Emerging Church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by DCNY, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. DCNY

    DCNY
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    Hey, I am reading a pretty interesting book right now. John McArthur - Truth Wars. It's all about the deception Emerging Church leaders are in..

    Is anyone familiar on this argument? I'd like to hear your opinion.
     
  2. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
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    I'm not familiar with MacArthur's book but did read D.A. Carson's a couple years ago. My suggestion is to visit some emergent websites and let them speak for themselves. One place that I frequent is Scot McKnight's www.jesuscreed.org. If you look at his topics you'll see around 300 posts on the emerging movement and plenty of links to emergent websites. Like any movement, they are not monolithic and everything that McLaren, Bell, and co. say does not necessarily reflect everyone in the movement.

    My suspicion is that MacArthur is writing in an area out of his league (this is my assesment of Carson's attempt when he tried to write a book that is mainly about epistemology) and the use of "deception" is off the mark. I could be wrong, though, since I haven't read MacArthur's book.

    BJ
     
  3. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    I have been and am studying this heretical movement for some time. I have read Carson and a few others but I mainly go to the sites of those in the movement. The best way to study it is to read their writings and look for norms. The claim to not be "monolithic" is certainly one of them.

    This is one of the issues I have with it. What they are saying is they are part of something that has no boundaries and cannot be defined. I have a question. If this is true then how do you know that you are part of the Emerging Church if it is not "monolithic"? But this is characteristic of the EC. They work to blurr the lines of standards so as not to be held to anything. This view is unscriptual. (Psalm 19:7,8)


    Another common view I find in viewing their writings is a low view of scripture. Many in the EC believe in getting the general jist of scripture but refuse to accept that the authors intent can be determined. In order to come to this conclusion 2 Timothy 3:16,17 must be ignored. The preaching of the Word is seen as "pulpiteering" which is a pejorative for the preaching of the Word from the pulpit. However Paul wrote to Timothy to do that very thing. 2 Timothy 4:1-4.

    One of the primary monoliths of the movement is that the church must submit to a subculture. What is important to note is that subcultures do not have the barriers that culture have in communicating the gospel as they would have you to believe. In the end it appears this has become an excuse to come to God on man's own terms rather than on God's terms. And as the rich young ruler discovered this is impossible.

    The whole movement is born out of rebellion that is reminiscent of Number 16. It is sad and heretical.
     
    #3 2 Timothy2:1-4, Apr 18, 2007
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  4. preachinjesus

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    I don't think all the Emergent Church leaders are deceivers or in deception. There are some good things going on in the Emergent Church.

    As I said above I don't think all of the Emergent Church is involved in deceit or error. To suggest otherwise is a poor understanding of ecclesiology and the Emergent Church.

    I've been involved in conversations with and about the Emergent Church, and involved in some aspects of the Emergent Churches themselves for about 10 years. I get their positions and I get where they are coming from and sympathize with some of their arguments. Most are disenfranchised with the mainline evangelical church because we eat our young and spit out their bones too often. Their response, in some cases, has been to lean hard left to make a correction.

    Now I know there are plenty of people here that disagree with this statement but church isn't about suits and ties, three point sermons, Sunday School and Tuesday night visitation. When we boil church down to programming and attendance pins we've missed the point of the Church. We are to be the Church where ever we go, we are to act as the Church where we are, we are to celebrate the Church in us.

    This conversation started as our society began creeping towards a postmodern epistemology. The big thing is that postmodernism isn't hindrance to Christianity or a help anymore tha Modernism isn't a hindrance or a help. We exist in a culture in spite of that culture.

    I disagree strongly with Drs. MacArthur and Carson on their views of the Emergent Church b/c I don't think they've actually talked with anyone in the Emergent Church before coming to their conclusions...thus their conclusions are wrong due to legitimate ignorance of the major issues.

