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J_Edwards #28791 Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:18 AM
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You would think philosophers and academic types who only wrote in journals that other philosphers and academic types read would have no influence on society, but they actually do have quite a bit of influence. Kirkegard was very influential. A philospher can write some ideas somewhere, and twenty years later, what the philospher wrote effects the way the guy on the street views himself.

So we can't say McLaren is not influential. But is it really fair to take the 'emergent' label away from non-McLaren supporters who want it so bad? I don't see why anyone would really want the title so bad. No one can really figure out what it means.

My own definition is that being 'emergent' is about discussing how to reach Post-Moderns using abstract language so that it is difficult to put it down in concrete words, but that does not seem to describe the webpage M Paul referred us to.

M Paul
Btw, the web page contains some good ideas. I think it is a little fuzzy on the 'preaching' bit by mixing preaching with prophesying. 'Preaching' in translation almost always always occur in contexts that refer to evangelistic preaching, with one possible exception in one of Paul's letters to Timothy. There are three Greek words translated 'preach.' This is good for us to understand when we read 'preach' in translation, so we can keep evangelistic events and what we do in church separate.

Prophesying is to edify the church. It is generally, speaking as moved by the Spirit of God. Paul does not use 'preaching' and 'prophesying' interchangeable.

Of course, one could prophesy while preaching. Michael Green makes a case for Ante-Nicene prophet-preachers in his word _Evangelism in the Early Church_.

The

gnarley #28792 Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:49 PM
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Interesting to see this thread. I haven't been here in a while. I've been "battling" this issue for almost 2 years now at my current church. Thankfully (and maybe due to prayers from this forum) my husband sees the error of Brian McLaren after reading for himself.
I'm glad to see that Joe has read this stuff for himself. I appreciate his comments. I think when critics come out to say things against these false teachers it is definately more crediable to say that the sources have been looked at. Well I have done way more than my share of reading of McLaren and others. I'm done reading these authors because my brain and spirit just can't take anymore. Well we are done with our talks with our pastors and I even went in front of our elder board (my husband was there because he's one of the elders) about this whole issue. Like Kalled2Preach, our sr. pastor won't throw McLaren out the window, but sees something valuable in some of the stuff he's addressing. And it's even worse with our associate - he's actually used McLaren with the sr. high kids and he's still promoting Donald Miller's "Blue Like Jazz" at our youth's website. But it's not just McLaren, its Rob Bell too and others. Our sr. pastor said Rob Bell (who pastors Mars Hill CHurch in Michigan - a very large emergent church) has got some of the best preaching and exegesis for today! Well that was enough for me right there with that statement. And out of curiousity I've even gone to Rob Bell's church site and listened to a couple of his sermons for myself. But considering he's endorsed at least one of McLaren's books that I know of, that's a big problem for me.
Kalled I don't mean any disrespect to you, but I just can't see how you see any value in McLaren. Surely there is somebody out there from Christian Orthodoxy that's addressed postmodernity and reaching today's generation. Why turn to McLaren for any answers (which he's very, very short on clarity). McLaren is definately not coming from this boat (orthodoxy). And McLaren is running around with some very problemsome folks - Steve Chalke (McLaren's endorsed his book), Alan Jones, McLaren says that NT Wright has been very influential in his writings, etc. And I don't even have a "Reformed" background and I see this, I'm just a Christian who knows the Word and I can clearly see (and my husband too) that McLaren is a false teacher. He's got another book coming out in the Spring too - the title is "The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that could Change Everthing". Hmmm.....what's this one going to say?

We are finally leaving our church and will be gone by Christmas. My husband let the cat out of the bag just last week. I cannot stay in a church where the leaders are so blinded by the error of this man and other authors and things that have crept in our church and not questioned enough (except by me). There are about 4 churches that I'd like to visit. Because of my wonderful homeschooling community that I'm in I've found out about the different churches around here. Hopefully my husband and I will be in agreement where we go.

#28793 Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:17 PM
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Kalled said:
"Has anyone here actually read McLaren's book or has everyone just read critiques about it?"


I read these BEFORE I knew there were any criticisms:
"A New Kind of Christian" by McLaren, "Messy Spirituality" by Mike Yaconelli, "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning, "Prayer" by Richard Foster and part of his "Spiritual Disciplines", "Wild At Heart" by John Eldredge, another book abou Theophostic Ministry (can't remember the name off the top of my head).

