The New Christians

The New Christians


Video of Christian Book Expo Panel

posted by Tony Jones

I’ve already blogged about this a couple times, but here’s the video artifact of the panel at the Christian Book Expo.  If you’ve got 90 minutes to spare, you can decide for yourself about whether Scot’s (and my) charges of Kevin’s uncharitableness require an apology or not.

Honestly, the strangest part for me was when one of the Harrises told me that it was inappropriate to mention that it was personal as well as theological differences that led to Mark Driscoll’s break with Emergent.  Yes, it was a bit strange to have two 18-year-olds on the panel, much less to be upbraided by one of them…

The video on Tangle. Skip ahead to the 75-minute mark to see the closing statements.

PS: At 39:08, like a mother hen, I help Scot wipe some ink from one of his beloved fountain pens off his face.  Seriously, what would he do without me? :-)



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jhimm

posted April 1, 2009 at 11:24 pm


people forget that words have meanings aside from their hyperbolic, pejorative usages which must remain valid language.
considering the accusations aimed at you on here on a daily basis, i would say you’re the last person to owe anyone on the non-emergent side of the fence an apology on the subject of charity.



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Ken Pierpont

posted April 1, 2009 at 11:37 pm


Was it kinda’ hard for you to get TKO’d by a couple humble 18 year-olds? I guess I understand, what with you bein’ so brilliant and urbane and all.
Your’s was a cheap-shot on Driscoll. Save it for when he can answer…
It’s wrong to call the things you believe Christian.



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Daniel

posted April 1, 2009 at 11:41 pm


I hope to be able to see it. Video link is broken at present. Much love, Tony.



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Shawn

posted April 2, 2009 at 12:36 am


Tony – I watched the entire video. Well done. Be encouraged.
I have just two thoughts, really.
1. The rise of Driscollian-tainted Calvinism is growing. It’s arm is long and getting longer. I have regularly encountered it locally and it is far from pleasant because it is accompanied by an attitude that actually bends an otherwise impotent fundamentalism in a way that makes it seem much more powerful than it really is. It’s coolness is rooted in its rudeness. The result is detriment. I really wish that Driscoll would quit worrying about the correctness of other people’s expressions and instead spend some of his discernment on what he is really imparting to young people all over the country. His followers actually take more than so-called correct doctrine from him; they also actually try to act just like him. Surely even he would agree that making little clones is unhealthy.
2. The Harris twins repeated their call for “Biblical Literacy” in the video. I’m guessing that their definition of “Biblical Literacy” means little more than “knowing what the Bible says.” Said differently, for them, Biblical Literacy would be successfully achieved by merely knowing the content that lives between the two covers. You and I both know that there is far more to Biblical literacy than simply knowing the content of the Bible. I think the Emerging Church really needs to start communicating all that Biblical literacy entails. Our hermeneutic – and more importantly what it reveals – is solid. I do not think that it would be uncharitable to be bluntly honest about this issue, and I do believe that it would provide people with a very real and stark alternative to Driscollian Calvinism.
Finally, I just want to encourage you. Keep your head up and preach the Kingdom of God. It is not in vain. Peace.



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Josh

posted April 2, 2009 at 10:57 am


Thanks, Tony. Very interesting. As others have said, that link is broken, but there’s another one here if people want to watch it:
http://www.tangle.com/view_video.php?viewkey=b055dd51f345c802c26c



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Panthera

posted April 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm


Link is working for me, after being down for a while.
I was rather shocked by those two young men.
If that is really all they have to offer, no wonder the American conservative Christians are so full of hatred and spite – there is no basis to their beliefs other than a profound desire to elevate themselves above those with whom they disagree. I am right because I know I am right, you are wrong because I know you are wrong and all of that is true because it says so right here!
Dear me.
And the Catholic church really wants to work together with these people to strip me of my human rights?
Guess doing evil that good may come of it has lost its appeal.
Yikes!



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Panthera

posted April 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm


make that, please, “has NOT lost its appeal”.
Sorry.



