The Highway
Posted By: gnarley Emerging Church - Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:52 AM
Just exactly what is the "Emerging Church"?
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Emerging Church - Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:45 AM
Undefinable, according to many of its proponents.

Indefensible, as far as I'm concerned.
Posted By: gotribe Re: Emerging Church - Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:41 PM
What an excellent answer!
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Emerging Church - Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:09 PM
Emerging Church

I once heard this definition from a respected evangelical who will remain unnamed, “The former members of Churches now residing in Hell, but emerging to rebuild their sanctuaries upon earth once again.”

Here are some interesting articles that don't quit say it the same way:

Emerging Church

A Must Read: Brian McLaren's TULIP
Posted By: Wes Re: Emerging Church - Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:55 PM
The emerging church is concerned with the deconstruction and reconstruction of Protestant Christianity in a postmodern cultural context. I think you'll find the two links below helpful.

Emerging Church

The Emerging Church


Wes
Posted By: Link Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 05, 2005 3:31 PM
I looked this up a little over a month ago after coming across the phrase in a web page discussion.

Here is what it is the best I could figure out:

It started as discussions over the Internet. There is some kind of emergent church list. Many people in the movement are in what used to be called 'youth churches' that were geared to the youth, but a lot of people in these churches aren't youth anymore, so the name isn't accurate.

Emergent church discussions are kind of abstract sociological discussions about making the church relevant to people who hold to Post Modern philosophical views. Their churches may have discussion times after sermons, may be organized as traditional congregations or house churches, and some of their churches are into encouraging the arts. They tend to like chuches to be sort of grass roots.

Emergent people like to make lists that start with one pronoun like:

We want to love people.
We want to be bla bla bla
We do bla bla bla.

Long lists of 'we' statements. I can't remember the particulars.

'Emergent' does not apply to a specific theological stance. One of the movements most prominent people has written a book that some conservative evangelicals consider to contain some bad doctrine about the Bible. Since they are rethinking everything, some are rethinking doctrines a lot of evangelicals hold dear. However, these views about the Bible are not part and parcel of emergent docrine, since some emergent people hold to evangelical beliefs.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:10 PM
(As a side question)
Has anyone here actually read McLaren's book or has everyone just read critiques about it?

(Back to topic)
I think all too many times, the Reformed and Evangelical communities do everything they can to refute things that don't fit into their little box of what Christianity is supposed to look like. The emerging church is "unorthodox" compared to most "versions" of Christianity, and so everyone tries to refute it rather than trying to learn about it and grow from that knowledge.

This isn't to say that I support everything that they stand for. I think McLaren is wrong in some of his statements (I've actually read A Generous Orthodoxy). But at the same time, I think there is much that can be learned from what he has to say. There is much in this book (and possibly his other works as well) that can be edifying to the church, if we would all (myself included) simply heed the words of Jesus:

Do not judge, so that you won't be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log in your own eye? (Matthew 7:1-3 HCSB)

Here is an article written by somebody within the emerging church in the UK. It is about the theology of the emerging church. Maybe reading something from inside will better help to form a definition rather than simply reading what people who don't like it think of it.

Is there a distinctive approach to theologising for the emerging church?
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:05 PM
Kalled2Preach stated,

Quote
Has anyone here actually read McLaren's book or has everyone just read critiques about it?
I have read some of Mclaren’s books; A New Kind of Christian, Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives (Leonard Sweet, Andy Crouch, Brian D. McLaren, Erwin Raphael McManus, Michael Horton, Frederica Matthewes-Green), and have just finished reading Dan Kimball’s book, Emerging Worship. I have read only part of A Generous Orthodoxy.

In effect the Emerging Church is the Reformation in reverse (The Reverse Reformation). McLaren and others in the Emerging movement, reject the doctrine of the Church. If you have read A Generous Orthodoxy you know he rejects Total Depravity and he is consistent with the theology of redemption and justification drawn from N.T. Wright and the New Perspective on Paul. He removes the emphasis from reconciliation, substitution and judgment to mere human acts. As Tim Challies states,

Quote
But how can I not label as a heretic one who says the following:

He apologizes for his continued use of masculine pronouns to describe God. He proposes several solutions to this dilemma, including interchanging he and she or using the clumsy s/he. In the end he merely apologizes for the use of he, affirms that he considers God neither male nor female and tries to avoid using pronouns altogether. He goes on to say that the usage of the Father/Son imagery so prevalent in Scripture "contributes to the patriarchalism or chauvinism that has too often characterized Christianity."

That we have "misunderstood and misused Paul." He believes that traditional views of Paul have pitted him against Jesus so that we have "retained Jesus as Savior but promoted the apostle Paul to Lord and Teacher." He tells us that the result of today's Christianity is "a religion that Jesus might consider about as useful as many non-Christians consider it today."

In regards to Mary he expresses a realization that his Protestant faith has been impoverished "with its exlusively male focus." He explains how much we have missed, as Protestants, by failing to see the beauty of the incarnation through Mary.

That he rejects TULIP, all of the solas and biblical inerrancy, Further, he mentions the people who most understood what it meant to be biblical Christians as St. Francis, Mother Teresa and Billy Graham.
Add to this what McLaren wrote,

Quote
How do "I" know the Bible is always right? And if "I" am sophisticated enough to realize that I know nothing of the Bible without my own involvement via interpretation, I’ll also ask how I know which school, method, or technique of biblical interpretation is right. What makes a "good" interpretation good? And if an appeal is made to a written standard (book, doctrinal statement, etc.) or to common sense or to "scholarly principles of interpretation," the same pesky "I" who liberated us from the authority of the church will ask, "Who sets the standard? Whose common sense? Which scholars and why? Don’t all these appeals to authorities and principles outside the Bible actually undermine the claim of ultimate biblical authority? Aren’t they just the new pope?
Thus, while the Reformers believed that man could know/understand the Bible, the postmodernist cannot see past the weaknesses of the one who studies it. While the Reformers were fully aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in guiding the Christian through the Scriptures, the other does not! De Waay writes,

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"The term "postmodern" has come along to describe the results of the rejection of both reason and Scripture. We are left floating in a sea of subjectivism." When we reject the idea of "true truth" or "total truth" we are left with nothing to rely on but mysticism - mystical experiences that can do for us experientially what Protestants have long believed that the Spirit, through Scripture, can and must do objectively.
One cannot submit himself to the teachings of the Emerging movement and still be considered Reformed. They reject the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).

