Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Emerging Church Bashing

Thinking Christian reviews a book bashing the Emerging Church.

12 comments:

Gordon Knight said...

So what is wrong with mysticism and religious experience? I am a little confused. I thought one of the main reasons for believing was religious experience. the author of the book in question wants to take away a chief epistemic reason for thinking there is a God. bizarely on biblical grounds: Certainly Moses and Jesus were not adverse to experiences of God!

Blip said...

I think the real Christian position is a synthesis of experience and revelation. The Emerging church wants to get rid of the revelation bit, or at least severely downplay it. Revelation is what, I think, is needed to interpret your religoius experiences, help them develop, become more fine-tuned etc.

Gordon Knight said...

I don't want to downplay scripture. But its paradoxical to champion revelation over religious experience as, if there really was a revelatoin, it was based on religious experience.

If there is a God, that God is actively interacting with the world now, not just 100 AD and before.

Mike Darus said...

Revelation is needed as a check and balance to experience. The experience that formed the biblical revelation was subject to standards of verifications. True prophets were embraced. False prophets were rejected (or stoned). In Chrisitanity, Jesus is central to validating the revelation that preceded him and initiating the revelation that followed through His apostles. Christianity depends on this base revelation to validate and evaluate any subsequent experience.

The mysticism being challenged is more than a subjective experience of sensing God's presence or guidance. It is the discovery of new "truths" through personal experience that may be contrary or additive to revelation. These truths are not just personal, they are offered as new universals to be embraced by others. The dangerous part is that these truth claims cannot be challenged because personal experience cannot by challenged. "I have my truth and you have yours." has become "I have my truth and you should have it too." The "modern" (now old) approach was more like, "This is God's truth, let's make it personal."

Gordon Knight said...

personal experiences can be challenged. Revelation and experience are only two aspects.. we cannot forget REASON.

Ilíon said...

GK: "Revelation and experience are only two aspects.. we cannot forget REASON."

And yet, is not "the emercing church" *about* forgetting reason?

Of course, one *reasons* about experience in light of what one knows to be true, which must always include revelation.

It's not as though anyone can reason in a vacuum: "Just let me sit here and reason." One asks, about what?

Blue Devil Knight said...

What exactly is 'revelation'? Does it mean insights given to man by God (revealed by God)?

Mike Darus said...

Revelation is the ways that God reveals information about Himself. There is an assumption that we could not know about God unless He revealed it to us. There are classicly two types of revelation: Natural and Special. Natural revelation is information about God that he provides through nature, conscience, reason and other natural processes. Special revelation is God's communication through means such as dreams, visions, written scripture, and the life and teachings of Jesus. Special revelation trumps natural revelation.

Ilíon said...

Mike Darus: "Special revelation trumps natural revelation."

I'm sure that what you literally said is not what you meant. What you literally said is literally absurd -- for what you literally said is that is is logically possible for truth to be in conflict with truth.

And, further, is not "the emerging church" movement, at least in part, dependent upon the very fallacy you literally stated?

Ilíon said...

From the 'Thinking Christian' blog "...Oakland provides a large array of quotations from various sources to support his criticism — many of which are legitimate. Emergent Christianity is a very loose-knit movement that is evolving. And it is most certainly a threat to orthodox, traditional, conservative, Christianity.

The unfortunate aspect of Oakland's book is that, on the whole, he avoids identifying any positive aspects of the movement. For example, ...
"

If "the emerging church" movement is contrary to Biblical and orthodox Christianity, then who, in his right mind, cares about its supposed "positive aspects?" If it is in such serious error, then the error must predominate.


From the 'Thinking Christian' blog "...The unfortunate aspect of Oakland's book is that, on the whole, he avoids identifying any positive aspects of the movement. For example, its emphasis on social justice ..."

And there you go! "Social justice" is a euphemism for rank injustice which its proponents assert to be "for the greater good" (and it certainly works out for their good at the expense of others' good).

Merlijn de Smit said...

Ilion,

It seems to me quite conceivable that something is in opposition to "orthodox, traditional, conservative, Christianity" but not "Biblical and orthodox Christianity" (regardless of whether the emergent Church is indeed that).

Ilíon said...

WorldNetDaily: Emergent church leader says 'gay' can be biblical lifestyle
"One of the key leaders of today's most cutting-edge church movement has opened an Internet discussion on the issue of same-sex marriage with the bold proclamation that he believes "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and queer" individuals can and should live out their sexuality in – and blessed by – the Christian church.

"I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (as least as much as any of us can!)," writes author and church leader Tony Jones, "and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state."
...
"