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Makeesha

posted April 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm


Tony, you and scot were excellent! And those kids at the end of the table humble? ha! I have never seen such disdainful smirking on a christian panel.
Scot made the best point when he said that if you continue trying to define someone else for them even when they say “no, that’s not me” – THAT’S uncharitable. period.
Shawn made excellent points about neo calvinism (which btw, is just as ugly as neo atheism) and how much of this is representative of that.
I could bring you just as many kids who would stand in radical disagreement with those boys at the table so to say they represent the “next generation” is just as questionable as saying that the radical liberals in emerging represent all of emerging.



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Becky R-P

posted April 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm


Tony-
I listened to the video this morning (after watching for a few minutes I realized staring at the five of you sitting there didn’t provide a lot of action).
I found the discussion to be very worthwhile; FWIW here are my impressions:
First, we need to ban the label “orthodox” for any meaning besides shorthand for the Eastern churches. I heard it used three different ways during the video, but the troubling use is when it is code for “conservative religious beliefs, which are the only beliefs of which God approves.” It has become a divisive and perhaps even arrogant term, and thus should be avoided.
Second, Kevin DeYoung properly titled his book. As I listened to him, I kept thinking, “He just doesn’t get what emergent/emergence/whateverwe’recallingitthisweek is about.” His view is that to legitimately call oneself a Christian, one must hold one proper (correct) set of beliefs based on a single authority,the Bible, which in turn must be interpreted in a particular(correct) way. This is fine for him, and I hope that brings him all the joy and peace in believing that any human can hold. The problem is that he will necessarily be unable to enter into a meaningful exchange of ideas – i.e.,a real conversation – with anyone who does not share his worldview, his doctrines, or his source of authority. In other words, for him there can be no real conversation among “Christians” because those who do not hold the proper views aren’t “Christians.” This is the subtext behind Scot McKnight’s statement that Kevin was being “uncharitable.” No one cited 1 Corinthians 13:1 ff in the discussion, but before one takes it upon oneself to decide who gets to be called “Christian” or not, this passage should be read. Within that context, Kevin WAS being uncharitable.
Scot, on the other hand, does get it. It appears that he subscribes to the same theological propositions as Kevin, but he is able also to be in a real conversation with those who hold differing ones. Scot also seems to have the charitableness to let those people still call themselves “Christian.”
As for the “twins,” I think I know why they were there, but at this point can’t really remember what they said.
I thought that you, Tony, articulated yourself very well, and very much appreciate your willingness and ability to be in engaged with those who are suspicious of emergent/emergence/whateverwe’recallingitthisweek. As a parish pastor, I spend a lot of time in the same type of conversation with my people, though on a very different level than the one at which you operate.
Peace.



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Makeesha

posted April 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm


one of the most interesting things to me was when the twins essentially said “please just land on a definition and stick with it so we can decide to be a part of the conversation or not” They nailed it right there. That’s EXACTLY what they and Kevin are so in a huff about . They just cannot wrap their minds around charitable fellowship with people with whom they disagree and they are so frustrated that we won’t put everything in tidy boxes so they can determine who is in and who is out. To have such modern fundamentalism come from the young is disturbing to me. This is the fundamentalism of my childhood all over again – pushing it on my community – ick.
As in the video tony showed here recently – there is a big difference between fundamentalism and literalism and these guys are fundamentalists. And they want to define emerging in the way that allows them to stay out of the conversation on “principle”…because of “orthodoxy”. THAT ALONE shows that they’re missing the whole point altogether.
And it’s too bad really, they and we are missing out.



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Mr. T!

posted April 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm


So-called defenders of the christian faith acting badly. How novel.