Kalled2preach get out of this NOW. It will only damage your faith. Spend some time at Tim Challies website. While I do not agree with everything here, he is up to date on much in the emerging church.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:22 PM
Like I said, I don't agree with everything that he writes and everything that the emerging church practices and promotes, but there are still things to learn there.

J_Edwards said,
Quote
Spend some time at Tim Challies website. While I do not agree with everything here, he is up to date on much in the emerging church.

We can learn from those we don't always agree with. I don't always agree with McLaren, and I definitely don't always agree with the emerging stuff. But I still think there is good to be gleaned and also knowledge to be gained.

Also, just to clarify, I'm not all that involved with the emerging church. I just find the stuff they write to have an element of challenge to it. They want people to test what they say. You don't get much of that from writings in other areas these days.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:00 PM
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Like I said, I don't agree with everything that he writes and everything that the emerging church practices and promotes, but there are still things to learn there.

And what are you learning?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:47 PM
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CovenantInBlood said:
And what are you learning?

Well, for starters, the emerging church's writings give a more complete definition of postmodernism than one finds in the resr of Christian writing. Most evangelical authors say postmodernism is the denial of absolute truth, but postmodernism also includes the idea of taking apart truths and looking at why we hold to them rather than this idea of blindly believing something because the preacher said it or because "we've always done it that way".

Then there is the aspect of history that is pointed out. Most writing that Christians do about the some of the early church is about what they believed, but how they practiced their faith is virtually ignored. The emerging church's writers point out things about their practices and traditions and why they did them (if that knowledge is available).

Lastly, they point out the narrative aspect of Scripture. This is completely overlooked in the majority of Christian writing that is out there. The emerging church accepts the story side of the Bible and learnes from the story as well as the theology behind it. They accept the Bible as more than just a systematic book of laws and doctrines.

Are these good examples?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:00 PM
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Kalled2Preach said:
Lastly, they point out the narrative aspect of Scripture. This is completely overlooked in the majority of Christian writing that is out there. The emerging church accepts the story side of the Bible and learnes from the story as well as the theology behind it. They accept the Bible as more than just a systematic book of laws and doctrines.
Aside from your apparent lack of having read many of the writings of traditional authors, many of whom certainly wrote of the things you think are lacking and which the "Emerging Church" authors deal with, it seems rather silly IMHO to read something of an author that denies "true truth" but says he is "taking apart truth" if there is no absolute truth.

If nothing else, your premise that we can learn from heretics (everyone [implied]) is contrary to both sound judgment and Paul's admonition to avoid such individuals, which says:


Titus 3:10-11 (KJV) "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."


To me, opening your mind in order to "learn" from these type of individuals is akin to putting a screen door in a submarine.

However, I'm more interested in this "narrative" statement which you claim is "completely overlooked in the majority of Christian writing. . ." What exactly is this "story side of the Bible" that everyone up and until the Emerging Church authors came along missed? Can you give one specific example?

In His grace,
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:02 PM
No, they're not good examples. All they show is that you lack more reading from orthodox sources.

It has been recognized for quite some time that whatever is the definition of "postmodernism," deconstructionalism is behind much of it. This goes to postmodernism's epistemology—that you cannot know anything absolutely. The best orthodox writers do discuss the "whys" of Christian faith.

Where do you think the emergent folks are getting their information about early Christian practices and traditions and the reasons behind them? From out of thin air? From their own personal historical and archaeological research? No! They're getting it from people, including orthodox scholars, who have gone before them.

And orthodoxy does not deny that there are narrative aspects to Scripture. For goodness' sake, one need only read the historical books and the Gospels to know that! Most Christians hear narratives every week as children in Sunday school. No expositor worth his salt considers the Bible as a whole to be a systematic textbook.
Posted By: M Paul Re: Emerging Church - Sun Nov 20, 2005 3:23 AM
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gnarley said:
Just exactly what is the "Emerging Church"?

I am a part of the emerging church. Like most emergent people I know, I consider the movement an effort to complete the Reformation, especially as outlined by Martin Luther in The German Mass and Divine Service, with its emphasis on the third order as being the true biblical model of the church. That is, I advocate that the cell-unit/whole church organizational structure is the model of Scripture, and that the congregational structure practiced by most Protestants today is based on human tradition. Luther noted the congregational structure was fine for new Christians and those weak in faith, but he wanted to promote the true biblical order of service, as soon as he could generate the interest. It has taken a long while, but the emerging church believes the time has come now to complete this last phase Luther desired.

For those who don't have time to review the literature on the house church/whole church movement, I have written this article to succinctly summarize our beliefs and their biblical and historical basis.

http://www.loveofchrist.info/church/noninstitutional.html

The house church movement is world wide and has been growing rapidly for some time now. Thus, it is emerging. Ahh--but if it is "emergent," then that concept means it is "post-modern," or so some people would say -- but are games being played with words to accomplish particular objectives for liberals and some academic types of conservative Christians?? One common complaint of people with the emergent church is, that Christians who use the label "evangelical" for self-designation are unfairly criticizing the movement. One could say that is based on a misunderstanding on their part -- or could it be they have specific motives??