    There are some great people in Emergent Church who are championing the Gospel and accomplishing the Kingdom in our midst. There is a radicial faction that is seeking to show up their parents and mentors and anothe radical faction that is doing their work out of greed and outright rebellion. But those are just factions. Sadly, just like hardcore fundamentalists the minority voice is louder than the majority in many ways.

    For all the McLarens, Pagitts, Burkes, Kimballs there are a ton of people doing great work that is sound doctrinally and really connecting with people who need Christ. The overarching goal of the Emergent Church has always been to deconstruct the language of the Church to appeal to the unchurched...the lost. Many Emergent expressions are doing this.

    The sad thing is there are aspects of the Emergent Church that are not on the right track. The funny thing is some aspects of the Emergent Church have ended up being an excuse not to evangelize...just like some of our mainline evangelical churches.

    We can't lump all the Emergents in one category. The whole thing is too superfluous for overwhelming classification imho. :)
     
  5. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    Then how does one know they are emergent? No boundries means no organization, movement or structure. Without definition then nothing exists. There are in fact some common ideas among all emergents.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    how does one know they are baptist?

    the same issue. There are some common definitions associated with the group. You'll even find some networks of emergents out there.

    This is the thing, they aren't going set up associations or conventions b/c that goes against their model for church. They will develop networks.

    The Emergent Church has some common linkage in their meetings and is not as out there as you suggest. Of coure in reading your comments here about the Emergent Church, imho you really don't understand the whole thing. (not being mean, just honest)
     
  7. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    I do not take offense. But any time the EC is put in a negative light they always say the same thing. My teenage daughter does this as well. When I nail her on her typical teenage attitudes which have more to do with trrying to be more of an adult than she is ready for she just says. "You do not understand".

    The EC is not as complicaed as they would like it to be percieved. And when you break down the common ideologies that are replete throughout the EC then you can take them to scripture and and measure them against the truth. The EC is like a teenager. Rebelious and trys to remain aloof so as not to be discovered. And I do not say that to be mean.
     
  8. Brandon C. Jones

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    One helpful article from McKnight was in Christianity Today not too long ago. He starts out by discussing some of the myths, although he doesn't include the "rebellious teenager" motif.

    Here's the link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/february/11.35.html


    As to evangelism, there are quite a few takes on it in the new "Emergent Manifesto." The concern is that some evangelistic methods are exactly that: methods. They treat people as objects instead of people. Anyhow, this thread isn't about evangelism so I digress.
     
  9. PastorSBC1303

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    This is the point that needs to be made and understood. There is no way to broad brush the entire movement as good or as bad.

    It is just like any group or movement. There are some good things taking place. There are some bad things taking place.

    Instead of reading only people that are on the outside of the movement, why not actually read those who are in the movement like Mark Driscoll?

    Driscoll has some very good video clips from John Piper's conference this past year.

    emerging Vs. Emergent = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhNUF26qXoE

    Relating to sinners = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmdWq98jF1c

    Church Creating Culture = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdUoMJG1OuQ

    Issues of worldliness = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL9W1-p-AkE

    The importance of theology = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFYs7ULlE7w

    The decline in Denominations= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTQfPdFPfD0

    Need for cultural Immersion= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLbpDV7gmV8

    Biblical Principles = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFugq8XeqVU

    seeker Vs Missional Pt 1 = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWhlb9ZD39k

    seeker vs. Missional Pt 2 = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li3vQNJe5FU
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    I think this is a fair criticism. From my conversations and involvement I think there are some definite things that define an Emergent Church and we can talk about those.

    but most are approaching these "truth claims" about methodology and ecclesiology and the nature of how we communicate the Gospel from a different perspective. It might sound like non-answers but the language between the groups is so different (including the central epistemology) that we often talk about the same things, just differently.

