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Thursday, February 23, 2006

More Emergent Discussion

Justin Taylor points to a Scott McKnight article that deals with understanding, and investigating the Emergent Movement.

He seems to take a pretty non-biased view. Take a look at the article, and tell me what you think.


  • At 10:44 AM, Anonymous McGriff said…

    The EM is a dangerous and scary movement. A couple of things from the article that I disagree with:

    1. They adapt the gospel. The gospel never changes. Sin is sin in Ohio, Canada, Nigeria, Iraq or anywhere else. That is the essential point of the gospel that all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.

    2. They say that people come to faith by experiencing the gospel and love others who do it. That is not what I read in God's word. Sinners are saved by God grace drawing them to Himself. He does this through His Word, not by experiencing the gospel.

    3. The uses of candels, incense and the such to formulate a sensory experience to me is a form of idol worship. It is saying that you need more than what God has provided to get close to him

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    glad to see you commenting matt. maybe this will replace the long deep conversations while boston played in the four door cavalier!!!

    i think one of mcknight's points that is very fair is that we can miss the point if we go to the extremes for all examples. i know some like mcclaren, but in my book, he's one of those such extremes. when i read some of his stuff, the whole em movement freaked me out. however, many aren't ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater like he does.

    just some thoughts, and i'd love to hear your replies:

    1. adapting the gospel. as my previous posts show, i believe changing even the emphasis of the results of the gospel (to prosperity, peace, healing) from the substitutionary atonement is dreadfully dangerous. however, i present the gospel now in a different way to my three year old than i would a peer. is this wrong? can i keep the essentials the same yet speak it in a language others understand. some in the em throw out the essentials. some care very deeply about preserving those.

    2. this is a big rub or the em right now. honestly, my posts about self-righteousness and preaching have come out of discussions with some in the em. certainly, we show we are His by our love. but romans 10 very clearly says we've got to boldly proclaim the gospel as well. i think some in the em use the "live it rather than speak it" mantra as a justification for their fear of evangelism. however, i've been encouraged recently to hear dan kimball (an em biggie) reminding people that we have to verbally share the gospel as well.

    3. i don't think i can agree with you here. if i were bowing to the candle, or believed the candle created something extra sanctified about the room...then there's a problem. but couldn't our german baptist brothers and sisters say we are idol worshippers for bringing in instruments? should we not call people to stand when they worship? does the bread and the cup cease to be worship because it involves taste as well as smell and hearing?

    where i do get concerned about some multi-sensory atmospheres i hear about has more to do with chaos. in many places, it sounds like several things are happening at once. this seems to be contrary to the order paul talks about in 1 corinthians. also, i wonder if it indirectly feeds the individualistic nature of christianity that we pursue in america and doesn't emphasize enough the community aspect of the Body needing one another.

    tell me what you think matt. i value your opinions!

  • At 4:35 PM, Anonymous mcgriff said…

    Hey, don't forget doing the burnout on the hill to your house when it rained - Man that cavalier had some power baby!!!

    I don't disagree with you adapting for a 3 year old - I tried to explain leadership to Colson the other day - he came up with that it is like simon says or follow the leader...however, I think that too many times we don't trust the Spirit to do His work in people. We try to change or adapt the message when it is not necessary. The fundmental doctrine of Sin and seperation is really no different no matter who we talk to (I explain sin to my son the same why I do to non-believers). I just think that when you look at the life of Christ he went to many many different places - and people in the em or church growth movement often say that we need to be like Christ and meet sinners at their level. Which is true, but I have never seen an example where Christ didn't confront the sinner about their sin. I guess I see the adaptation as a slippery slope - and I try to avoid those.

    The thing with the candle I will have to hold fast on. Only becuase I think that they are doing it in an effort to create the experience and make it more sanctified. Using instruments to Worship God is a means of worship, burnig a candle reminds people of the Catholic doctrine or other shrines - which I would think we as believers would want to avoid bieng lumped into since we are to avoid the appearance of evil.

    I think that all of those stuff just leads to an experience of the senses that leads to a false sense of Worship. I believe that the best way to worship is to learn more about Christ and become more like Him - I don't see that in the em movement.

    This is great. I am glad that I found the site. Let me know what you think - remember I am just a layman - not a effluent highly educated scholar like yourself...

  • At 8:18 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    i will admit that some of the more liturgical elements of em worship appeal to white-middle-class-suburbanite-protestants. i think of many former catholics who have converted and wonder if candles and incense would be freeing to them? i think it would remind them of a past they've graciously escaped.

    but i think we have to be careful to say what specifics cross a line. just the other day, i found out that some cultures around the world use a different scale system than our 8-note based keys. they worship with a tone and a key that is totally different than what we understand. but neither is wrong. just both different.

    i agree though, that makes worship good (whether word, deed, song or art) is that it is centered on a risen Savior who was crucified to buy redemption for the saints.


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