13 August 2008

Pretentiousness and Gospel ministry (part 1 of 2)

by Dan Phillips
Like clouds and wind without rain
Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely
(Proverbs 25:14 NAS)
Pretension (n): making claim to distinction or importance, especially undeservedly; having or creating a deceptive outer appearance of great worth; ostentatious.

Phil's post on EC pretentiousness, and some of the meta, got me thinking. Which is always dangerous.

To demonstrate:

These über-cool emerg*** bloggers and speakers make me feel old. Not because they're so hep and all-that and with-it, and I'm so out-of-it. No, it's because they're so not hep nor all-that nor with-it. Because they're so earnestly pretending to be all those things, and gambling on the historical ignorance of their poor enablers. Worse, they're actually snaring the gullible, thanks to their cynical, contemptuous bet.

But my problem is that I do remember history. Some from living it, some from reading it. So I can't play.

Case in point: Brian Maclaren burbling about this "global conversation," with the schoolgirl-giddy pronouncement, "Something new is coming!"

"Something new"? Honestly, how does he get away with that stuff?

Do Maclaren's devotees think that nobody in all of church history has ever twisted Scripture, fuzzed it up and ground down all the sharp edges, to be more chummy with the world? Do they live on a planet where Origen never hit the Platonic kool-aid a little too hard? On their home-world, did Rome never have disastrous flirtations with syncretism and worldly philosophies?

On EC Prime, did Schleiermacher not cast off barren orthodoxy for barren mushodoxy? Did Harry Emerson Fosdick never share a nod and a wink with the world, over against Scripture? Was not Fosdick's liberalism completely dismantled, brick by brick, through the writings of the likes of J. Gresham Machen? Is their dimension bereft not only of Machen, but of Schaeffer, Clark, van Til, Henry, and a host of others?

Are they living on a planet where the '60s and '70s never happened? On my world, they did happen, and a lot of us still remember. Here on earth, hippies "got Jesus," and then some of them decided everyone had been doing it wrong for 1900+ years, so they were going to reinvent it all ex nihilo. But what they "invented" ended up looking just like their own counter-culture culture. It looked like the world.

The difference is that many of those hippies grew up, wised up, and grew out of it.

But with its strained, blinking-eyed, just-born-yesterday pose, the EC wants to grok its way to fresh insight. Because, you know, no one else ever tried it exactly their way before, saw through its phony promise, grew up, and found genuine freedom in Christ's yoke of discipleship.

All this Emerg*** Sturm und Drang all makes me think of the ad slogan, "It's not your father's Oldsmobile." It's not!, they insist. ECers are so desperate for you to know that. Really. Really, it isn't! It's new, and bold, and risky, and daring, and dangerous, and adventurous, and... and la la la.

Only, if they were honest, they'd have to say —
"As a matter of fact, this is your father's brand-new-'n'-improved world-friendly church. In fact, it's your grandfather's brand-new-'n'-improved world-friendly church!"
To stay alive, Emerg*** leaders have to count on their enablers not knowing anything about history, and not knowing anything about the Bible and all its unpopular, world-unfriendly jagged edges.

So there have to be a lot of distractions. One is the style, about which much has been said. Another, simply, is the leaders themselves. The leaders must become the focus, the issue. They're not out to teach and preach that stodgy old Bible, with all its rules and edges. Ick! No! They're out to "share their life through the Scriptures." They're cultural architects, they're futurists, they're... they're... Imagineers, or something.

And they're bringing something new. That's why you need them. You need them for the new.

But I ask again: what's new? People have never tried to kiss up to the Zeitgeist before, instead of honoring the Heil­ig­er Geist? People have never —
  • tried to sneak women into the pastorate, past clear Biblical prohibitions?
  • sought to blur clear Biblical lines on popular sexual behavior?
  • struck a conveniently agnostic pose on the exclusivity of salvation through conscious faith in Jesus Christ alone?
  • labored hard to burr the edges off the Biblical call to holiness, self-denial, and world-renunciation?
  • preferred to waffle on the Biblical doctrines of sin, atonement, propitiation?
  • worked to take the edges off the Biblical depiction of the character of God?
  • striven to flatter man's natural urge to autonomy, and proclivity to rebellion?
  • thrown inconvenient Biblical doctrines overboard to sail lighter in the world's eyes?
  • stood athwart the world's pell-mell rush to judgment and shouted "Let me on!" instead of "Repent!"?
Truly, really, what is new about the EC? The use of sofa's in worship? Soul-patches? Piercings? Tats? Swelling titles and self-written promo? ODing on cultural buzzwords in "church"?