    Maybe everything is hermeneutics ;)

    you and I completely agree on this. (let us celebrate our agreement) But their rebellion b/c of their "life stage" isn't something that is either heretical or sin. The minute that we toss out their questions and label them "heretics" or "sinners" or "doctrinal vagabonds" that we automatically distance ourselves and the conversation stops. There is so much more the Emergent Church than this, and so many more people that are doing great things in it to belittle them we such labels.

    The Emergent Church is very much like a teenager. My thing is involving them in conversation and talking with them about doctrine and beliefs as they are in the formulation stages.
     
  11. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    The article just reinforces my position.
     
  12. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    The notion that "we are not wrong just misunderstood" is not a new tactic.
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    A great link might be Ed Stetzer's article on understanding the Emergent Church where he classifies Emergents in three segments.

    http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=22406

    He lumps them into three categories:

    Relevants
    Reconstructionists
    Revisionists

    I think these categories are good to use in talking about the Emergent Church.
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    While I wouldn't say I'm fully Emergent, I would point out that one of the major writers of the Emergent Church, Brian McLaren, has been unfortunately pushed to the front of the "supposed doctrinal formation" of the Emergent Church.

    The reality is Brian doesn't represent most in the Emergent Church and is the source of much criticism for his views from within the Emergent Church just as much as outside the Emergent Church.

    Do remember that The Master's Seminary had a long series in their chapel that came out over their podcast about the Emergent Church. I disagreed with many of their statements and analysis. Particularly because they went to the fringes to try to define the center (which is carried over in MacArthur's text.) I suggest to better understand the Emergent Church is to not go to the fringe but find the center. (guys like Driscoll and Bell) :)
     
  15. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    From the article with regards to relevants:

    This is a false representation of the EC and the presentation of the subculture. The subculture of postmodernism does not have the barriers of actual cultures. And the postmodern standard is a lesser standard because it ignores reverence.


    from the article on reconstructionists:


    I do not care where the church service is held or if there are pues or chairs. More power to them. The issue I have with them is the reason behind what they do.

    There is an assumption that if we have the right atmosphere or setting then more people will accept the gospel. the other asssumption is that if more people are becoming dissatisfied with churches today then we need to make a change in the way we do church.
    Such an idea overlooks several scriptures:

    Mt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.Just because someone says they are born again doesn't mean they are. Judas stayed with Jesus three years. The rich young ruler believed in God and wanted eternal life:

    And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.


    But was unwilling to submit to God:

    Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

    It is important to understand that numbers are not evidence of a healthy church:

    Mt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen
    Mt 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it
    But we refuse to pay attention to such scriptures and in the process are willing to compromise the purity of the church to fill the pews and the coffers. We fail to heed warnings of false teachers and wolves in sheeps clothing. so now we have let people into the church that wants simply to just do it their way. The gospel transcends all of time and cultures. And subcultures such as postmodernism is not relevent to how the gospel should be presented. Postmodernism is not a culture it is a subculture.
     
  16. PastorSBC1303

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    Again, you are painting with way too broad of a brush.

    Have you watched the video clips from Driscoll from Piper's Conference?
     
  17. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    The only thing I have seen from Driscoll is his disagreement with McLaren. As far as the good and bad are concerned is irrelevent. The basis for the whole EC is in error to begin wtih. Which is a need to address the subculture of postmodernism. And this is snowballing a ton of other errors that seem to differ amongst the EC. But agian there are some consistancies throughout the EC.
     
  18. DQuixote

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    THAT is really troubling. I'd love to read those who take that position, not in a book or paper, but in a few short paragraphs.
     
  19. guitarpreacher

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    What you are calling a "subculture" is an entire generation of people that the traditional church is flat out missing, largely because the church refuses to bend its traditions and methods to reach someone who is different from them. Go into almost any church in America on any given Sunday, and for the most part the 18 to 30 year olds are not there.
     
  20. Andy T.

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    Not at my church - we have plenty of 18-30 year olds, and we haven't had to "bend" to the culture around us. The secular culture around us is sick. Our church is counter-cultural in that sense - when people come they see something different than the world.
     

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