March 31, 2008
That’s the title of a new book by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. This is the book description:
“You can be young, passionate about Jesus Christ, surrounded by diversity, engaged in a postmodern world, reared in evangelicalism and not be an emergent Christian. In fact, I want to argue that it would be better if you weren’t.”
The Emergent Church is a strong voice in today’s Christian community. And they’re talking about good things: caring for the poor, peace for all men, loving Jesus. They’re doing church a new way, not content to fit the mold. Again, all good. But there’s more to the movement than that. Much more.
Kevin and Ted are two guys who, demographically, should be all over this movement. But they’re not. And Why We’re Not Emergent gives you the solid reasons why. From both a theological and an on-the-street perspective, Kevin and Ted diagnose the emerging church. They pull apart interviews, articles, books, and blogs, helping you see for yourself what it’s all about.“
I have not yet read this book, but I wanted to let you know about it because it seems well worth checking out. It comes with hearty endorsements from such solid theologians and pastors as Al Mohler, DA Carson, Justin Taylor, Ligon Duncan, and Mark Dever (see here). I’ll be reading it as soon as I have time to.
You can see more info on the book and read/download some of it’s chapters at this website: www.notemergent.com. I’d also recommend listening to this interview with the authors (besides an overview of the book, they give a helpful overview of the Emergent scene).
The review below is by Frank Turk of the Pyromaniacs Blog (March 19, 2008). I posted it here because not all of his post was about this book, and I trimmed it down a tad because his review was pretty long:
I heard this sermon by CJ Mahaney at a series of men’s breakfasts at Grace Community Church (the church I was a part of before coming to Bethel Grace, where John MacArthur is senior pastor). It’s excellent! Very convicting, and very practical… The application given for parenting is as helpful as any I’ve ever heard.
Click here to listen to this message.
You can find the rest of the men’s breakfast messages here.
March 28, 2008
This PBS documentary gives a helpful overview of the Emerging Church, including interviews with Emergent leaders (Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, and Tony Jones), with Scott McKnight (an evangelical scholar who is a conservative voice in the emerging “conversation”), and with DA Carson… Footage of worship services gives a helpful look into some of what is being furthered. The documentary focuses on Emergent and the more liberal stream of the emerging church.
P.S: For the record, I agree with Carson and McKnight’s critiques!
You can read my post, “The Emerging Church, part 1 – Overview″ here. The nutshell of my first post was that there is a wide spectrum of churches and theologies that would employ the label “emerging church” – some are genuinely evangelical, but some have denied the truth.
In this post I want to highlight the undermining of biblical doctrine that is prevalent amongst some who would call themselves “emerging”. This is typically done without actually stating one’s position - it’s done more by questioning positions (or the importance of those positions) and withholding a conclusion. For example, many people who would consider themselves “emerging” will not take a stance on issues as clear in Scripture as Homosexuality being sinful or Hell being real. They refrain from taking a position on issues as important to our faith as what Jesus died on the cross to accomplish or who will go to Heaven. The result is what Mark Driscoll calls “the latest version of liberalism.” As he goes on to explain, “The only difference is that old liberalism accomodated modernity and the new liberalism accomodates postmodernity” (“Confessions of a Reformission Rev“, pp22-23).
Many in this stream of the emerging church align themselves with “Emergent” or “The Emergent Village” - an official organization in the U.S. and the U.K. Brian McLaren (author of numerous popular books including A new kind of Christian and A Generous Orthodoxy) and Doug Pagitt (author of An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, and other books) are some of the biggest leaders associated with this organization. Though not officially a part of “Emergent”, Rob Bell, another hugely popular author and speaker, is closely associated with the leaders of “Emergent”. I’ll post on specific concerns about these men and their theology soon.
(Note: As confusingly similar as the terms “emerging” and “Emergent” are, they should not be confused. All Emergent people would consider themselves a part of the emerging church, but not all emerging church people would align themselves with Emergent. ”Emergent” is an official organization, “emerging” refers to a wide spectrum of churches rethinking how to “do” church in current culture. ”Emergent” Christians are not evangelical, but ”emerging” Christians may or may not be.)
D.A. Carson, one of my favorite theologians, has written a book called “Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church”. I’ve read sections of it and found it excellent. It’s important to realize however that this book is really more of a critique of the theologically liberal stream of the emerging church than about the emerging church in its entirety. As Scott McKnight said in his Christianity Today article on the emerging church: “D. A. Carson’s Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church (Zondervan, 2005) is not alone in pointing to the problems in the emerging movement… But as a description of the movement, Carson’s book lacks firsthand awareness and suffers from an overly narrow focus—on Brian McLaren and postmodern epistemology.” If you’d like to learn more of this particular stream in the emerging church, Carson’s critique is worth reading. His final analysis is chilling, “I have to say, as kindly but as forcefully as I can, that to my mind, if words mean anything, both McLaren and Chalke have largely abandoned the Gospel…I cannot see how their own words constitute anything less than a drift toward abandoning the gospel itself” (pp 186-187).