Liberals can take advantage of the word "post-modern" to give new stimulus to thier theology, and then, some Christian academics can respond to the confusion of the concept to make the conservative aspects of the emerging church seem like something they are not, and liberal to boot. The truth of the matter is, no one can define "post-modernism," and especially not as it applies to the church. If liberals want to say a post-modern church is emerging that endorses liberal theology, then they have to be able to define the term and the new view point. If they can't, then their liberalism is just what it has always been under "Modernism," which by definition isn't "Post-Modernism," and which then is not what is emerging from a new "technological culture," but what has always been around since the past emergence of the "industrial culture" a long time ago.

As McLaren has said, there may only be a "post-modern conversation" regarding the church, rather than "post-modern church." However, McLaren may be getting a lot of attention, because he has a Ph.D. in English literature (the people who love the term "post-modern"), and because he can make the discussion sound so academic, but the truth of the matter is, that if something new is emerging that arises from and is consistent with a technological culture, it is not doing so in the halls of academia, but it is a grass roots movement from common people, and McLaren isn't significant to the great majority of them at all, if they even know his name. McLaren makes it easy for some Christian academics who want to stay with human tradition in the Protestant church and to criticize any understanding of church structure and practice different than their own, which has afforded them so much prestige. But McLaren's views in the reality of what is actually occurring don't count for very much at all. Nothing can be established to favor liberalism under the label "Post-Modernism, no matter how sophisticated and academic the language can be made to sound in such a discussion, unless meaningful and honest definitions can be developed.

Ok--but there are still other Christian conservatives who want to use the label "emergent," but not with the house church/whole church movement. They want new worship forms and to take advantage of a post-modern culture, but again, they can't define just want they are doing either that makes them "post-modern." Until they do, they're actually not "post-modern," but they are just people looking for new styles in church.

The house church movement wasn't concerned at all with the concept "post-modern." They were just a movement emerging. But, it just so happens the movement does conform to the concept. It is generally accepted that "post-modernism" includes an emphasis on the individual, new forms of communication, a new focus away from tradition, or in other words in the sense of the church, toward a true biblical structure and all that entails for a concept of worship, realtionships, community, and organizational structure. Perhaps, Luther couldn't realize his dream for the third order of service, because it needed a technological culture to be successful.

The most prominent example of the house church/ whole church, I believe, is Yongi Cho's. It has 750,000 members, but only about 40,000 to 50,000 meet on any given Sabbath downtown for a congregational service. The rest meet in houses. It is a church that reflects the modern culture.

Regards,
M Paul
(PS -- I don't understand how to find this thread from the home page, but I guess it won't matter).
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Emerging Church - Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:34 AM
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M Paul said:

The most prominent example of the house church/ whole church, I believe, is Yongi Cho's. It has 750,000 members, but only about 40,000 to 50,000 meet on any given Sabbath downtown for a congregational service. The rest meet in houses. It is a church that reflects the modern culture.

If Yonggi Cho is supposed to be an example of the house church movement, that's enough there for me to dismiss you out of hand. The man is a prime example of a heretic.

But why should we want a church to be reflecting the modern culture anyway?
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Emerging Church - Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:34 PM
Welcome to the forum. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />

Since you like quoting McLard (McLaren who clogs the veins of grace) what do you do with such quotes from him as found here?
Posted By: gnarley Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:05 AM
Thanks Paul. Whether we like it or not, "House Churches" are the wave of the future. Once our Lefties get some judge to declare tax exempt status for Church property unconstitutional , we won't have any other choice. As is the case in Asia, they spread like wildfire, making the Western church look anemic.
Posted By: Link Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:12 AM
What are house churches.

I would not classify Yonggi Cho's cell church model as 'house church.' I have ben involved with a couple of house churches over the years and moderated a church planting discussion list full of predominantly house church people for two years.

The house church movement exists independantly of the 'emerging church ' movement. Some in the emerging movement have gone into house churches. Those in the emergent church movement may label the house church movement as an emerging movement. But many in the HC movement have never heard of McLaren.

'The house church movemen't is not really an accurate term since it is not really an organized movement.

When I use the term 'house church' I do not just mean a church that meets in a house. Plenty of churches meet in a house and follow basically the same liturgy, whether formalized and written down or informal, that goes on in church buildings. The type of house church movement I am referring to is also known as 'simple church', 'a return to New Testament Christianity' or various other terms.

'House church' Christians can come from a variety of theological backgrounds. For example, one could be Calvinist, Armenian, or hold to the Open View, and go to a house church. The house church may be made up of only of people who hold to this view, or of a mixed group. A house church could be charismatic or rabidly anti-Charismatic. Some are Fundamentalists who insist on women's silence, and others take an alternate interpretation of the passages on this section.

Here are some general trends in 'the house church movement' in the US, the UK and elsewhere.

1. Belief in mutual edification in church meetings with multiple members using their gifts (as opposed to limiting it to hymns and one speaker with a sermon.)
2. Biblical church leadership structure. (x)
3. Meeting (generally) in homes, rather than in special purpose church buildings.
4. Emphasis on community, building relationships with others in the church, and loving one another in practical ways.
5. Eating the Lord's Supper as a part of a full meal.


I am hesitant to include 5, because many house churches these days may separate the meal from the Lord's Supper and have the bread and cup as a separate event from a pot-luck meal, but it many house churches do try to emulate primitive church practice by incorporating the Lord's Supper into a meal or eating the Supper as a meal (as 'Supper' implies). Basically, 'house church' is a movement to return to the type of church structure and practice we see in the scriptures. Some in the movement argue for this based on Paul's commands to hold to the traditions he has taught.