Or is the really new thing that somehow they're thumb-tacking the label "evangelical" onto it?

Of course, anyone who really wanted to have a revolutionary impact on the world might give a thought to how Paul did it. He managed a pretty good job of staging a counter-cultural revolution. What was Paul's orientation?

Next time, DV.

(Hey, don't get mad at me; my dear wife makes fun of me when my posts are too long. I'm trying to cut back.)

Dan Phillips's signature

65 comments:

Robert said...

And that ad campaign for Oldsmobile worked so well too...ran them right out of business. Perhaps...

eastendjim said...

I 'grok' your post Dan.

ChiefsSuperfan said...

To tweak a Garrison Keillor quip about Lake Wobegon: "When the country (read evangelicalism) temporarily goes to the dogs (concision?) all of us cats must learn to walk circumspectly and realize that all this woofing is not the last word."

DJP said...

Oh, Jim, you're ooooooooooooold.

(c;

Al said...

Dan, excellent post sir. A leather jacket quickly looses its cool when the president of James Dean’s* fan club starts wearing one.

May I provide a link to a wonderful little article by Julie R. Neidlinger. I think it is germane to this discussion and it is not a link to my blog, which should let you know it may be worth a look.

One last thought: It is so funny to me that we are fighting against the church that is all about rebellion.

Al sends
*I know…an Emerg… would never reference James Dean.

Bo Salisbury said...

Dan... right... this is real good.

Any contact I've had with emergents has left me with the impression that I was dealing with a former Youth For Christ worker, who had lost confidence in their product.

I was visiting a friend of a friend in Marin County in the early days of this century and spent a few hours hanging around the house. There was a book sitting there... A New Kind of Christian. I remember picking it up and reading it and thinking, "This so hokey... such a bald attempt to be relevant... nobody will take this seriously."

Well, that just goes to show how out-of-touch I am, regardless of the fact that I had a soul-patch long ago and listen T Monk. This whole fad has been a disaster for me, because I've always been interested in art, design and mid-century jazz.

Well, I'm not changing... I'm not lifting a finger to appear irrelevant, in order to avoid being confused with the hip, missional, intentional, incarnational, conversational, crowd.

Stefan said...

I found a gem of a book in our church library entitled The Solitary Throne, by Samuel Zwemer, a man whom I had never previously heard of.

The book is a series of lectures given in Keswick, England in 1937. In the first lecture, Zwemer discussed the exclusivity of Christ. Here's a sampling of the opening lecture, where he touches upon the heterodoxies of the 1930s:

At home and abroad, even in Christian circles, there are many voies that are raised against the supremacy and the finality and the sufficiency of the Christian religion. Many people who profess and call themselves Christians have lost the sense of Christ's supremacy and sufficiency, and therefore also the urgency of their message.

And there is confusion of tongues, as we all know. When a Methodist bishop in America asserts in public that Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest Christian in India, one begins to wonder what it means when Gandhi says in his latest book: "I cannot place Christ on a solitary throne, because I believe God has been incarnate again and again." Or when in the Student Movement of America, one of our former leaders uses in his book, "Christ or Christianity?" words like these: "One of the most tragic blunders of Christendom has been the placing of such extreme emphasis upon the uniqueness of Jesus that an unbridgeable gulf has been created between Him and the rest of mankind. If all human beings were created in the spiritual image of God, and if there is only one kind of personality, then the only difference between Jesus and other men is one of maturity."


I'm not claiming that emergents today believe any of these things (the passage from Christ or Christianity? outright denies the Sonship of Christ), but that "rethinking Christianity" or whatever it is that they do is indeed not a new thing.

Bo Salisbury said...

The strangest thing is happening... my keyboard won't allow me to type "is" this morning. What happening here?

DJP said...

Al, thanks.

On Neidlinger... I guess. I don't want to turn this meta into a discussion about another post on another blog, but as I read that engagingly-written article and some relateds, she just seems ticked-off, with some good and acerbic observations... but I'm not so sure of her solution.

She says of her wonderful home church, "It's filled with uncool, normal people who just want to help and talk and connect and be real and accountable to each other." One horizontally-related style, as better than another. Then in another post she angrily tells everyone she's not on anyone's side.

So... I guess. But not far enough.

DJP said...

Stefan, that's really good, and makes my point. Thanks.

Bo, it depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

eastendjim said...

Maybe EC should stand for Ecclesiastes Church.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already in the ages before us. Ecc 1:9-10

Short Thoughts said...

For anyone to do self-promotion by claiming to be new and original is the height of folly,ignorance, or arrogance. And perhaps it is all the above.

Al said...

Dan, I think you are right; she is 'downstream' from what you are talking about. What does community end up looking like when pastors ape the age? When the pastors of our churches labor “hard to burr the edges off the Biblical call to holiness, self-denial, and world-renunciation” what does that do to a body? She has seen it and wants to knock the pseudo-Starbucks out of someone’s hand.

Our pastors are going to be imitated. If they are posers and no imitators of Christ, their disciples are going to be a caricature of their faux grit and realism. And that is as ugly as it gets.

al sends

DJP said...

Yes, Al! Exactly. My instant, instinctive and gut-response to virtually every vid I see or thing I read from this crowd is, "Are they serious? Do they not know what a self-parody they're being?" It's like something from Monty Python, or someone from N.I.C.E. in Lewis' That Hideous Strength. It's such a sad, surreal scene.

LeeC said...

OK, just when I get all prideful in thinking not much can suprise me you go and humble me by using use "grok" on me.

Never expected to see that "word" here. lol!

You know what they say..."The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Blank Slate said...

Hi;

I work with the kids and youth in my church and everything is about the level of cool. I have mentioned it over and over to the youth pastor and he didn't get it?? All I can say is the EC is just a bunch of kids trying to look cool to the world...

Just grow up would yuh!!

Slate

Michael said...

"struck a conveniently agnostic pose on the exclusivity of salvation through conscious faith in Jesus Christ alone?"

Dan,

If this isn't the direction you want this to go, I'll understand, but I do have a theological question on the statement above if I may...I know that minds deeper than my own hang out here.

Whether Arminian or Calvinist, it seems that the salvation of those who die in the womb, as infants, or as young children is accepted...which leads me to my question.

In the quote above, how does "infant salvation" align with the concept of "the exclusivity of salvation through conscious faith in Jesus Christ alone"...?

DJP said...

Michael, it is off-topic, though it's a fair question. Here is a post I wrote on that topic. My short answer is that I make that statement without qualification because it applies without qualification to everyone to whom we will ever speak, or for whom we will ever write, or by whom our sermons will ever be heard.

Michael said...

Thanks Dan...I"ll examine your post. And I completely agree with your qualifications....Amen !!!

Polycarp said...

DAN (like all those caps? :^)

I cannot recall disagreeing with you about any of your posts (maybe it happened, but I missed it, or it was likely just to minor to mention). Well, today is really no exception, as this is not so much a disagreement as it is a clarification. When you say that many of the hippies grew up wised up, I'm assuming here that "wised" perhaps just sort of rolled out with "grew" as it often does when we talk about people getting older. I'm not being nitpicky here, as I think--as you certainly must as one who has so thoroughly studied Proverbs--that wisdom is indeed such a distinct quality of not only growth, but of adopting more and more of the "mind" of God if you will.

With all of this said, I immediately picture that social cesspool of silly, drug-inspired, destructive renegades on the streets of Haight/Ashbury, the Berkley campus, Woodstock, or the DNC in Chicago--mostly middle class desperados searching for causes to fight against merely for the sake of fighting against them (and their parents), filling their pride as passionate advocates of nothing worthwhile. I know you have that picture--or one very close to it--clear in your mind as well, so I'll refrain from adding more description. My point is that while many of those rebels finally traded-in their sandals or dirty bare feet for work shoes, showered up, cut their hair, etc, the ones with an education, especially those with advanced degrees, have moved out into various dimensions of the society (including the church of course) they had such a hand in polluting with their poisionous rhetoric and values. More specifically, and sadly, many of these individuals have gone into positions of leadership. They may look cleaner, they may even wear suits and ties now, but their ideology and goals are still coming from the same defiant hoodlums that saturated university campuses back then. In this sense, they have grown up, but they have not--by and large--wised up.

I would assume that wisdom (and salvation for that matter) has come to those former hippies from that period who were not those students who became indoctrinated and empowered with academia as their greatest weapon against society. The uneducated hippies may have simply fallen into drug addiction and the aesthetic of the movement for superficial, non-ideological reasons (or at least their "causes" never had a chance to take root with a pseudo-legitimacy provided by degrees), and for them I think there is and has been great hope for rescue and the attainment of wisdom.In this case, I'm thinking of those who made their way to the Calvary tent meetings etc, and for many who began their life in Christ there, as the Lord has seen fit to grant them wisdom and they have indeed wised up. This category is full of those who were perhaps never true hippies to begin with, in the truly destructive sense of the word.

Loved your post Dan, but I suspect the number of those who were true hippies, with a university education and in pursuit of their "causes", are still pursuing the same tired causes in new garb--the ec for example?

DJP said...

Thanks P. I don't think we disagree. I did have in mind "wised up" as judged from a Biblical perspective.

Libbie said...

See, you needle me about blogging again, and then you write what I was thinking. meh.

*insert customary good post comment here*

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Blam! DJP, Dan the Man, this most excellent post was the theological-blog equivalent of a Mike Tyson uppercut to the pretentious jawbones of an Emerger leader and their enabler-devotees. And paradoxically, the most loving thing you can do is to deliver uppercuts or hard right crosses to these people (emergers and liberal Prot syncretists) to jolt them out of their self-deception and delusion.

Also, you and PJ make an excellent tag team, and your 1-2 combo is knockout punch against the pretentious false teachers. Well done!

I just love opening my Wednesday morning to a great history lesson and its relevance and application to an "emerging" segment of today's church.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Dan,

You have to win some sort of record for coming up with the most synonyms for "blur" or "gray" in one piece.

Stefan said...

When Dan mentioned hippies, I assumed he specifically had in mind that subset known as the "Jesus freaks."

I don't know enough about the movement to know what happened to the majority of them, but I have a nagging suspicion they migrated over to the neo-evangelical movement.

Stefan said...

Truth Unites...and Divides:

I love reading your comments, reading about the experiences you've been through, and so on.

Please forgive me, however, but I get a little uncomfortable when we start using the imagery of pugilism and professional wrestling to describe Phil's, Dan's, or Frank's latest post.

Some borderline Emergent reading this just might (by God's grace) be convicted in reading Dan's post, but his moment of clarity might be jarred if he then opens up the comment thread and reads us figuratively high-fiving each other over a "knockout punch."

We're Christians who know we've been saved by God's grace alone, and reciprocate that by showing love to others: fellow believers and non-believers alike, wishing that all would see and know the love, grace, and mercy of God as we see and know it.

Polycarp said...

DAN: Yes, I think so as well! Just wanted to make that distinction.

TUAD: a most excellent metaphor sir! Loved it!

Stefan said...

By the way...if my last comment is out of line, let any and all feel free to upbraid me.

Polycarp said...

Stefan: I was actually just going to tell TUAD that the hyper-sensitives among the emergent set are likely to take that metaphor as hostile, thus confirming their frequent accusations that a "lynch mob" occurs here among regulars against those who disagree. I did not offer this advice, though, because he used a boxing metaphor. I don't blame you for doing so, as I had that same impulse to make an unnecessary apology also for the fine sport of boxing. Until politically correct speech codes get their hands on this, I'm going to assume that when we use a boxing metaphor we are still referring to a descent enough sport (though I have no desire to ever do it). It's only a matter of time, as libs are probably trying to outlaw boxing as we speak.

NothingNewUnderTheSun said...

Dan- Great post.