All these books were promoted and used at my church, I had problems with all of them and there are various degrees of error in them (also not all mentioned above are "emergent"). After being so bothered (especially with McLaren) I started hunting online and found several site with criticisms (there are more now) and discovered that there were others seeing the same exact thing I did. Interesting huh? Well then I continued to read more - "More Ready Than You Realize", "Finding Faith" and the second book after "New Kind of Christian" (can't remember the title). I've also read Dan Kimball's "The Emerging Church" (which our current worship pastor says he found good and wants to use ideas from the book for our worship). and the latest I've read is Donald Miller's "Blue Like Jazz" (currently promoted to our youth).

Think that's enough??? It's probably been a sin the amount of money I've spent in these books.
My reaction to these books is not that I have a boxed Christianity and that these don't fit into the box. It is error - clear and simple. It is a gift that I have this discernment as not everyone sees the error.
Have you read D.A. Carson's book about the emergent church? I would highly suggest it if you haven't.

janean #28794 Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:51 PM
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Janean

Actually, someone gave me a copy of Blue Like Jazz a few weeks ago, but I have not started reading it yet. What do you see that is wrong with the book? I just skimmed a few pages and it seemed to have a lot of rambling one about some storyline.

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Kalled I don't mean any disrespect to you, but I just can't see how you see any value in McLaren. Surely there is somebody out there from Christian Orthodoxy that's addressed postmodernity and reaching today's generation. Why turn to McLaren for any answers (which he's very, very short on clarity). McLaren is definately not coming from this boat (orthodoxy). And McLaren is running around with some very problemsome folks - Steve Chalke (McLaren's endorsed his book), Alan Jones, McLaren says that NT Wright has been very influential in his writings, etc. And I don't even have a "Reformed" background and I see this, I'm just a Christian who knows the Word and I can clearly see (and my husband too) that McLaren is a false teacher. He's got another book coming out in the Spring too - the title is "The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that could Change Everthing". Hmmm.....what's this one going to say?

I didn't take anything you said as disrespect to me, so you're fine <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

As far as what I see in McLaren's writing as of value, it gives a very real look at the perspective the majority of Christians in our churches have today. The people in our churches, whether they will come out and say it or not, believe that people from other faiths will be in heaven with us even if they don't believe the Gospel or are hostile to it. He also states it in the way that the people in our churches would say it. We need to understand where our people are at if we are to minister effectively to them.

Secondly, He does a good job of pointing out the 7 different Jesuses he has found in his life (A Generous Orthodoxy). I thought this was very eye-opening having been raised Baptist. It didn't seem that the views of Jesus that various Cristian groups have are wrong, but they are putting their focus in one area rather than the entirety of Jesus and His life and ministry. This idea is something that all Christian traditions can learn from.

Also, McLaren is not ashamed of what he believes, and because he's not, his works are readily accessible. Granted, Orthodox people are out there and readily accessible, but there are not many Orthodox writers writing to the 18-30 age group. Most of it is directed at people (and a lot of the time women) in their 40's and on up. McLaren writes boldly to the people who the church has been overlooking for a long time...the people fresh out of youth group, in college, and just out of college. The lost generation in most of our churches. We can learn from his example and start actually ministering to people my age. That is what he is doing afterall. I'm not saying promote his beliefs, but do some ministry where it is obviously needed.

Lastly, McLaren promotes thinking among Christians (as does Rob Bell and others). Yes, Orthodox authors do this, but they do so to make people think about what they already believe and reinforce beliefs already held by the individual. McLaren and others actually talk about and inspire genuine thought and questioning. I don't understand why this is such a bad thing.

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janean said:
I read these BEFORE I knew there were any criticisms:
"A New Kind of Christian" by McLaren, "Messy Spirituality" by Mike Yaconelli, "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning, "Prayer" by Richard Foster and part of his "Spiritual Disciplines", "Wild At Heart" by John Eldredge, another book abou Theophostic Ministry (can't remember the name off the top of my head).

All these books were promoted and used at my church, I had problems with all of them and there are various degrees of error in them (also not all mentioned above are "emergent"). After being so bothered (especially with McLaren) I started hunting online and found several site with criticisms (there are more now) and discovered that there were others seeing the same exact thing I did. Interesting huh? Well then I continued to read more - "More Ready Than You Realize", "Finding Faith" and the second book after "New Kind of Christian" (can't remember the title). I've also read Dan Kimball's "The Emerging Church" (which our current worship pastor says he found good and wants to use ideas from the book for our worship). and the latest I've read is Donald Miller's "Blue Like Jazz" (currently promoted to our youth).

Think that's enough??? It's probably been a sin the amount of money I've spent in these books.
My reaction to these books is not that I have a boxed Christianity and that these don't fit into the box. It is error - clear and simple. It is a gift that I have this discernment as not everyone sees the error.

I'm very glad you've actually done some reading. Too many people rely on critiques and word-of-mouth and base their opinions on that alone.

I've not read any of them you've mentioned, but I've read a lot of articles and excerpts from Emergent books. Some is good, but the rest is silliness.

Quote
Have you read D.A. Carson's book about the emergent church? I would highly suggest it if you haven't.

I've not read this, but thanks for the recommendation! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

#28797 Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:17 PM
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Kalled said:
[quote]
The people in our churches, whether they will come out and say it or not, believe that people from other faiths will be in heaven with us even if they don't believe the Gospel or are hostile to it. He also states it in the way that the people in our churches would say it. We need to understand where our people are at if we are to minister effectively to them.[/quote]

Could you clarify here?, it doesn't make sense.

Well it's interesting to hear your point of view. Again I respectfully think you're nuts!! ( if there's a respectful way to say that:)) Sorry but that's what I think - and that's what I think about my associate pastor too. Unfortunately he's been deceived with McLaren and he has told me that he agrees and relates to Mclaren that the gospel is a bigger thing then we've all learned and known in the last 500 years and other things. Not sure if he (McLaren) says this in Generous Orthodoxy, but McLaren says this in A New Kind of Christian and other places. All the "good" stuff you are seeing from McLaren is a deception and it's "clouding" all the kooky stuff and theology that he's presenting.

Well enough said.

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The people in our churches, whether they will come out and say it or not, believe that people from other faiths will be in heaven with us even if they don't believe the Gospel or are hostile to it. He also states it in the way that the people in our churches would say it. We need to understand where our people are at if we are to minister effectively to them.

Could you clarify here?, it doesn't make sense.

I meant that there seems to be a lot more people who believe other faiths will be in heaven in our churches than we want to admit, and McLaren is one of those people. By hearing him say it, and by looking at some of the Statistics that Barna I believe it is has done recently, it appears that the problem is much more widespread than we'd want to think and therefore we need to address the issue. McLaren, in some way, should open our eyes to this belief that may be held among some in our very own congregations.

Quote
Well it's interesting to hear your point of view. Again I respectfully think you're nuts!! ( if there's a respectful way to say that:)) Sorry but that's what I think - and that's what I think about my associate pastor too. Unfortunately he's been deceived with McLaren and he has told me that he agrees and relates to Mclaren that the gospel is a bigger thing then we've all learned and known in the last 500 years and other things. Not sure if he (McLaren) says this in Generous Orthodoxy, but McLaren says this in A New Kind of Christian and other places. All the "good" stuff you are seeing from McLaren is a deception and it's "clouding" all the kooky stuff and theology that he's presenting.

Well enough said.

The good that McLaren points out does seem to make the silly stuff in his books not seem as "bad" (not in my eyes though). His stuff is littered with error, but we can't rely on the critiques to tell us this. Some of the critiques overlook things, and the critiques only point out the glaring errors. Some of the more "hidden" errors can only be found by reading. That is why I commend you for actually doing the reading. As I said before, too many people rely on the critiques rather than the original source.

#28799 Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:01 PM
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Kalled2Preach said:
As far as what I see in McLaren's writing as of value, it gives a very real look at the perspective the majority of Christians in our churches have today. The people in our churches, whether they will come out and say it or not, believe that people from other faiths will be in heaven with us even if they don't believe the Gospel or are hostile to it. . . We need to understand where our people are at if we are to minister effectively to them.
I find this statement incredulous!! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> What is McLaren's and yours (since you agree with him on this point) definition of "Christian"? Those who adhere, even loosely, to the BIBLICAL definition of Christian would repudiate any such idea that those outside of historic Christianity and its teachings can be saved. Within the milieu of what is currently called Christianity there are millions of individuals who profess to be right with God but who are in need of God's grace, regeneration, and to show forth genuine repentance and a living faith in the Lord Christ. It doesn't take much effort when talking with an individual to find out "where they are" as it pertains to the truth and where they stand in relation to it. It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with their lifestyle, although, one's lifestyle certainly is indicative of what a person believes. (Prov 23:7) It's really not that difficult to determine whether or not a person needs to hear the BIBLICAL Gospel in order to be saved or whether the person is in need of sound teaching for sanctification.