How did this all come about? Well, in our post-modern world, many doubt how sure we can be of things… (Post-modernism is less a denial of truth than it is a hesitancy about how truth can be known with certainty). As these emergent theologians have applied this to Christianity, they’ve been hesitant to take doctrinal positions or state much with conviction…
What can we say to this? Are there difficult passages in Scripture? Yes! Even the Apostle Peter said this of the apostle Paul’s New Testament letters, ”His letters contain some things that are hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16). Are some aspects of theology far too lofty for us to fully understand? Yes! In Ephesians 3:19, Paul desribes Christ’s love as a “love that surpasses knowledge”. But none of this changes the fact that God has spoken to us through Scripture, and that He intended to be understood. As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
God has been gracious to communicate to us through His Word. Let us therefore contend for the faith entrusted to us (Jude 3), let us study God’s Word to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15), and let us preach His Word boldly in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
I’ll write more on this topic soon.
P.S: This is another video of Mark Driscoll describing the “lanes” of the Emerging Church. Some of the content is similar to the video I posted in part 1, but in this one he goes into more detail about prominent men in each lane and expresses his concerns with this theologically liberal stream:
(A few notes on the video: Though Driscoll refers to Tim Keller and CJ Mahaney as “Emerging Reformers”, these men have never been associated with the label “Emerging Church”. They are both Reformed in theology and and are big on church planting (and are therefore concerned with how best to plant churches in the culture of modern day America). Another term used quite often to describe this camp is “The Young Calvinists”. Driscoll said the “Emerging Reformers” are generally charismatic, and this is true – for example, CJ Mahaney is, but Tim Keller is not. Also, note that John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and D.A. Carson were referred to as men these “Emerging Reformers” like, not as “Emerging Reformers” themselves. Not that any of that is really all that important – just thought I’d try clear up any possible confusion.)
March 27, 2008
…and I’m so thankful that Anika and the other Open Arms girls are moving to Ukraine to love on them…
I met these kids last summer when I joined Open Arms on a short term trip… Anika made me these videos the last time Open Arms was in Ukraine – November 2007. It was absolutely amazing to receive these videos… They’re very simple, but just seeing these kids again and hearing them speak to me meant so, so much…
If you’d like to read about what was probably the most incredible week of my life, click here.
You find out more about their ministry at these websites:
You can contact Anika at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be praying for Anika, Open Arms, and their ministry to these orphans. You can read about specific prayer requests a couple posts below this one.
March 26, 2008
This video is adorable! There’s a good chance it will make you smile and smile big!
March 25, 2008
Anika Bachle moves to Ukraine tomorrow to love, serve and tell orphans about Christ. This is the letter she just sent out to everyone on her mailing list. If you’d like to be added to her mailing list, e-mail her at email@example.com. I’ll be posting updates here regularly too…
Please read this letter and be praying for the specific requests she mentions:
So in case you missed the memo, I’m moving toon Wednesday! And since it’s now 1:03am on Tuesday, officially, I leave tomorrow. It still doesn’t feel real, even though I’m saying goodbyes and packing and everything. But I just wanted to let you all know what’s up with everything.
Ok, so we’re staying in a short-term rental/vacation apartment in Sumy for the first 2 or 3 weeks. In that time our main goal will be to find more permanent housing, most likely another apartment. Since we’re starting out in this short-term place, we don’t have an address right away. I’ll let you know when we get that all figured out, but for now, you’ll have to hold off on all the letters and presents for a while… But don’t you fret, you can send as much as you want once we have a real apartment. [: So no mail right away. But! There will be internet [hallelujah!] for the time we’re in that apartment! So email, myspace, facebook, all that goodness. I’m thinking/hoping we will be able to have Skype set up while we’re there too. If you don’t know what Skype is, go to skype.com, figure it out, download it and add me – anika.bachle – to your call list or friends or whatever they call them on there! We can talk for free! And if you have a video camera for your computer, we can even video-Skype each other and you can see my face all the way in ! We’ll have a phone there, but calling costs money and Skype is free. Moral of the story – get Skype.
March 25, 2008
March 24, 2008
A good friend of mine is a father of two teenage daughters. He once told me that he thinks the best thing he’s done in parenting is to consistantly confess his sin to his girls and ask their forgiveness when he’s sinned against them. I think this is invaluable.
Here’s what Paul Tripp, a biblical counselor and author, has to say about this subject:
March 21, 2008
Just for a laugh: