03 July 2009

Emergent Flowchart

posted by Phil Johnson



Submitted by Ben Mordecai.
(click chart for larger version)

Phil's signature

47 comments:

Paul said...

Absolutely brilliant.

Stan McCullars said...

Funny yet accurate.

Solameanie said...

Oh, that's hysterical!

Thanks for making my morning.

Patrick Eaks said...

I believe that a lot of those "ideas" are from our adversary!

1Ti 4:1 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Scott said...

I'd be interested in your thoughts on this article at the Emergent Village blog.

http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/the-palatable-gospel

Thanks.

Bruce Mills said...

Succinct and so very true!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Satirical Truth.

When they get mocked and laughed at for having no clothes so to speak, they then get defensive.

On whom or what do they cast the blame then?

Will Emergers ever look in the mirror and see how their foolishness originates within?

Hayden said...

Scott,

I think that article is a great representation of the flowchart. All should print out the flowchart and then follow along the article.

Priceless!

Greg said...

Suddenly, it all makes sense...

The Squirrel said...

OK, now I get it!

Always nice to have pictures.

:o)

~Squirrel

gringa said...

Oh, that is too funny! Right on.

Everyday Mommy© said...

Chuckling.

John said...

Geez, guys, why is it always after I take a big gulp of coffee. Cleaning my monitor again...

Al said...

You are talking about things you don't understand and you are fearful. Plato wrote about this in his analogy of the cave. You should read it sometime.

If you were open minded at all you would also read Platonic thought all through Paul's letter to the Romans and it carries on through Augustine.

The fact that you bring this up via a blog post really shows your short sightedness when it comes to eschatology of all things. Die to yourself, do ministry, and live for Jesus.

So get off our back...

al sends

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Al Sends: "So get off our back..."

Proof that the Emergent Flowchart is true!

Scott said...

Hayden -

Yes, I suppose the article does prove the flow chart. I don't want to be too disregarding of those in the emerging/emergent group, but I also think they tend to veer off the path some while blameshifting. I mean, we have been blameshifting since the early days, right? We all do it. But, the article, also does point out the hard-headed faults of the typical evangelicals. So I suppose we must be willing to listen a little more as well. Both sides need to be challenged.

Stan McCullars said...

On my drive to work this morning I thought I had come up with a new word: pervergence.

A few minutes ago I decided to google the word and see if it already existed and there were 108 results for it.

A definition I found that seems to fit the topic at hand: an emerging congruence in negative social features.

Oh, well.

Phil Johnson said...

Al Sends:

:)

Rachael Starke said...

I used to work as a technical writer and often used flowcharts to break down complex sets of instructions. But in the back of my mind was a constant sense of frustration that I was giving instructions about totally worthless things that would within months be good for nothing but the recycle bin.

Way to use a flowchart "redemptively". Brilliant.

DJP said...

It really a brilliant chart.

Isn't it remarkable that it is things like this and the PoMotivators - rather than extended, learned, well-reasoned essays - that score some of the most devastating hits on this pretentious, inflated, faux-movement?

founderandperfecter said...

Glad you guys like it. Maybe I need to make a series :)

trogdor said...

Scott,

I didn't have time to read the entire article, but right off the bat there's something that illustrates a lot of the difference. After several quotes accusing the emergs of trying to make the gospel palatable, the author comments:

"There are a number of ideas inherent in statements such as these.

Firstly, there is an admission that the gospel as normally presented might not be that palatable. However instead of directing the question towards themselves, the detractors aim it at Emergents. Instead of asking “What is wrong with my gospel?” they would rather say “Your gospel is wrong.” It hardly needs to be said that this posture is a matter of the splinter in the eye of another obscuring the log in one’s own."

So when we accuse emergs of trying to make the gospel palatable, it's because we really wish our own gospel was more palatable? This conclusion is rather odd.

But the main point is in his first startling revelation, that such accusations amount to an admission that maybe our gospel isn't palatable. This revelation may come as a major surprise to much of his readership, but for me his statement isn't nearly strong enough. So lest we be accused again of hiding this tacit admission so that he can only decode it by reading between the lines, let me spell it out:

The gospel is NOT palatable.

Let me go further. If the message you're preaching is palatable, it's not the gospel. If it doesn't offend to the prideful core of your being, it's not the gospel. If it is embraced enthusiastically without falling under conviction, without struggle, without thought of what must change and what you must give up, without repentance, it's not the gospel. If preaching that message is certain to make you more popular, it's not the gospel. If you can't see any way people will despise you for what you believe and teach, it's not the gospel. If you can reasonably expect that the world will respond to the message with "Oh wow, that's GREAT!" without God-wrought change, it's not the gospel.

So yeah, I'll stick by the accusations (and their own admissions) that they're trying to change the gospel into something palatable, and deny that it's secretly a jealous desire to have my own message be more palatable. I'd rather have the true gospel.

For a good example, see Dan's post above this one. Think the world can't get enough of hearing how there's nothing commendable about us, how the cross says much about God's sovereign love and nothing about our worth? That message is as unpalatable as anything you could imagine. It also happens to be true, and our only hope.

Phil Johnson said...

founderandperfecter:

Just noticed I misspelled your name. Sorry. Squishy keyboard on my laptop.

Scott said...

trogdor -

I agree with your statements about the gospel, and I do especially like this: Let me go further. If the message you're preaching is palatable, it's not the gospel. If it doesn't offend to the prideful core of your being, it's not the gospel. If it is embraced enthusiastically without falling under conviction, without struggle, without thought of what must change and what you must give up, without repentance, it's not the gospel. If preaching that message is certain to make you more popular, it's not the gospel. If you can't see any way people will despise you for what you believe and teach, it's not the gospel. If you can reasonably expect that the world will respond to the message with "Oh wow, that's GREAT!" without God-wrought change, it's not the gospel.

But in this statement of yours, I would want to restate just a bit: the cross says much about God's sovereign love and nothing about our worth

The cross shouts our value. That God Himself would give up His Son for us. We must mean something to Him. And I think you would agree, I'm just sure you were trying to emphasise sin.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

HA HA HA HA HA!

Rachael Starke said...

"Isn't it remarkable that it is things like this and the PoMotivators - rather than extended, learned, well-reasoned essays - that score some of the most devastating hits on this pretentious, inflated, faux-movement?"

But Dan, essays and well-reasoned arguments are so, so, last century. Lastmillennium. The modern mind just doesn't resonate with that outdated format anymore.

What we need are pictures. Short, pithy thoughts to promote reflection.

Maybe with a simple diagram or two....



:)

Frank Turk said...

That was unloving, so I will love it to make it all better.

donsands said...

Very nice flowchart.

Does Brian McLaren fit this chart? Here's a quote I recently fell upon.

"This is, one of the huge problems is the traditional understanding of hell. Because if the cross is in line with Jesus’ teaching then—I won’t say, the only, and I certainly won’t say even the primary—but a primary meaning of the cross is that the kingdom of God doesn’t come like the kingdoms of the this world, by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes through suffering and willing, voluntary sacrifice. But in an ironic way, the doctrine of hell basically says, no, that that’s not really true. That in the end, God gets His way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination, just like every other kingdom does. The cross isn’t the center then. The cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God.

...Yeah. And I heard one well-known Christian leader, who—I won’t mention his name, just to protect his reputation. Cause some people would use this against him. But I heard him say it like this: The traditional understanding says that God asks of us something that God is incapable of Himself. God asks us to forgive people. But God is incapable of forgiving. God can’t forgive unless He punishes somebody in place of the person He was going to forgive. God doesn’t say things to you—Forgive your wife, and then go kick the dog to vent your anger. God asks you to actually forgive

And there’s a certain sense that, a common understanding of the atonement presents a God who is incapable of forgiving. Unless He kicks somebody else." -Brian McLaren

christianlady said...

Now we need a "seeker friendly" "celebrate recovery" or whatever they're calling it now flow chart...

Mike Riccardi said...

The cross shouts our value. That God Himself would give up His Son for us. We must mean something to Him. And I think you would agree, I'm just sure you were trying to emphasise sin.

That's not true, Scott. Not at all, in fact. If you haven't yet read Dan's re-post from today, you should. Here's a relevant portion:

----
Fourth, Christ's love is revelatory of HIM, not of US. ... And the fact that God loved, and the wretches whom God loved, and the invincible fierceness with which God loved all say a great deal about God — and nothing about me.

