ________ him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not ________ Me does not keep My ________ ; and the ________ which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.

Funny how those two words are strongly associated in Scripture. You don't suppose there's some sort of relationship going on there, do you?

notw said...

words,

Not sure who thats directed at but showing the love of Christ in this world is keeping Jesus' commands. So I agree with you.

DJP said...

Excellent, Wordsmith. Here's another:

"By this we know that we ____ the children of God, when we ____ God and obey his _____________" (1 John 5:2)

More bad Scripture, notw?

cyd said...

Dan:

Just to refresh your memory, James White and Steve Camp were in 100"%agreement on the issues surrounding the Chan video. And also when you include Alan Kurshner, Greg Withrow and Chad Bresson, etc., that's very solid Reformed company to be in.

Frank:

"Exegetical mistakes"?

Aren't you the one who recommends and quotes from THE MESSAGE?

Listen Grasshopper,

Camp's Kung Fu is better than yours any day. Stick with reading comic books. :)


Sam & Harry:

Way to go guys. Keep on!

Helen said...

jonspach and glenn: I'm unsure who Jesus was/is.

Mike Morrell said...

djp, I’m sorry about the length—this is a doozie. But a ton of folks were responding, and I wanted to be thorough. I’ll try and make it two or three to help get the comments up.

“I Just loved the part when you compare the Emerging Movement to a 20 year old, that's Just the plain truth to this and other apostate movements through history, Satan hasn't changed a bit the tactics used, appealing to the eternal 20 year old in every human heart, the sinful nature.” Soo…sinful nature is particularly manifest in 20 year olds? I think John said that spiritual maturity moves from babes to young men to fathers, and I think I can see a ‘downfall’ or ‘shadow side’ to each stage, I dunno…but 20 year olds do make it hard for us all sometimes. But at least they care. Most of my ardent 20-something friends in undergrad were Calvinists, though, as Christianity Today reported about a year ago. You all really are winning, out-numbering us and all. And wasn’t John Calvin in his 20s when he wrote that little tract, The Institutes?

Habitans, if evangelicalism melts down perhaps that is best for all of us. It’s a diluted brand. If it goes, then we don’t have to pretend we’re something we’re not; you can go ahead and be Reformed; me post-evangelical, etc..

Tim B, I hear you, re: Barth. And I’m not saying that emerging folks ought to be un-criticized. For instance, the PCA published this great critique, and I really mean it’s great. It’s even-handed and balanced, and the author really has issues with emerging streams of theological inquiry. But his article moves the debate forward, instead of stymieing it with name-calling and bad feelings. I’m sorry, Dan, but tone does matter.

You also said “I agree with the dangers of forming our theology in reaction to what we see going on "out there." But that is different from having your theology and confronting what you see has errors in an attempt to stand on the Word of God.”

You might be shocked to hear this, but Scripture factors in, big-time, with my dissatisfaction of much of today’s Christian milieu, liberal and conservative. So often different streams of the Church aspects of biblical truth against one against the other, giving you either metaphysical abstraction or weak social proclamation; we draw and quarter Jesus into either “Teacher” or “Savior,” and therefore give a weak parody of “life to the full.” Further, we have an unbiblical clergy-laity split. The NT church was open and participatory. The early church speaks of a richness in fellowship with God (see John 17 and 1 John 1) that can only be described as “mystical.” Need I go on? Emerging Christians read the bible too! I now dig into Scripture more than I did when I was Baptist, Pentecostal, or Presbyterian. What many “modern” biblical aficionados can’t seem to wrap their minds around is that different people can in good faith read Scripture and differ. (You’d think we’d get it by now; that’s why there are a zillion different denominations out there) Postmodern lovers of God and Scripture get this. It doesn’t mean there is not truth; it means (as the Bible says) that Jesus is Truth; we’re either moving toward or away from him in whole-life apprehension. So why do I, as an ‘emerging’ Christian, refuse to go on the defensive in this long thread of accusations? Because I could easily go on the offensive, challenging you on biblical grounds of belief and practice. (I can’t believe that you all can read Willard or Wright without any sense of their deep love for Scripture) Why don’t you teach more about the social dimensions of the gospel? The mystical? The relational? Why is Calvinism so judicial, so forensic? Maybe we need all of the above, but at the moment we’re just talking past each other. Faith has failed to provide a common language, if world history is any indication.