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StupidityTries

posted April 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm


Thanks for posting this Tony. I especially appreciated your thoughts on orthodoxy and I hope that you’d consider doing a blog-series on it in the near future (I know that a while back you posted a few thoughts – ie: Orthodoxy of Down Syndrome) – specifically on how its changed throughout church history.
One criticism though: “blue and green should never be seen without a colour in-between” – you’re breaking the fundamental rules of fashion orthodoxy man…



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Ann

posted April 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm


Ok, so I didn’t really have 90 minutes to spare, but I made the time anyway because after listening for 2 minutes I was hooked! I just want to say, where did that Kevin guy come from anyway? The first time I heard the word Emergent was last year when Tony came and talked at my church. This Emergent (philosophy?) just spoke to my heart and I’ve been trying to get my hands around it ever since. I grew up in the RCA and graduated from Calvin college, and my first reaction to Emergent was that this fit perfectly with the Reformed/Calvinist/Kuyperian theology I fell in love with while at Calvin. I’m confused that Kevin, coming from this rich tradition, would be opposed to the Emergent community. I mean, maybe I misunderstood what is means to be Reformed, but the most meaningful thing I learned was the idea that “a Reformed Church is always Reforming”. There is no “if I can just find this concrete thing called truth, then the church can just stay stagnant in that truth”. Culture is always shaping us and we are always reinterpreting the Bible through the lens of culture. I hope you won’t judge my heritage from this one guy because, if you went to Calvin to talk, I know the students would love what you have to say.



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Matt Cleaver

posted April 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm


Suit & tie?
I’ve never seen Tony wear such a thing.



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Makeesha

posted April 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm


stupiditytries – I’m going to guess there was blue in that tie.



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jhimm

posted April 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm


“Why can’t we have both”
The two young panelists keep asking this question. I find it very telling that they don’t realize that they answer their own question. They point out that Mark Driscoll is someone to whom they and their cohorts look up. Mark Driscoll is someone who would say “you can’t have both, because I’m right, and they’re wrong”. Until people stop saying that, you can’t have both. Not because it isn’t possible to have both, but because the people on one half of the debate refuse to allow it to be a valid option. They insist that you cannot throw out the bath water without throwing out the baby.
Why can’t we have both fails to understand what is at the core of the conversation. It is not a debate about the value of having an orthodoxy versus the value of praxis. It isn’t a debate about priorities. It is a debate about whether or not it is valid to question the established orthodoxy and reach new (or old) conclusions. It is a debate about whether or not all the heavy lifting with regards to theology is all done and there is no longer a need to -think- because other, greater men have done it all for us or no. It is a debate about whether or not it is more important to be right, or more important to have faith. There is no both when you ask a question of that nature.
The reason why the criticism of the emerging conversation is uncharitable is because it dismisses the validity of the questions that emerging raises at their very core. It is uncharitable because the upshot of the criticism is “who do you think you are to question Calvin, Wesley, Luther and Augustine?” It is uncharitable because it says “Paul wasn’t apologetic about his assertions nor did he equivocate, so you shouldn’t either” while completely ignoring the fact that Paul existed in a culture which only respected unequivocal assertion while we live in a culture in which such assertions are anathema.
Scot is exactly right. Their criticism is uncharitable because they don’t actually know and understand what it is they are criticizing. They think this is a post-modern theological debate. And it isn’t.



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nathan

posted April 2, 2009 at 6:37 pm


Did they explain “why” it was inappropriate for you to mention that there was a “personal” dimension to your falling out?



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nathan

posted April 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm


Tony…just watched the video in its entirety. Crazy, i know.
Anyway.
your closing statement.
Dude.
out of the park.
A good spanking to any and all 3rd grade understandings of postmodernity.
and an unequivocal statement about the Gospel: One that means if people continue to say that what you professed is not what you really believe…they aren’t just “inaccurate” or even “uncharitable”.
They’re liars.
Thanks for laying it down.



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Your Name

posted April 3, 2009 at 12:49 am


Just so everyone knows, the Harris bro’s are actually 20…



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Panthera

posted April 3, 2009 at 6:21 am


Your, kidding,’Your Name’. They are really adults? From their behavior, I had thought them to be in their mid-teens and simply well along the way into puberty.
Goodness. And that is the future of American Christianity.
Well, I guess the conservative Christians are getting what they deserve.
I am going to listen to the conference again later today. If these 90 some odd minutes are typical of such attempts at working together, well, I begin to have some sympathy for Paul…
What am I saying. Every day, we see how pointless it is to try to talk to the fundamentalists here. They are incapable of faith.