Comments on point number 1. In a house church this could take various forms. Some have discussion Bible studies. Other house churches may have people take turns giving rather long discourses, with certain teachers or elders taking a leading role.

Comments on point number 2. In many house churches, this is interpreted as having a plurality of elders that meet up to the Biblical qualifications. Many house churches reject the idea of the one-man pastorate over a group of non-pastoral elders. This model--of having the cleric pastor and non-cleric board elders-- evolved in Geneva in the Reformation area, not as a doctrinal practice, but just as their way of having church leadership and civil leadership combined in an attempted theocracy. It evolved into common church practice if not a matter doctrine in certain Presbyterial churches. House church leaders in the US who argue for a plurality of elders generally see the elders as pastoral figures (see Acts 20:28, I Peter 5.)

There are also house churches that are egalitarian and almost like early Quakers in their view of church government. They favor consensus in church meetings and view elders as 'older brothers' in the Lord, rather than seeing them also as an in an official position. With the growth of the house church movement, those from this sector of the house church movement seem to become an ever-increasing smaller percentage.

There are also some house churches that are similar to other house churches except they have one elder, or pastor, like many 'institutional churches.'

Comments on point number 3. Many Christians almost consider it sacriledge to do away with church buildings and meet in homes. However, house church Christians realize that the early churches--many if not most of them, at least--met in homes. There is no scriptural example of using church funds to build church buildings, and certain not most of the money.

Comments on number 4. In some house church communities, people cut each other's grass, make a special effort to share their goods with those who are needy in the church, or outside of it, and things of that nature. There is an emphasis on really getting to know one another and be like a family.

Comments on point number 5. Jesus introduced the practice of remembering Him through the bread and cup at the end of an actual meal. "The Lord's Supper" implies an actual meal, and it is apparent from I Corinthians 11 that the Lord's Supper, or an attempt at it, was eaten as an actual meal. Paul's letter to correct Corinth did not tell them to use tiny wafers and glass thimbles, but rather to tarry one for another (apparently wait for the poor to arrive before eating the meal.) The church apparently ate the Lord's Supper as a meal for some time, calling it the Agape, until over time the Eucharist and the Agape were separated into two events, and the Agape, without the Eucharist, lost its impact and fell out of favor.


Other than basic doctrines related to the function and meeting styles and locations of the church, 'house church' is not a set of church doctrines. The same is true of another movement, the emergent movement. House church values coincide in some emergent values, but they are not the same movement.

House Churches in Missions

House churches are growing on the missions fields. Here in Indonesia, many of the expatriate missionaries here serve as coaches to local church planters, helping them get started planting house churches. Many of them come from denominational backgrounds. House church in it's earlier, perhaps 'pure' form is not denominational. The Southern Baptists are behind house church now, posting the Church Planting Movements book on their IMB website. I have met people form a variety of other denominational backgrounds who are involved in planting house churches among unreached people groups. One goes to a Reformed church here in town. I also know of Baptists, Mennonites, Charismatics, and Anglicans. Here in Indonesia, non-denominational churches are not completely and clearly legal, though some do exist.

House churches are also growing rapidly in China, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, and other parts of the world.

If you think about it, the idea that to evangelize a nation, you should build a church building for every 100 or so people is pretty foolish. In times of 'revival', where many are coming to Christ, a congregation could waste valuable energy in construction projects when they could be focusing on the in-coming harvest. A denominational evangelism coordinator here in Indonesia noted that when they sent an evangelist out to start churches, he would start with a meeting in a home. The congregation would grow rapidly and there would be a lot of evangelism. But once they got to a certain size, the church's focus would change to getting a building. They would put together proposals to ask for funds, etc. At this point, their focus changed and evangelism would drop off. The coordinator for the denomination thought it was a good idea, for evangelism and church growth, to keep the meetings in homes. That is a pragmatic argument, but in scripture we see the saints meeting in homes and we have no record of their renting facilities or feeling the need to build temporal structures.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:37 PM
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gnarley said:
Thanks Paul. Whether we like it or not, "House Churches" are the wave of the future. Once our Lefties get some judge to declare tax exempt status for Church property unconstitutional , we won't have any other choice. As is the case in Asia, they spread like wildfire, making the Western church look anemic.

I doubt a judge would be dumb enough to take away the tax exempt status becuase once you do then a lot of churches would start openly endorsing candiadates. Image the SBC openly picking candidates, it would be the death of the democratic party in the south.
Posted By: M Paul Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:34 PM
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CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
M Paul said:

The most prominent example of the house church/ whole church, I believe, is Yongi Cho's. It has 750,000 members, but only about 40,000 to 50,000 meet on any given Sabbath downtown for a congregational service. The rest meet in houses. It is a church that reflects the modern culture.

If Yonggi Cho is supposed to be an example of the house church movement, that's enough there for me to dismiss you out of hand. The man is a prime example of a heretic.

But why should we want a church to be reflecting the modern culture anyway?

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. 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. The house church movement doesn't really care if it reflects modern culture: it's an effort to get back to the Bible and away from human tradition. It just so happens, that in doing so, it actually does have some similarities with the concept of "post-modern." We don't have to want to reflect modern culture, but we do have to try to understand how that culture may be attempting to affect the church -- so we can control what goes on if necessary.

Regards,

Paul
Posted By: M Paul Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:38 PM
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J_Edwards said:
Welcome to the forum. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />

Since you like quoting McLard (McLaren who clogs the veins of grace) what do you do with such quotes from him as found here?

I can only assume you made this response without having really read my first post. I said Mclaren is insignificant to the movement, but even he has noted his concept may only be a conversation on post-modern, rather than a church.

Regards,

Paul
Posted By: M Paul Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:47 PM
Quote
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
Posted By: M Paul Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:58 PM
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gnarley said:
Thanks Paul. Whether we like it or not, "House Churches" are the wave of the future. Once our Lefties get some judge to declare tax exempt status for Church property unconstitutional , we won't have any other choice. As is the case in Asia, they spread like wildfire, making the Western church look anemic.

That's it -- the church is going to change in approaches to reaching people just as it always has, only hopefully with the emerging house church it will be a lot more biblical. I have to admit, I found the movement, as I always wondered why the church experience was irrelevant to me, and I started digging more and more into Scripture on what church really was supposed to be.

In the house church movement, there is a debate on whether the churches should be 501(c)(3). I take the position definitely. There are good reasons for having non-profit corporation statutes and for always obeying the law.

And, yes -- the house church movement has a lot of variety, within biblical confines, and it leads to making Christianity real and exciting for many, many of us. However, if times of persecution come, the house church will be the movement that deals with it most effectively, as it has done in the past and the present.

Regards,

M Paul
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:37 PM
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I can only assume you made this response without having really read my first post. I said Mclaren is insignificant to the movement, but even he has noted his concept may only be a conversation on post-modern, rather than a church.
Not significant! McLaren is now required reading in seminaries. I know PCA pastor's purchasing his books, but not to debate them, but to embrace his concepts. Equipping Today's Church for Tomorrow's Challenges states, "Bryan McLaren has emerged as one of the leading 'prophetic voices' calling us to consider how the church can remain faithful to Christ while being spiritually, socially and culturally relevant in a rapidly changing world." Brian McLaren was recently named by Time magazine as one of 25 most influential evangelicals! McLaren is a loud voice for the Emerging Church and any attempt to disassociate him from the movement simply crumbles. Of course, it is understandable why most desire to distance themselves from him as many of his teachings are heretical. Postmodernism and the emerging church movement are founded on a false premise (that we cannot know anything definitely). However, while fallen humans cannot know the truth perfectly, that does not mean that all truth is unknowable, or that one perspective is just as valid as any other. Humans can truly know knowledge, even if they cannot know it perfectly. As Carson says, "postmodern philosophy inexorably leads to moral relativism. If truth is entirely a matter of individual perspective, then morality has no objective basis, and quickly becomes an individual judgment call. This worldview is profoundly un-Christian."

McLaren has a way with words which is very deceptive. You paraphase him saying, "his concept may only be a conversation on post-modern, rather than a church" and yet he pastors a Church? Please note that all heresy is expressed through conversation of word or deed.
Posted By: gnarley Re: Emerging Church - Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:36 PM
Thanks Link--That pretty well explains it & it is the house church movement that I was interested in. Have you ever read Snyder's "The problem with Wineskins"? It was written about 30 years ago & describes experience (positive) while serving as a missionary in South America
Posted By: Link Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:29 AM
M Paul

The HC movement will be labeled as an 'emerging movement' depending on who is defining the term emergent. But a lot of people in house church have never heard of the 'emergent movement.' Critics who associate 'emergent' with theological issues they disagree about that come from McLaren and others may associate HC's with McLaren.

I have not read Snyder's books. Steve Atkerson, Bob Fitts, and Robert Banks are some authors I am familiar with. I actually am finishing up a book of my own on church planting in the scripture as it relates to house churches if you would like a copy by email...
Posted By: M Paul Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:30 AM
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J_Edwards said:
Not significant! McLaren is now required reading in seminaries. I know PCA pastor's purchasing his books, but not to debate them, but to embrace his concepts. Equipping Today's Church for Tomorrow's Challenges states, "Bryan McLaren has emerged as one of the leading 'prophetic voices' calling us to consider how the church can remain faithful to Christ while being spiritually, socially and culturally relevant in a rapidly changing world." Brian McLaren was recently named by Time magazine as one of 25 most influential evangelicals! McLaren is a loud voice for the Emerging Church and any attempt to disassociate him from the movement simply crumbles.

Etc. etc. etc. You ignore completely what I said about why he is insignificant, just so you can state why you think he is. That approach is consistent with other things I said in my first post about how attention is being focused on him to make him significant for particular motives. In truth, that dog don't hunt.

Regards,

M Paul
Posted By: RefDoc Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:13 AM
It is interesting to note that in previous posts the "Emergent" church movement here is agreed to be a "house church" movement. A rudimentary study of the movement shows it to be just about anything and everything. White Horse Inn host Michael Horton says trying to define the movement is like trying to nail jello to the wall. McLaren is just one of many who are identified with this movement. Here in Grand Rapids, Michigan area we have Mars Hill Bible church and Rob Bell, also recognized to be "emergent"...with 10,000 in attendance there each week in a remodeled shopping mall it would hardly qualify as a house church.
Rob Bell's book 'Velvet Elvis' is pathetic. It questions just about every orthodox teaching of the true Christian Church.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:13 AM
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M Paul said:
Etc. etc. etc. You ignore completely what I said about why he is insignificant, just so you can state why you think he is. That approach is consistent with other things I said in my first post about how attention is being focused on him to make him significant for particular motives. In truth, that dog don't hunt.
So, from what I have been able to understand from what you have written about your "brand" of house church theology and the "Emerging Church" heresy of McLaren, it seems this is one of those "chicken or the egg" dilemmas. Both you and McLaren with his followers both want to claim the moniker of "Emerging Church". The dilemma here is apparently who can rightfully lay claim to it. Over many years I have never read nor heard anyone who espouses the "house church" phenomena refer to themselves or what they were espousing as "emerging".

I would guess that if you could show that this idea you hold to re: "house churches", which rejects the historic and traditional ecclesiology of the Church, came first, then you could rightfully use the term to describe what it is you believe. However, if McLaren and those that follow him and others similar to him, i.e., those who want to change the biblical teaching concerning the Gospel for another "gospel" and the methodology of both reaching the lost and edifying the saints for the philosophies of post-modernism, which you say you reject and want no relationship with can rightly lay claim to the term "emerging church", then if I were you, I would discontinue using that term. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/idea.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:28 AM
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You ignore completely what I said about why he is insignificant, just so you can state why you think he is. That approach is consistent with other things I said in my first post about how attention is being focused on him to make him significant for particular motives. In truth, that dog don't hunt.
Dear Sir, apparently you need some assistance adding, so let me assist you. First, you claim we are ignoring this ;

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However, McLaren may be getting a lot of attention, because he has a Ph.D. in English literature (the people who love the term "post-modern"), and because he can make the discussion sound so academic, but the truth of the matter is, that if something new is emerging that arises from and is consistent with a technological culture, it is not doing so in the halls of academia, but it is a grass roots movement from "common people," and McLaren isn't significant to the great majority of them at all, if they even know his name. McLaren makes it easy for some Christian academics who want to stay with human tradition in the Protestant church and to criticize any understanding of church structure and practice different than their own, which has afforded them so much prestige. But McLaren's views in the reality of what is actually occurring don't count for very much at all.
Now, LOOK it has not been ignored.

Second, if you will re-reread my post I stated PASTORS are reading McLaren's material and SEMINARIES are making it required reading. Now it may surprise you however, these pastors teach the "common people." Many of the people who are capable and in a position to stop this heresy are themselves being entrenched into its snare. When the minds of leadership are poisoned the "common people" have no true direction. McLaren and others like him are significant. Your dog ain't hunting at all;

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2 Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Webster once said;

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If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, and the people do not become religious, I do not know what is to become of us as a nation. If the truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and his Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the Gospel is not felt through the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation and end.
Posted By: Link Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:18 PM
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
Posted By: janean Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:49 PM
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.
Posted By: janean Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:17 PM
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.
Posted By: Link Re: Emerging Church - Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:51 PM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:18 PM
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janean said:
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:21 PM
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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.

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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="" />
Posted By: janean Re: Emerging Church - Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:17 PM
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.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:29 PM
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janean said:
Kalled 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.

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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.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Emerging Church - Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:01 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.

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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?

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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.

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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,
Posted By: Tom Re: Emerging Church - Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:52 AM
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
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:48 PM
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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.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Emerging Church - Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:19 PM
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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?

In His grace,
Posted By: Tom Re: Emerging Church - Fri Nov 25, 2005 3:16 PM
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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
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:36 AM
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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?

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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.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:45 AM
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M Paul said:
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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.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:01 AM
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Kalled2Preach said:
McLaren and others actually talk about and inspire genuine thought and questioning. I don't understand why this is such a bad thing.

Asking questions is not equivalent to genuine thought, most especially when the asking is meant to destroy any possibility of real answers.
Posted By: janean Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:55 PM
Kalled-
Now that you've clarified this question I can respond.
The problem is that Mclaren is not refuting the idea that others of different faiths come to salvation, he's doing just the opposite - he's promoting it. Don't you see a problem here?? He is just making people even more confused (and that's exactly what a false teacher does). He's NOT bringing people closer to the truth, he's keeping them farther away from it. That's why he is dangerous. He's sneaks in universalism, denial of what hell and heaven are, etc. right into the layperson's lap.
What he is doing is a deception and in some ways is worse than that of the cults. At least JWs and Mormons there is more of a "black and white" when it coming to their theology, but in McLaren's case he claims to believe in the basic tenets of the Christian faith and many think he's ok because of this and is thus a brother in Christ.
When I went in front of our elder board at our church , our Sr. Pastor tried to smooth this issue over and surprisingly asked all the elders to come to a consensus that McLaren is a brother in Christ. Needless to say, this (among other things said) made for a very disheartening meeting with the elders.
Posted By: janean Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:29 PM
Kalled said:
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Also, McLaren is not ashamed of what he believes

Not ashamed huh?? Well then how come he can't come out and tell us what he really believes about homosexuality?? Why does he continue to dodge things?
You haven't read enough of Mclaren to see where he's really coming from. (not that I suggest you read any more of him).
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:19 PM
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janean said:
Kalled-
Now that you've clarified this question I can respond.
The problem is that Mclaren is not refuting the idea that others of different faiths come to salvation, he's doing just the opposite - he's promoting it. Don't you see a problem here??

I never said I agree with this, but there are probably many people in even the most orthodox of congregations who hold to that. And a lot of them probably will argue for their position in the same way that he does. We need to know the arguments so that we can refute them effectively, and reading what someone says about the arguments doesn't give you a real clear picture of what the argument is really saying.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:57 PM
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Kalled2Preach said:
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janean said:
Kalled-
Now that you've clarified this question I can respond.
The problem is that Mclaren is not refuting the idea that others of different faiths come to salvation, he's doing just the opposite - he's promoting it. Don't you see a problem here??

I never said I agree with this, but there are probably many people in even the most orthodox of congregations who hold to that. And a lot of them probably will argue for their position in the same way that he does. We need to know the arguments so that we can refute them effectively, and reading what someone says about the arguments doesn't give you a real clear picture of what the argument is really saying.

First, this doesn't apply to Janean, who has read much of this stuff. Second, what we really need to know is the biblical position; the more we know it, the easier it is to defend against attacks. Third, I don't believe for one moment that you're reading McLaren so you can figure out how to effectively refute his arguments.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:04 PM
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Kalled2Preach said:
I never said I agree with this, but there are probably many people in even the most orthodox of congregations who hold to that. [re: people of various religions can be saved] And a lot of them probably will argue for their position in the same way that he does.
Again, I will publicly challenge you to substantiate your claim(s) that "orthodox churches/Christians" are guilty of such things as: failing to preach the whole counsel of God, have failed to preach the fullness of Christ's person and/or work, and now that many who are orthodox hold to the erroneous view that people of other faiths can be saved. WHERE are you getting this stuff? [Linked Image] My guess is that you have read such tripe in McLaren's writings or from some other "Emerging Church" proponent. There is absolutely no truth to these charges whatsoever. Are you familiar with the Ninth Commandment? Exodus 20:16 (ASV) "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

Either produce evidence to prove your allegations or render a public apology to the saints of God, some of whom have even given their lives for the faith having refused to barter the truth of which you say they have cast off and/or failed to make known. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scold.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Emerging Church - Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:10 PM
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Kalled2Plunder stated,

We need to know the arguments so that we can refute them effectively, and reading what someone says about the arguments doesn't give you a real clear picture of what the argument is really saying.
So what sayeth the Horse’s Mouth? In A Generous Orthodoxy, McLaren states, “I am a Christian because I have a sustained and sustaining confidence in Jesus Christ.” However, McLaren goes further saying, there are “Seven Jesus” on pages 43-67:

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The Conservative Protestant Jesus
The Pentecostal/Charismatic Jesus
The Roman Catholic Jesus
The Eastern Orthodox Jesus
The Liberal Protestant Jesus
The Anabaptist Jesus
The Jesus of the Oppressed
Now, he sums up his “impressions” in a table on pages 64-65 and though he states it is incomplete it is worth noting (see attachment).

How does this heretic characterize “Calvinism?” He states, his view of Calvinism [referring to God moving pieces on a chess board], “folds much (not all) of today’s Calvinism into a broader way of thinking called “Determinism,” which says that ultimately our freedom is an illusion, and that we’re just puppets of one sort or the other” (page 186). Though in another place he seems kinder to Calvinism, his misunderstanding of Calvinism is apparent. McLaren sees himself as Reformed, because he claims he is always reforming.

Do we really need more to evaluate him? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bash.gif" alt="" />

Attached File
56992-McLaren Chart.doc  (47 downloads)
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:05 AM
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Pilgrim said:
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? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

Doesn't this imply that those outside of the Reformed camp are going to hell? I don't deny the orthodoxy of these authors or anything like that, but I believe there to be truth found outside of Calvinism within Christianity. Afterall, Scripture doesn't call us to be Calvinists.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Emerging Church - Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:19 AM
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Kalled2Preach said:
Doesn't this imply that those outside of the Reformed camp are going to hell? I don't deny the orthodoxy of these authors or anything like that, but I believe there to be truth found outside of Calvinism within Christianity. Afterall, Scripture doesn't call us to be Calvinists.
No, it doesn't imply that all those outside of the Reformed/Calvinist camp are going to hell, although I do believe that the majority of professing Christians today are hell-bound due to the fact that they have embraced a false Gospel and are still dead in their sins.

My comments were made specifically in regard to the "Emerging Church" camp and not to anyone else.

Why don't you respond to my other more detailed reply where I answered your several questions and in return asked a few of you? See here: My extended reply.

In His grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Emerging Church - Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:51 PM
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Pilgrim said:
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.

I admit here to choosing a bad word in my statement. I believe I meant "church goers" rather than "Christians". The point still stands, though, I think. There are people in the most orthodox of churches I am sure who don't believe "right".

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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?

I never implied that McLaren had discovered something "new which others have not understood, preached, and taught". I just thought his chapter about the "7 Jesuses" was interesting. Maybe he didn't pick the best words to make his point, but, I think, if one looks at the church as it is today, different groups put their primary focus on only part of Jesus' life and ministry. This isn't to say that the historic church has failed to focus on these different areas. I never said that they had and never implied that. I just think that what McLaren has to say in that chapter of A Generous Orthodoxy is very good. Here is a quote:

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"Jesus was born to die," I was told again and again, which meant his entire life - including the red, yellow, black, and white children around his knees...Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree (which gave me a lifelong love for sycamores)...Bartimaeus by the road...the one grateful leper returning...the woman by the well...the caring parents who begged him to heal their children - was quite marginalized. Everything between his birth and death was icing at most, assuredly not cake. (Brian D. McLaren. A Generous Orthodoxy. 2004. Youth Specialties. P. 45)

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Again, I find this alleged sweeping "observation" to be groundless.

How many orthodox writers are writing things on the level of the common man or the common college student or the common anyone? I find those kind of writings hard to come by these days. In light of that, it's turning people away from the gospel because they can't understand what's being said amidst all the theological terms and such. I'm not saying that we stop using biblical language, but, we can present biblical language to the people in the language of the people. There is nothing wrong with this. We have the Bible in English that people can actually understand don't we? Why does sharing the gospel and the deep things of God have to be any different?

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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.

But, also, nowhere in Scripture does it say to use the same methods of sharing the gospel with all people. Yes, it says to preach the gospel, but we can preach to different groups in different ways. This is what Jesus did. He didn't always preach sermons. Sometimes he told stories, sometimes he had conversations. Paul was the same way. Sometimes he preached and sometimes he reasoned in the temple. And in both cases, they used the language of the people. They didn't always come condemning. Sometimes they came serving and loving and reasoning and conversing. And, they used different words to convey the same truth to different people.

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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?