Mike Morrell said...

And Tim, I appreciate that you know some emerging/missional folks that don’t seem too heretical to you. I think most of us are quite “average” in this regard.

Centuri0n, always a pleasure: You ask “Because you (that would be "you-all", not "You, Mike") cannot demonstrate that it has happened once apart from Scripture in any way which Scripture describes as "God speaking". You see what I'm sayin'?”

Um…no, not really. Different people are sitting around in the Bible, sleeping, working, eating, and they “hear” (in whatever sense) God asking them questions or directing them to do things. I don’t see this as being too different than how millions of people around the world hear God now. Is it always God, 100% of the time? Of course not. It could be drugs, demons, or bad pizza. But I like to give God the benefit of the doubt at least sometimes. Acts 2 and I Corinthians and all that. But I know you guys have devoted scads of blog posts to debunking all such passages, so I don’t see the fruitfulness of debating cessation yet again. I’ll only say this: Unless you’re a full we’re-living-in-the-new-heavens-and-earth-now preterist, you have no exegetical grounds to invoke the “when the perfect comes, tongues, et al, will cease.” You just don’t. Only a full preterist does. But even the preterist then needs to contend with “the powers in the age to come” that Hebrews names. Okay, enough about my experiences with the internally consisistent, same yesterday-and-today God revealed in Christ. I’m glad you believe in God as the all-in-all, the active creator and sustainer of everything. That, in my opinion, would make it easier for you to be a contemplative and a charismatic—God is everywhere, speaking in all things. The universe is his canvas. Of course you don’t chuck discernment. Of course Scripture is unique in the scheme of things. But if you believe God is sovereign and in all, you just shouldn’t struggle so with contemporary encounters with God. My reading of Scripture tells me we are to expect such things. And you have plenty of good Reformed teachers who explain this to you in your own nomenclature—Gruden, Mahaney, Storms, et al. Why you’re hardened to this staggers the imagination.

I’ll never make fun of your comic books. I’m an avid comic book geek. My faves: Peter David’s run on The Incredible Hulk and Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot. Yours?

Yes…in some sense you make your extreme counterparts. Just like American foreign policy and terrorism. We get the enemies we “deserve.” Now, I’m not saying this absolves antagonees from responsibility to process their darker sides just because their antagonists are provoking them—but we’re all interconnected. Everyone. We need to awaken to this reality.

You say: “you're so afraid of conflict you can't even accept criticism from other believers.” Well, at least you’re affording us the courtesy of being fellow believers, more than some in this comments section are doing. I appreciate that. And yes, brother, if you and I lived in the same town, I’d love to have coffee with you, bibles in hand, and get to know each other. I’d love to hear your story of how you came to Christ, and you could hear mine. I’d like to learn how you’re growing in faith—where you’re at, how you got here, what you’re wondering about and what you’re struggling with. And I’d do the same. Now this might sound all namby-pamby to you, and if it does I’m sorry. I just think that affirmation and grace should be trumpeted worldwide and disagreements handled locally. It does less shame to the name of Christ and the unity of the Body that way.