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tony jones

posted April 3, 2009 at 8:22 am


No, “Your Name,” they’re not 20. They’re 18. They are freshmen at Patrick Henry “College.” They wrote their book, *Do Hard Things*, two years ago, when they were 16.
And, no, *Do Hard Things* does not mean what you think it means… ;-)



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Panthera

posted April 3, 2009 at 9:09 am


quote:
And, no, *Do Hard Things* does not mean what you think it means…
end quote
Which might go a long ways to explaining why they are as uptight as they are.
There is nothing wrong, in and of itself, with having strongly conservative convictions.
Especially when one is well into one’s later years and has come to the convictions through experience and much reflection (maybe even prayer?!)
To be that rigid at 18 or 16 – as, apparently they were, I have not read their book – belies any degree of maturity, at all.



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Nathan Myers

posted April 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm


First of all, Tony, thank you thank you thank you. Your passion for being Christ’s ambassadors was an excellent reminder that though we can disagree on big points (and shouldn’t back away from our stances if authentically and humbly held), we are united by a much more central thing.
I would add that your response to “What is the gospel” was much more profoundly Biblical, Jesus-centered, and authentic to life than the supposedly “orthodox” Kevin DeYoung who essentially proclaimed a gnostic, otherworldly gospel out of touch with the Bible, out of touch with the mission of Jesus, and out of touch with the very Paul he constantly quoted. As he spoke almost exclusively out of Paul’s letters, I was constantly thinking, “Man, I wish he could read McLaren’s Chapters 11 and 12 in Secret Message of Jesus.”
Anyways, I have significant disagreements with you, but you spoke boldly, authentically, and come off to me as the most Biblically and traditionally rooted panel member. And your closing statement, to quote you, “Good Lord!” You gave me chills and made me want to shout “Yes! Do you hear what this man is saying!!!!!” You were constantly accused of heterodoxy in this session, yet gave a profoundly orthodox answer, one made with guts and passion. Thank you for your courage.
But (deep breath), here are my critiques of what is already transpiring on the comments of this post.
Panthera,
I find your comments extremely uncharitable and in the area of gossip. Bear in mind the context these youths found them in. As I was watching, I kept thinking, “How would I have felt as a 18-year old on this panel of older, more well-read, wiser men? I would’ve been deeply intimidated and stammered and stumbled my way through the event.” Given the context and their stage of maturity, I thought they handled themselves well. Sure, they had limited understandings of postmodernity and of the real nature of the Emergent conversation, but they’re also 18.
I thought one of the brother’s metaphors of the fireplace and the fire, while deeply flawed and limited, to be a fruitful one to think about a bit. The analogy painted emergents as extremists, which perpetuated the very inaccuracy that Scot said maybe 15 times, but in spite of their oversimplicity and immaturity, I thought they handled themselves well.
For you to say, Panthera, that fundamentalists are “incapable of faith” is utterly absurd and deeply self-righteous about your own approach. I’d encourage you to repent from such a statement and re-engage the conversation.
Tony, as an addendum, I would add that yours and Scot’s thoughts did reflect a bit of an ivory-tower mentality. It remains true that the emerging conversation has a spectrum of voices, and it also remains true that DeYoung (who showed an awareness of the different voices yet ignored them beyond two sentences in his book) needs to shape those he teaches to embrace the wider spectrum rather than perpetuating unwise oversimplifications. When DeYoung does that, his lack of teaching ripples out into his congregants’ lives in secondary ways that encourage them to stereotype and demonize those different than them. But it is also true that the average disciple of Jesus really typically only hears about McLaren and Miller. For better or worse. I do my best to expand that in my circles. I’m a part of an interdenominational Bible study with some very conservative Christians, and it took several years of us meeting before I felt comfortable enough to suggest “Secret Message,” which we’re wading through now (and very fruitfully, I might add).
So the bigger issue for me is, Tony, that you have opportunities panel by panel to encourage and exhort fellow panelists and Christian leaders to read more widely and shape more wisely. I think you carried yourself well in this discussion, even as I saw your face tightened in frustration and even as you channeled your anger and disgust in a way that heightened tensions. I think your anger was fruitful and channeled well. If he has any understanding of humility and brokenness, Pastor DeYoung should have walked away from that panel session significantly chastened. He should have never written that book, and any money he makes from it henceforth should be given away, 100%.
p.s. That snide comment on “Do Hard Things” was below you, Tony. Don’t ruin your integrity in the panel discussion with stuff like this here.
Just some thoughts from the peanut gallery.
Nathan Myers