While this might seem off topic, I do think our ‘TECH-Driven Life’ is making us not only distracted but it’s also making us more dependent on machines (less on God). In some ways I think the ECM is somewhat a manifestation of this, with their focus on being ‘new’ and trying to be culturally-relevant they’re actually following the secular and/or non-Christian culture into a dead end.

Two great articles below for those who might be interested:

Slow Death Via Chronic Distractions:

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article4362950.ece

Is Google making us stupid:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google

Mike Riccardi said...

"Are they serious? Do they not know what a self-parody they're being?" It's like something from Monty Python, or someone from N.I.C.E. in Lewis' That Hideous Strength. It's such a sad, surreal scene.

Can't tell you how many times I've thought this. And you kinda have to pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming, or you have to talk to someone to make sure you're not in a twilight zone... even though you kinda hope you are because there is no way these intelligent, seemingly-functional human beings just said something like that.

But then you're let down. And faced with the opportunity to try to engage that muck from some sort of starting point. And when you look at it from the bottom up, it just looks too tiring. So, in internet land, I usually think something like, "Phil, Dan, or Frank'll get 'em, eventually."

DJP said...

No exaggeration. You wonder if they say "goodbye" to the last person, go into a back room, and just dissolve into hysterics, gasping for breath, holding their sides, and dabbing their eyes.

Matt said...

What's new about the EC, Dan?

Well, they're the first to use the title "Emerging". Their forerunners were called Gnostics, syncretists, modernists, liberals, heretics, etc. The title "Emerging" is fresh, new, and exciting!

Also, they're the first to be able to exploit the internet to familiarize us with them via narcissistic glamour photos.

And lastly, Alexander, Hymenaeus , Origen, Muntzer, Rauschenbusch, and Fosdick weren't nearly forward-looking enough to endorse Obama.

Once again, Dan, you've misrepresented the real edgy stuff that's going on in the conversation.

DJP said...

Good points. My bad.

Stefan said...

"And lastly, Alexander, Hymenaeus , Origen, Muntzer, Rauschenbusch, and Fosdick..."

Hmmm. The current crop of leaders have more pronounceable names, at least.

Strong Tower said...

"In an ideological context, a grokked concept becomes part of the person who contributes to its evolution by improving the doctrine, perpetuating the myth, espousing the belief, adding detail to the social plan, refining the idea or proofing the theory."

And I thought they were holy rubber shoes...

Well, their not actually rubber their Croslite PCCR, a self-conforming product activated by body heat... hmmm spooky!

Solameanie said...

DJP: "On EC Prime, did Schleiermacher not cast off barren orthodoxy for barren mushodoxy? Did Harry Emerson Fosdick never share a nod and a wink with the world, over against Scripture? Was not Fosdick's liberalism completely dismantled, brick by brick, through the writings of the likes of J. Gresham Machen? Is their dimension bereft not only of Machen, but of Schaeffer, Clark, van Til, Henry, and a host of others."

Great post, but especially the above quoted part of it. Interestingly enough, the rank and file ECer out there has probably never heard of these guys (Fosdick and the earlier chaps), but the leaders indeed have. In fact, I'd say they've imbibed pretty deeply of them, at the same time they're probably imbibing on Killian's Irish Red during communion.

They would avoid Schaeffer and Machen much like Hugh Hefner would avoid Phyllis Schlafly.

Strong Tower said...

I am not goint to join stefan in deleting/reposting their is they're...

so sue me.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi Stefan and Polycarp,

Interesting counsel. I had no idea that some Emergers and Libbers would take a metaphor so literally and use it to broad-brush smear historic orthodox conservative evangelical Protestants.

I just wanted to convey the message that a jarring jolt to a heavily self-deceived individual is sometimes the most loving thing a believer in Christ can do. I don't want anyone to get fixated upon the boxing or pugilism metaphor.

Dorian said...

What a great post. I just finished volume 2 of Iain Murray's Bio of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. When I finally finished, looking back over both volumes, I was stunned at the differences between his ministry/preaching/personality etc over against Emerging church ministries/preaching/personalities.

Polycarp said...

TUAD: Indeed, no fixating on minor details allowed. You saw what happened when I became too fixated on lower case letters yesterday
:^0 ...yikes!

SOLA: "at the same time they're probably imbibing on Killian's Irish Red during communion"

Hilarious!