I never said or implied that what orthodox writers are reinforcing was wrong. They are reinforcing right ideas. And they do a wonderful job of challenging falsehood. But they leave no room for thinking about why we believe what we believe. The orthodox things that I've read are all about how their view is right and you should believe their way or your wrong. There isn't any room for a difference of opinion. It makes one feel very condemned if they think differently, and, I really don't think that is what Jesus set out to do when He came to this earth, and, I don't know that it's what we should do either. We can reinforce right beliefs by allowing people to ask questions about them. McLaren and others challenge and allow people to ask questions. I think we should do the same.
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Emerging Church - Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:51 AM
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Kalled2Preach stated,

I just thought his chapter about the "7 Jesuses" was interesting. Maybe he didn't pick the best words to make his point, but, I think, if one looks at the church as it is today, different groups put their primary focus on only part of Jesus' life and ministry. This isn't to say that the historic church has failed to focus on these different areas. I never said that they had and never implied that. I just think that what McLaren has to say in that chapter of A Generous Orthodoxy is very good.
Kalled2Preach you made the statement, “How many orthodox writers are writing things on the level of the common man or the common college student or the common anyone?” Apparently, McLaren is not communicating too well, if you believe he is putting forth a true Christ? We need to ask ourselves what kind of Christian McLaren’s 7 Jesus’ produce? McLaren gives us his answer in A New Kind of Christian.

The book follows McLaren’s fictional character, Neo. McLaren develops Neo’s view of Christianity in the book. So what does this new kind of Christian look like?

Neo resolutely holds to a doctrine of Evolution, and rejects any literal interpretation of Genesis. Neo says, "For me, Carol, we can't be faithful to God unless we're faithful to the facts, faithful to the data, if you will. And so instead of hiding from evolution, I think we'd be more faithful to God to look it right in the eye and learn from it" (p. 98). Neo also calls evolution "one of God's best creations" (p. 184). Moreover, Neo embraces a strict view of human freedom. He rejects any form of real sovereignty or predestination. According to him, "God really is much more a companion, a conversation partner with the people, guiding them, but not manipulating them, not robbing them of that gift of freedom" (p. 83). When discussing death Neo contrasts being controlled with being free (p. 150).

Of course, then we can look at McLaren’s book, The Last Word and the Word After That, and note what this new Christian believes concerning “hell.” McLaren asks, if Jesus uses the language of hell, we have to ask, ‘for what purpose does he use the language? What’s his point in working with the construction?’ (p. 71). Essentially, he can make use of it as a metaphor or model for God’s judgment on the oppressors without necessarily endorsing it as a ‘literal’ account of what happens to people when they die. This is an example of ‘rhetorical hermeneutics’ – ‘an approach to Scripture that among other things tells us that we normally pay too much attention to what the writers are saying and not enough to what they’re doing’ (p. 81). As the intersexual poet Pat says of hell: ‘Its purpose, not its substance, is the point’ (p. 26). McLaren sums up his position in his own words saying,

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The language of hell, in my view, like the language of biblical prophecy in general, is not intended to provide literal or detailed fortune-telling or prognostication about the hereafter, nor is it intended to satisfy intellectual curiosity, but rather it is intended to motivate us in the here and now to realize our ultimate accountability to a God of mercy and justice and in that light to rethink everything and to seek first the kingdom and justice of God (p. 188-189).
So this is the new kind of Christian McLaren is seeking to make? McLaren endorses heresy and those that endorse him are heretics that have or are departing from the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3)! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />

The Holy Spirit when He sovereignly regenerates a person according to God's elective purpose gives His people a mind and heart for truth. If as you claim, individuals cannot see certain basic elementary truths without this new modernism, which is just old heresy, then one must wonder if they have ever been regenerated!

PS: there are a good number of Reformed books on every area of ministry imaginable. I am not sure where you have gathered your sources saying there are no books easy enough to read for today's modern reader, but Barna Research claims,

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A new study from the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California shows that half of all U.S. adults (48%) and teenagers (51%) reported reading at least one Christian book in the past year, other than the Bible. Moreover, one-third of all U.S. adults (35%) and teenagers (34%) purchased at least one Christian book (not including the Bible) in that same time period.....The results showed that evangelical adults (86%) and evangelical teens (97%) were the groups most likely to read Christian literature..... Unexpectedly, the study discovered that many people not connected to the Christian faith indicated that they had read at least one Christian book (other than the Bible) in the past year. For instance, one-sixth of atheist/agnostic adults (17%); one-fifth of unchurched adults (20%); one-third of non-born again adults (34%); and nearly half of all adults associated with a faith other than Christianity (46%) indicated that they had read a Christian book in the last year (other than the Bible).
The majority of Christian books are written on the 6th-8th grade reading level. So I find it very curious when you state,

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How many orthodox writers are writing things on the level of the common man or the common college student or the common anyone? I find those kind of writings hard to come by these days. In light of that, it's turning people away from the gospel because they can't understand what's being said amidst all the theological terms and such.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: gnarley Re: Emerging Church - Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:06 AM
As I follow this thread, there seems to be a divergence in the meaning fo "emerging church movement" and "emergent church movement, which has created a bit of confusion. Wouldn't you say there was an "emerging church" movement prior to the Reformation? I am thinking of, for instance, John Wycliffe, and John Huss, both of whom preceded Luther by a century or two. Certainly, there must have been an "underground church", perhaps similar to what we have in China etc. Would you not class them as "emerging churches, which was brought to a head with the 95 thesis nailed to the Wittenburg door?
Posted By: Relztrah Re: Emerging Church - Sat Dec 03, 2005 4:30 PM
Yes, Gnarley, you are correct that both "emerging" and "emergent" church are ambiguous terms and could be correctly applied to many church ages. In fact, D.A. Carson recently wrote a book titled Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church and in the forward (I believe, although it might be in his blog) he mentions that when he first began using the term "emerging church" people though he was talking about the first-century church.

Currently the terms are applied to a relatively recent phenomenon in Christianity that is post-modern and post-evangelical, although as you have already learned in this thread and elsewhere, it is frustratingly hard to define since in the Emergent Church each man does what is right in his own eyes.

Relztrah
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