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Andy Rowell

posted April 3, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Panthera

posted April 3, 2009 at 3:04 pm


Nathan,
I teach students, including young men of that age group. My discipline, tho’ traditionally part of natural science faculties is regarded as a ‘soft’ course of study by students of engineering and so we begin every semester with a new group of young adults who are certain that they, having survived a numerus clausus ad nullus for anyone with less than a 4.0g.p.a. and a several semester wait for most fulfilling the strict criteria for admittance are, perforce enormously superior to me in intelligence, ability and erudition. It just stands to reason.
Our first week of class, we do basic algebraic equations, simple linear transformations and extract cube roots of non-integrals. In our heads. Nothing hard, mind you, I am, after all not an engineer.
I did, however, use courses in advanced mathematics to keep my own g.p.a. up (scholarship) a few centuries ago, when I went to school in the US to study English.
The second week of our course, we chose, at random, exercises in logic. This reduces the likelihood that any of us will know the answer to the problem or task set in advance. I split the students into groups and, well, to cut it short…in the last 18 semesters the group I worked with has only come in second once.
The third week we begin with plain old linguistics and, surprise, surprise, they are ready and willing to learn from me.
I meant what I said about those young men. Their behavior was inexcusable. Especially for people claiming, as they do, to speak for God.
Nathan, I do believe you misunderstood – or I expressed myself poorly – the problem I see with fundamentalists and faith.
In their passion to nail down every aspect of life to an exact, literal definition taken (cherry-picked is more like it) from the Bible, fundamentalist Christians are desperately trying to avoid having to place their faith in God. They want to have assurance, and have it now, that what they are doing is right…because they can point at a text and say: “See, God said it, the Bible wrote it, I believe it!”
That is not faith. Faith, per definitionem is non-rational and non-empirical. The exact opposite of what American fundamentalist Christians base their belief on.
Now, we once got up to seven different (or was it nine?) categories for conservative Christians here because every discussion with one of these people embodies the same risk as a Baptist picnic in a town with only one Baptist church…the odds are pretty good that by the end of the picnic, there is soon going to be a second Baptist church right down the street. The difference between the two will hinge on a theological point of roughly the same order of magnitude as whether angels dance on the head of a pin or merely alight, to be counted. But it will be reason enough for all and sundry to scream: I am not a fundamentalist, I am an Evangelical. How dare you assume I am otherwise. Further, I am not a conservative, but a Randite…
I do tend to be quite barbed and aggressive in my dealings with conservative Christians around here. Not one single week has gone by since October of 2008 without one of these folks telling me that, because I am gay, I am therefor not a Christian.
God, apparently, has no say in the matter.



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Ted Seeber

posted April 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm


I find such fundamentalists to be, at best, embarrassing to any true conservative.
Oh, and BTW, the Catholic Church isn’t entirely banded with such. Abortion (killing off the next generation) isn’t really a human right- but it’s on the same level for us as War, The Death Penalty, Euthanasia, Poverty, and Starvation. The Seamless Garment of Life is a teaching of the Patriarchs.