You almost cost me a new laptop, and a whole lot of embarrassment, as the coffee I was imbibing in a public place while I read this nearly sprayed forth out of my mouth.

Solameanie said...

What is it with coffee and keyboards? I think the person who invents some sort of spew-shield for laptops and desktop keyboards will earn a million.

I can sympathize, Polycarp. I've ruined a few in my lifetime, either from pounding or spewing. One extra irritant. If you're drinking hot tea with honey, that is REALLY hard to get out of the electronics.

Jason said...

we have way to much time on our hands...

enjoyolific postafaries.

Everyday Mommy said...

I love it when you write sassy posts, Dan.

Stefan said...

TUAD:

I do agree with your basic sentiment, "that a jarring jolt to a heavily self-deceived individual is sometimes the most loving thing a believer in Christ can do."

I stand by what I wrote earlier, but I know you were writing figuratively and not literally (of course). Maybe it's just my own sensibilities.

The Enforcer said...

DJP:

You sir, are what is wrong with the theological landscape of the world wide interweb; you and all your emergent ilk. I googled the word "emergent" because I wanted to defend the cause of Christ today and this post was the first that came up. You emergents are PATHETIC. PUT DOWN YOUR SCENTED CANDLES AND SHAVE YOUR SOUL PATCHES AND GO OPEN A BIBLE FOR A CHANGE!!!1 MAYBE GOD'S WORD WILL SLAP YOU UPSIDE THE HEAD LIKE A SWORD OF FLAMING TRUTH!!! OR MAYBE YOU WILL JUST GO TO HELL INSTEAD FOR DISOBEYING OUR LOVING LORD WHO WANTS TO FORGIVE YOU BUT CAN'T UNTIL YOU LET HIM BY READING YOUR BIBLE FOR ONCE AND PRAYING FOR GRACE!!! I'm not sorry for writing the above; I am simply zealous for the truth and AM SICK OF YOU POSTMODERN PSEUDO-PHILOSOPHERS MUCKING UP THE WATER WITH YOUR CLOVEN HOOVES AND FORKED TONGUES!!!! Go repent of your postmodernity, DJP and maybe I'll see you in Heaven after all (but I'm not holding my breath)!!!!

Gordon Cheng said...

(Hey, don't get mad at me; my dear wife makes fun of me when my posts are too long. I'm trying to cut back.)

Well, short is good. Your post is not really short, but it is good.

DJP said...

Remember Rule 5, friends.

DJP said...

Shorter than it might have been, Gordo!

(c;

Polycarp said...

I know...we've gotta follow rule #5and I'll honor that rule Dan.

But the enforcer sounds so hungry!

Maybe we could just feed him a small snack--you know, maybe some Machen munchers or Schaeffer snackers or Spurgeon surprises?

Andrew Jones said...

Matt said: "Well, they're the first to use the title "Emerging". "

well, actually, if you do a little homework on Christian missions you will see the term "emerging church"[and "emergent church is used in India in the 80's] appear quite often in relation to the church in Acts but also the new church structures rising up as a result of the mission work that precedes it.

The books using "emerging church" to refer to the current move of new forms of church in this culture go back to around 1968 and span all the way through. I have about half dozen books with this title written in the 60's and 70's and early 80's from USA, UK and Germany and both Protestant and Catholic.

This is why it bothers me to hear people refering to the EC as if it was new and as if it was dominated by Americans. Neither is true.

DJP said...

...which just moves us back to the original question, eh?

UinenMaia said...

Wonderful post, as usual. And very timely.

We just turned an effort to take our confirmation material down a disastrous road of emergence. The four pastors in the area were breathless about this new material. It was RELEVANT. It was TECHNOLOGICALLY MODERN. It was FUN.

There were skits, science lessons, "Top 10" lists, and "Learning in Motion" segments (do an interpretive dance of what happens when you are baptized). And there was no outdated methodology like outlines and lecture/discussion classes; they could go ONLINE to interact. Surely we would all see the wisdom of not questioning what it taught when it was so connected to where kids are in the world?

This was one of the few times I have thanked God for a committee. We looked at the content of the material and rejected it. First, because it sounded way more like adults trying to think and sound like teenagers than like anything actual teenagers would find real. It tried to be cool; it ended up being tired and silly.