“Have some spiritual moxie and face up to criticism.” Dude, I’m more than up to entering the fray of criticism. Forget defense, I can go on the offense. But—and I’m sorry if anyone thinks this is a high horse or deflection—I’m also really busy, and don’t know that I’d have the time and energy to (pardon my cynicism) spend months going nowhere. There are reasons that the emerging conversation has struck such a chord with so many of us. And there are reasons why it strikes a nerve with so many others. I want to honor this panoply of reasons, and I’m wondering if there’s a better way than online shouting matches. Maybe local gospel debates, I dunno. ‘Cause the truth is, I’d love it if we were all of one mind in more practical expressions. Christians coming together in honesty and in love, hashing out differences, each compromising entrenched positions to give way to greater Light…sounds like redemptive community to me.

Gilbert said...

Gentlemen,

After reading this article, you can shut down Pyro. This says it all. It's always been out there in all your posts, but this summarizes everything nicely. Read it and heed it, or scoff and be condemned by your own words. Some (many?) will say this entire "Po-Motivators" and post-modernism discussion has not been done in love, but as so many have pointed out, true love is telling it like it is, even when it is very difficult to do. You know, the whole "brood of vipers" warm, fuzzy-type comments that Jesus made against those who warped Scripture and theology incessantly.

Thanks for standing up for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Pyros.
Everything was spot on, except for those contemptable kittycat pictures that Pecadillo's utter brilliance against them captured oh so well. :-)

1,000 posts? Before a holiday weekend? Nahhhh. And Cent,for your Wisdom, you better believe every one of your posts count! Just quit looking like that at me, mmmkay?
:-)

Solameanie:

>I hate to say this, but I am
>becoming increasingly dismissive
>of doctrinal statements that
>people either sign or put up.
>Not because I disagree with the
>statements per se, but how often
>have I see the official doctrinal
>statement not match the yappings
>out of said ministry or minister?
>I know for a fact that there are
>pastors who dutifully sign their
>fellowships' doctrinal statements
>to have their credentials
>renewed, but they don't believe
>some points in the doctrinal
>statement any longer. People,
>that is a SERIOUS integrity issue
>with me.

Well, look at it this way. It's yet another way to separate the wheat from the chaff. "Do as we say, not as we do" makes it no different than doing that with Scripture.

It just makes the hypocrisy all that clearer.

Mike Morrell said...

Libbie, I’m a pretty ironic guy. You just never know. Let’s talk about it in five years. ;)

IronWill, I believe that heresy exists and is dangerous. Honest I do. I have Jude and 2 Peter and Timothy in my Bible, as well as Jesus' warnings. I know that sound teaching is precious, and worth conserving. But here's the thing--two things, really--in all my reading about 'false teachers,' the 'thing' the first-century NT writers got so hopping mad about was people turning grace into law! Check out Galatians. (I know it happened the other way 'round too, with grace into license. But that just seemed like another day in the local church community for Paul; he'd deal with it and move on. But Galatians! Man, he gets mad in that letter!) People subverting the freedom and simplicity of life in God and making people miserable through religious obligation. This is true of Jesus himself; who did he get really mad at, the prostitutes and tax collectors? No! It was the religious teachers, the doctrinaire, the Pharisees and Sadducees. I understand, re: Godwin’s Law and Pharisee comparisons, and actually NT Wright and Dunn are helping me appreciate the Pharisees a bit more. But I still think that Jesus is at home in emerging communities of faith. I think many heresy-hunters form the warning passages of Scripture into wax noses, twisting this way and that, to apply to heresies the bible just doesn’t address.

Lordodamanor, your explanation of why Hunt’s a moron is Case in Point about how systematic theology-centered Christians eat your own; you’re more than willing to align yourselves with Hunt, Hanegraaf, et al, but the moment they dot an “I” wrong you chew ‘em up. It’s sad!

Mensa Reject, I’m actually riding a My Little Pony. With rainbows on it, to my next emergent cohort gathering where I can solicit feedback on my new goatee. So I can get down and walk if you need me to.

So Harryj, When it’s being rude to emerging brethren it’s “Speaking biblically about the EC and your concerns,” but when they knock Steve Camp a little it’s “But this is something else to say the least”? You’ve gotta decide! Either generous speech seasoned with kindness is the order of the day for everyone, or it’s centuri0n’s “I'm a man, not a child. Have a laugh.” Better go with the latter if we’re gonna be laughing at all. Camp can take it; he’s plenty derisive on his own blog.