Quote
Kalled2Preach continues:
Secondly, He does a good job of pointing out the 7 different Jesuses he has found in his life (A Generous Orthodoxy). I thought this was very eye-opening having been raised Baptist. It didn't seem that the views of Jesus that various Cristian groups have are wrong, but they are putting their focus in one area rather than the entirety of Jesus and His life and ministry. This idea is something that all Christian traditions can learn from.
This implies that the orthodox Christian Church has failed miserably to preach the "whole counsel of God" concerning the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I've pointed out to you before, it just may be that you are woefully lacking in your reading of good books. There has been a plethora of books written over many hundreds of years on the Lord Christ and which, IMHO, have lacked nothing in this regard. There is only "1" Jesus Christ and not "7 different Jesuses". Although the fulness of Christ cannot be fully comprehended by any man, I seriously doubt McLaren has discovered anything new which others have not understood, preached and taught. Can you offer one or two of these "7 different Jesuses" which you think the historic Church has failed to focus upon?

Quote
Kalled2Preach then adds:
Also, McLaren is not ashamed of what he believes, and because he's not, his works are readily accessible. Granted, Orthodox people are out there and readily accessible, but there are not many Orthodox writers writing to the 18-30 age group. Most of it is directed at people (and a lot of the time women) in their 40's and on up. McLaren writes boldly to the people who the church has been overlooking for a long time...the people fresh out of youth group, in college, and just out of college. The lost generation in most of our churches. We can learn from his example and start actually ministering to people my age. That is what he is doing afterall. I'm not saying promote his beliefs, but do some ministry where it is obviously needed.
Again, I find this alleged sweeping "observation" to be groundless. And secondly, what is so different about someone in the 18-30 age group than someone, particularly women in the 40's? Are they not all under condemnation before God? Are they all not dead in sins and without hope in this world unless God grants them repentance and faith in Christ? I find nothing in Scripture that would indicate that any of Christ's disciples preached any other Gospel than that which they received. And that one Gospel was preached indiscriminately to all men everywhere regardless of their age, national origin, race, etc. There are no exceptions. ALL have the same problem, needs and thus there is only one remedy offered to them. This is the beauty of the Gospel of Christ; no one is excluded from salvation in Christ, for God is no respecter of persons. The historic Gospel is relevant and applicable to ALL. It makes not a wit of difference whether the person is an 18 year old Punk Rocker or a 60 year old CEO of a large corporation. They are both in the same "boat" and need to hear the ONE Gospel, repent of their sins and believe upon Christ.

Quote
Kalled2Preach ends by saying:
Lastly, McLaren promotes thinking among Christians (as does Rob Bell and others). Yes, Orthodox authors do this, but they do so to make people think about what they already believe and reinforce beliefs already held by the individual. McLaren and others actually talk about and inspire genuine thought and questioning. I don't understand why this is such a bad thing.
Yet another vacuous statement which is based upon fallacy. How can it be said that Orthodox authors reinforce false beliefs and/or practices among people when in fact they clearly and even forcefully urge their readers/hearers to REPENT of their sins, which include false ideas and practices? Can you give me some examples of Orthodox authors who do not challenge wrong thinking but rather reinforce them?

It seems all too clear that McLaren and his clones have erected many strawmen and then argue against them, then foist their own false ideas as valid remedies. Obviously, he/they have no love for the truth as has been once delivered unto the saints and feel that they are not "productive", i.e., they don't give the results which they feel they should. When one abandons the immutable truth concerning the sovereignty of God in ALL things, then it is easy to become disgruntled with what is seen around them. It would appear that God is incapable of bringing about that which THEY feel should be happening. So, they dream up these schemes to reach people and bring forth all manner of spurious doctrines and practices in order to accomplish their ideas of what should be. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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#28800 Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:52 AM
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Kalled said:
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Lastly, McLaren promotes thinking among Christians (as does Rob Bell and others). Yes, Orthodox authors do this, but they do so to make people think about what they already believe and reinforce beliefs already held by the individual. McLaren and others actually talk about and inspire genuine thought and questioning. I don't understand why this is such a bad thing.

As someone (and I assume you believe this) who believes in historic Reformed theology, I am a little shocked that you would say something like that.
What I mean by that is when the whole council of God is preached, rather than what is happening in many Churches today. It can not help but make Christians think about what they believe.
I have been a Calvinist for about 7 years now (though I haven't counted the years) and I can tell you that at no point in my Christian walk have I been forced to think as much as I have in that 7 years.
One thing that I have found rather alarming in the Church today is that when someone such as myself talks in a dogmatic way, many Christians (or so called Christians) either change the topic, or avoid me.
This happens even in some Calvinist Churches, where one should expect to be able to talk about Reformed theology. Usually it is because of leadership, who although they believe in historic Reformed Theology (either Credo or Paedo), but don’t talk about it openly, lest they offend and their membership falls.