Away with all self-help pop-psychologizing, that tries to find self-esteem in the Cross. Many say, “God loved me so much that He gave His Son to die for me — so I must be worth a lot! I must be worthy! I must be special!” I can’t easily imagine a more perverse line of reasoning. What the Cross says about us is that we’re helpless, we’re hopeless, we’re lost and doomed, and only the most extreme, radical, scandalous act on the part of God could redeem us from the wreck and ruin in which we’d buried ourselves!

The Cross says horrible things about us, as we are in ourselves, as Christ finds us! But it says wonderful things about God!
-----

It is a "self-help, pop-psychologized" gospel that says that because Jesus died for us we were valuable in His sight.

The Biblical Gospel is that Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame, for the joy set before Him (Heb 12:2). The joy set before Him was the intimate fellowship He'd always had with His Father from eternity past. Not the company of sinners like us.

The Biblical Gospel is that Christ Jesus, our great God and Savior, gave Himself to purify for Himself a people for His own possession (Titus 2:14).

Indeed, God saves us for His great name's sake (Is 43:25).

founderandperfecter said...

Didn't even notice Phil :)
Thanks for posting this.

Susan said...

LOL!!! :)

Atone said...

"Isn't it remarkable that it is things like this and the PoMotivators - rather than extended, learned, well-reasoned essays - that score some of the most devastating hits on this pretentious, inflated, faux-movement?"

...with Dan...as the rest of Christendom wryly smiles and shakes their head at the gross-mischaracterizations.

NoNothing said...

Too cool.

Frank Turk said...

Isn't Brad banned yet?

Should he be?

Apeleutheros said...

Genius!

DJP said...

"Banned" because he apparently thinks "the rest of Christendom" are smug, shallow, unreflecting tools?

Should that be Rule 8, or a subset of Rule 3.

Mesa Mike said...

Ah.. The pseudo-christian cult of emerg*ism.

Walter Martin did a talk on the cult of liberalism way back when. It's still very relevant. The emerg*ists are the same thing, only with a post-modern flavor.

founderandperfecter said...

If he's emergent, just run him through the chart.

If not...
give the chart a shot anyway.

Berean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Atone said...

If he's emergent, just run him through the chart.

If not...
give the chart a shot anyway.


Ben, I'm a five point Calvinist in the modern sense, and a "seven pointer" as John Piper magnificently describes here:

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/2006/1418_What_does_Piper_mean_when_he_says_hes_a_sevenpoint_Calvinist/

jeffdod said...

Scott,

It is usually quite difficult to glean any constructive criticism from material produced by emergents.

In order to consider a criticism, you have to know who or what is being criticized. However, with emergents, it seems to be the norm rather than the exception that they so grossly misrepresent an opponent's view that it is hard to tell exactly who or what they oppose. From what I have seen, they tend to oppose a caricature of evangelical Christianity.

I find this amazing. I have effectively interacted with (and presented the law and gospel to) Jews, Muslims, atheists, and Buddhists. I have had friendly debate with them that clarified our beliefs and differences, and led to further friendly interaction. However, I have never been able to have such a conversation with any emergent, either online or in person. It is almost as if "emergitude" is a mental illness that impairs one's ability to reason or to interact in an intelligent way with anyone who disagrees with them. They are supposed to be uber-tolerant, but I have found them to be very hostile (and disdainful) towards anyone who disagrees with them. This is evident in the Nic Paton post you linked to, and this has been my experience in dealing with many, many other emergents.

Berean said...

The Emergent Church has now Contemplatively Emerged with the Fresh Expressions Movement (Phase 2) of Catholicism embracing New Monasticism along its road way back "Home to Rome" Emergence Christianity Global Movement initiative.

Berean said...

Superb Chart.

Caleb Kolstad said...

Brilliant!

Tax Collector said...

I'm just really glad that the Word of God Himself will one day rule on Earth (as He does in Heaven) to clear up any doctrinal errors me/you/them might have.

(believing in the literal fulfillment of that prophecy of course)

Bill Lonas

humanitasremedium said...

AMAZING!