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Bo

posted April 3, 2009 at 8:35 pm


It’s a struggle to engage in loving, Christ like conversations with people who only seem interested in proving you’re not really a Christian by trying to force you into a corner where you must admit you question some doctrine “orthodoxy” holds sacred. Kevin seemed very distraught that he wasn’t able to get Tony (or Scot) to give a doctrinal statement. The neo-Calvinists or whatever you want to call them come off as so desperate, clinging to their orthodox beliefs for dear life. Idolatry? I think it may be. When it comes to defending their beliefs, Kevin and others love to proof text with Paul, but it’s an interesting thought experiment to imagine Jesus responding to people that are so quickly condemned by the fundamentalists. Would Jesus say “Depart from me you evil doer,” (to eternal conscious torment in Hell!) or would he simply say “Follow Me.” It seems that faith is a lot more about trying to follow Jesus than believing certain doctrines. If God doesn’t want or love me because I can’t see the value in penal substitutionary atonement or that I can’t believe in a “literal” reading of Scripture (I think monogamous homosexual relationships are OK with God and I don’t think women should be silent in church), I’m not sure that’s a God I’m interested in worshiping. These conversations need more shalom.



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Your Name

posted April 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm


Um, No, Tony Jones, They are personal friends of mine, and they are 20. And I’m a little shocked that your insisting they are 18…



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Heather W

posted April 5, 2009 at 12:51 pm


I remember the days when that kind of two year difference actually MEANT something. When you are 18 or 20, it really seems like those two years should endow you with added significance. As you get older, 18 and 20 are basically the same age.



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Panthera

posted April 5, 2009 at 2:35 pm


Frankly, there behavior is even less pardonable at 20 than it was at 18.
Those kids have nothing of value to contribute once their carefully pre-learned sound-bites have been pronounced.



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scottyb

posted April 5, 2009 at 4:26 pm


that is a good question… why did the apostle paul die?



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Ann

posted April 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm


Tony- you should do a blog series on the meaning of post-modernism. After listening to the panel discussion, I wonder if my understanding of post-modern is a bit skewed. Or if you could recommend a few books.



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Your Name

posted April 5, 2009 at 9:16 pm


Issues of the discussion aside…isn’t it fair and “charitable” and respectful to them?



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Your Name

posted April 5, 2009 at 9:58 pm


Within the Bible itself there is a polarity between unity and diversity. Flowing from this polarity we have not a problem to be resolved but a tension to live out.
On the one hand, I am troubled by the “we orthodox have it” and the “clueless emergents don’t”. This pattern of unity at the expense of diversity I reject.
On the other hand, there is a limit to diversity. And all diversity should relate to a dynamic center.
I find myself self-identifying with Emergent as an ally and friend. However, I also fall into the anti-Pelagius camp my experience, observation and training. So some of the folks I admire in Emergent world I find some profound theological disagreement. And my resolution is to practice John 13:35 (a Holy Week text) or Philippians 2:5-11 (another Holy Week kenosis text)
Where I find myself breaking out in hives is when people speak with too much confidence (= arrogance) that their definition of the Gospel is THE STANDARD by which all others are measured. Doesn’t cut it for me.
Anyway… Tim



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Larry

posted April 6, 2009 at 11:32 pm


Ann, you could start with James K. A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism.



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b

posted April 7, 2009 at 12:18 am


“Honestly, the strangest part for me was when one of the Harrises told me that it was inappropriate to mention that it was personal as well as theological differences that led to Mark Driscoll’s break with Emergent. Yes, it was a bit strange to have two 18-year-olds on the panel, much less to be upbraided by one of them…”
..and upstaged.
B



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b

posted April 7, 2009 at 12:32 am


‘In their passion to nail down every aspect of life to an exact, literal definition taken (cherry-picked is more like it) from the Bible, fundamentalist Christians are desperately trying to avoid having to place their faith in God. They want to have assurance, and have it now, that what they are doing is right…because they can point at a text and say: “See, God said it, the Bible wrote it, I believe it!”‘
Yeah, guys like Zarcharias, Strobels, Geisler and Keller simply don’t exist. I think you’d do well to take a step back and educate yourself about people groups you stereotype. It’s not just bigotry, it’s unhelpful to the conversation you claim that you’re trying to have with these very groups.