Start preaching the whole council of God and it will solve a lot of the problems you are referring to. Yes, some will get offended, but as CH Spurgeon once said: “If the doctrines of Grace offend, preach them all the more!” (that may not be an exact quote)

Tom

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Tom said:
Kalled said:
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Lastly, McLaren promotes thinking among Christians (as does Rob Bell and others). Yes, Orthodox authors do this, but they do so to make people think about what they already believe and reinforce beliefs already held by the individual. McLaren and others actually talk about and inspire genuine thought and questioning. I don't understand why this is such a bad thing.

As someone (and I assume you believe this) who believes in historic Reformed theology, I am a little shocked that you would say something like that.
What I mean by that is when the whole council of God is preached, rather than what is happening in many Churches today. It can not help but make Christians think about what they believe.
I have been a Calvinist for about 7 years now (though I haven't counted the years) and I can tell you that at no point in my Christian walk have I been forced to think as much as I have in that 7 years.
One thing that I have found rather alarming in the Church today is that when someone such as myself talks in a dogmatic way, many Christians (or so called Christians) either change the topic, or avoid me.
This happens even in some Calvinist Churches, where one should expect to be able to talk about Reformed theology. Usually it is because of leadership, who although they believe in historic Reformed Theology (either Credo or Paedo), but don’t talk about it openly, lest they offend and their membership falls.

Start preaching the whole council of God and it will solve a lot of the problems you are referring to. Yes, some will get offended, but as CH Spurgeon once said: “If the doctrines of Grace offend, preach them all the more!” (that may not be an exact quote)

Tom

But, as you aluded to, the whole council of GOd isn't being preached in many (even Reformed) churches. This leaves the door open for the McLaren's of the world to promote their ideas. Not that I agree with all their ideas, but they inspire thinking among the people of God, and that is a good thing.

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Kalled2Preach said in reply to Tom:
But, as you aluded to, the whole council of GOd isn't being preached in many (even Reformed) churches. This leaves the door open for the McLaren's of the world to promote their ideas. Not that I agree with all their ideas, but they inspire thinking among the people of God, and that is a good thing.
The problem with your conclusion is that the vast majority of churches have always preached "another gospel" and filled their pews with unbelieving "Christians". They have resorted to the type of errors for years which McLaren and his ilk have now made popular all the more. What McLaren is serving up is a meal laced with poison.


1 Corinthians 5:6-7 (ASV) "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also hath been sacrificed, [even] Christ:"



The orthodox writers of the true Church, both past and present, have served up a full-course meal that is beneficial for the mind and the transformation of the soul so that those who eat of it are made in the image of Christ. Why settle for a deadly mix which will eventually bring about eternal death?

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#28803 Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:16 AM
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But, as you aluded to, the whole council of GOd isn't being preached in many (even Reformed) churches. This leaves the door open for the McLaren's of the world to promote their ideas. Not that I agree with all their ideas, but they inspire thinking among the people of God, and that is a good thing.

Then again, you could say that about JWs. From what I know about them, they are thinkers themselves. Although they believe a false gospel, all one needs to know that they know their false gospel better than the average Christian, is to engage them in a conversation about the Bible.
You had better know your stuff or you will be blown out of the water.

Tom

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M Paul said:

I don't know very much about Cho. The point is, that the emerging church does not have to involve theology -- but organizational structure, focus, styles of communication.

Does this mean that theological soundness is not a priority?

Quote
Your answer seems to reflect that you simply don't want to understand what may be going on presently, if it's different than what you have already accepted.

What I understand about the house church movement is precisely where my objections to it come in.


Kyle

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Link said:
The house church movement exists independantly of the 'emerging church ' movement.

Well, have you even done a search on the internet with something like Google or Yahoo?? Have you visited an emergent forum and looked at what they have to say about it?? How you can say the house church movement is not at the center of the emerging church is simply beyond me. However, I'm not actually speechless, but I just think you have to explore what is going on more. Just my opinion.

Regards,

M Paul

I have a friend who promotes the house church movement and he has nothing to do with the emergent church. In fact, I was hearing about the house church movement long before I heard anything about the emergent church, and you're the first person I've seen to treat the movements as one in the same.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
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