Stratagem, you said …"Woe to you when men speak highly of you" When I see McLaren, Jones, Bell, and others actually taking heat from the world in defense of Jesus' exclusive claims, then I'll know a new day has dawned. We are a long way from that.” This to me is another wax nose that isn’t terribly useful in discussion. Certainly, SOME ‘men’ (people) speak critically of all Christians, whether Calvinist or emerging or what have you. Brian, Rob, and Tony take heat from you, for starters. They also take heat from those corners of “the world” who don’t appreciate their prophetically challenging the principalities and powers, the forces of greed, materialism, and consumerism. And, guys, the OT prophets spoke plenty clearly about all of this before Marx ever did, so don’t give me that “re-hashed social gospel” bit. These guys care about the whole gospel, and they’re getting a shellacking on all sides.

Sewing said...

Trinian wrote (way, way up above):

I think the only way we can truly know what Dan said and what Frank said would be to form a committee of 200 readers and vote on the contents. The link troll picture totally gets black-beaded...

Hah! You've got my number! We can call it the TP seminar. If the voting goes right, the only "authentic" words of Frank and Dan left will be a couple of "a"s and "the"s.

notw said...

Not at all djp...just reaffirming what I have been saying all along. Thank you for speaking the truth in love and not denominational dogma. Keep it up. If we don't love those around us we can't claim to know God. Thats what I have been trying to tell you folks.

Mike Morrell said...

Sewing, you point out a continuity of affinities between some of the modernistic liberal scholars you were into before the present-day leg of your journey. If you feel like some emerging folks haven’t been forthright with you in the past, let me shoot straight: I have Borg and even some Spong on my bookshelf. I read Matthew Fox and Ken Wilber. But I also read Piper and Sproul and Grudem—so what? I’m an adult; I can separate the chaff from the wheat. And the emerging conversation is not simply warmed-over liberalism. I agree that the mainline is dying. Where I might differ from many of you is that I see the conservative church as dying, too, even if it looks strong in mega churches and the Global South today. It’s all dying—liberal and conservative alike—because it’s clinging desperately to a world that’s not longer here. I follow Jesus as a post-conservative from my particular trajectory, and I know many others who do as post-liberals. Believe me, Spong doesn’t speak for post-liberals any more than Falwell speaks for me as a post-conservative. Post-liberals want to keep the exegetical treasures concerning God’s love for the poor and marginalized; the rich repository of social teachings. But they’re not necessarily interested in maintaining the tired “demythologizing” stance of groups like the Jesus Seminar, who try to figure out, reductionistically, what Jesus “really” said. They are open to a faith full of wonder, mystery, and biblical robust-ness. Similarly, I have not let go of Scripture’s inspiration, the virgin birth, or the uniqueness of Jesus and his reconciliatory work. Honest I haven’t! I just see a much larger cosmological world than I inhabited in evangelicalism-as-usual. I don’t have all the answers, but I am more than willing to share the Hope I have within me to anyone who cares to listen.

And now I think I've written more than the original post--sheesh! Signing off for now...Mike

PS: You can follow that link above to a wide spectrum of emerging Christian thought and practice, from (post)liberal to (post)conservative. There are over 6,000 churches, blogs, theology discussion lists, and more there. it'd be good to familiarize yourself with it a little, friends and critics alike.

DJP said...

CydJust to refresh your memory, James White and Steve Camp were in 100"%agreement on the issues surrounding the Chan video. And also when you include Alan Kurshner, Greg Withrow and Chad Bresson, etc., that's very solid Reformed company to be in

Can I do that too?

John MacArthur is premillennial. So was S. Lewis Johnson. So am I.

There y'go! It's a Reformed consensus! Yayy!

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