Secondly, it was theologically unsound. It delighted in teaching that our faith is all about the "gray areas". For instance, the gray area of the creation "stories" (read myths), one of which "playfully allows for errors in creation" and shows that we actually can‘t know which gender was created first. One pastor argued, "errors aren't always a bad thing ... kids need to know that."

Someday, I'd love to introduce them to King Solomon...I've a feeling that they never met him.

Mesa Mike said...

Speaking of Pretentiousness and Gospel Ministry, the Lakeland rivial is apparently washed up. News reports popping up yesterday show that Todd is no longer annointed.

Confusion among his followers to come, I assume.

Martin Downes said...

Curiously when the church that I belong to in North Wales, and four other churches, seceded from their denomination they were referred to together in a newspaper article as the "emerging churches." This was back in the 1970s.

However, these emerging churches seceded because the denomination was not committed to the infallibility/inerrancy of Scripture, nor the gospel. And the five "emerging churches" were all thoroughly Calvinistic.

The Enforcer said...

Aha! "Rule #5" must be EMERGENT CODE-SPEAK for DON'T LET A WARRIOR OF TRUTH INTERRRUPT AN "INTERESTING CONVERSATION"!!!!1 You postmoderns are all the same. MAYBE IF YOU WOULD CRACK OPEN A BIBLE AND STOP DROPPING NAMES LIKE "MCLAREN" AND "EMERGENT" TO LOOK COOL AND GET BLOG TRAFFIC, THEN YOU WOULDN'T NEED TO ENFORCE YOUR CHICKIFIED "RULE 5" WHEN REAL THEOLOGIANS COME CRASHING THE PARTY!!!! But don't worry about the TRUTH, just go back to your EMERGING CONVERSATION!!!! I'm thinking about starting a new blog just to critique the emergent views of Dan Phillips and his "faddish" ilk. GROK on that, DAN!

DJP said...

...which is Trollspeak for, "You scored a direct hit; must derail!"

The Enforcer said...

And WHY, pray tell, does everyone here have their names in LOWER CASE???!!!!!1 You are all SOOOOOO tragically hip! Go sniff some incense and walk a prayer labyrinth, SISSIES!

The Enforcer said...

Hey, why is MY name in lowercase???!!!!1 Are you trying to turn me into a postmodern too???!!!!

Mesa Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Enforcer said...

DJP said:
"I bow to your superior intellect and theological prowess, Enforcer. What other golden nuggets of advice do you have for me and my emergent ilk?"

I'm glad you asked Dan. HOW ABOUT READING YOUR BIBLE FOR ONCE - I WOULD SUGGEST STARTING IN GENESIS AND READING ASLL THE WAY THRUOGH TO REVELATION WHERE YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS SPEND ETERNITY IN HELL! I would give you proof texts but UNFORTUNATELY I DO NOT HAVE MY BIBLE RIGHT NEXT TO MY COMPUTER AND EVEN THOUGH I HAVE THE WHOLE THING MEMEORIZED, I DIDN'T MEMEROIZE THE NUMBERS AND CHAPTERS AND FOOTNOTES BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT INSPIRED. SO THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT DAN! WILL YOU RENOUNCE POSTMODERNISM AND ENTER THE RANKS OF THE TRULY SAVED OR GO YOUR WAYWARD WAY DOWN THE PATH OF DESTRUCTION???!!! BUT THEN AGAIN, YOU EMERGENTS ARE SO ELITIST - I THINK I WILL STOP WAISTING MY TIME ACTUALLY TRYING TO HAVE A BIBLICALLY SOUND "DIALOGUE" AND JUST GO START MY OWN BLOG, WHERE i CAN DIALOGUE WITH YOU FROM A SAFE DISTANCE!!!!!1

Mike Riccardi said...

See my comment on the 13th, at 11:27 AM.

The Enforcer said...

See my post on The Daily Grok from 5 minutes ago

"Why Pyromaniac Dan Phillips is an emergent imposter - 2 of 50"

(it's a series)

threegirldad said...

There are times when I really, really wish that Blogger weren't free. This is one of them.

Polycarp said...
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