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Pedro

posted April 7, 2009 at 12:39 am


I would second Larry’s recommendation of “Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?”
Also, I have a question about the whole charity thing. After watching the video and reading the comments here, the sentiment seems to be that if person A defines person B a certain way and person B says, “No, that’s not me,” then person A is being uncharitable. I immediately thought about Acts 17 where Paul quotes a pagan poet who talks about people being the offspring of one god, and Paul intentionally misinterprets the quote in order to get his point across that we are actually the offspring of another god, his God. Is Paul being uncharitable by quoting a poet in a way that would cause the poet to say, “No, that’s not me”?



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b

posted April 7, 2009 at 12:51 am


“The neo-Calvinists or whatever you want to call them come off as so desperate, clinging to their orthodox beliefs for dear life.”
Or just maybe we feel a sense of urgency, have empathy and take James 5:19-20 quite literally. I didn’t find Kevin desperate but exasperated.
Anyway, Neo-Calvinists will not rise and fall by the endorsement of Emergents or Emerging folks. Kevin seems to understand this and what emerged from this workshop, for me, was a sense that Kevin need to “prove his credentials” just to join the conversation. There was no real discussion of his criticisms, there was just “You didn’t read my book!” or “I undestand reformed tradition perfectly and let me tell you…” kinds of dismissals. Look, if Emergent and Emerging folks want a serious, real conversation with ‘Neo-Calvinists’ and the rest of Christendom, then they’re going to need to do more than to just brush criticism aside with appeals to authority. Kevin asked some pretty simple questions that received long winded answers that tapped danced around any kind of serious answer. And until there are serious answers given to these kinds of questions Emerging and Emergents will simply not be taken very seriously by those outside.



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Barbara

posted April 7, 2009 at 12:09 pm


Someone above stated, “They are incapable of faith.”
No one is capable of faith, as the Scriptures frequently remind us. It is a gift from God, as Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians. “For it is by grace that you are saved, through faith, and not that of yourselves but it is a gift from God, not of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“Faith” as a personal characteristic or trait of which one could even begin to consider boasting of being “capable of” is a misnomer. Christ is the author and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:2) Everything is for HIS glory; all I hear from this “conversation” is man.



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Ann

posted April 7, 2009 at 12:10 pm


Panthera- I don’t even understand why anyone would tell you that you can’t be gay and be a Christian. That is just non-sense. Even if, as they say, being gay is a sin, we are all sinners, so by that reasoning, none of us are Christians.
The reason I bring this up (other than to encourage Panthera not to take it to heart b/c it is absolute non-sense)is that I’m reminded of another group who claims vehemently that they are Christians only to have Christians tell them that they are not. They are the Mormons. Tony & Scot claimed that Kevin was being uncharitable b/c when he defined Emergent, his definition was not accurate. We do the same to the Mormon community. They say that they do believe in Jesus and God and that they ARE Christians. I don’t know why I thought of that, but I did, so I thought I’d share. Any thoughts?



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SBT

posted April 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm


“They say that they do believe in Jesus and God and that they ARE Christians. I don’t know why I thought of that, but I did, so I thought I’d share. Any thoughts?” – Ann
Simply calling yourself a Christian does not make you one. Likewise, saying that you “follow Jesus” does not make you a Christian.
Being a Christian is about seeing yourself as a wretched sinner, who is deserving of God’s wrath and understanding your only hope is to fully trust in the life and death of Jesus as the full atonement for your sins. God saves those who believe, His grace flows through faith. Only those who are born again will believe. God is calling us to repentance and holiness. Today is the day of salvation, so repent and believe.



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Ann

posted April 8, 2009 at 9:59 pm


SBT- If you would tell a Mormon that in order to be a Christian you must “(see) yourself as a wretched sinner, who is deserving of God’s wrath and (understand) your only hope is to fully trust in the life and death of Jesus as the full atonement for your sins. God saves those who believe, His grace flows through faith. Only those who are born again will believe. God is calling us to repentance and holiness. Today is the day of salvation, so repent and believe.” They would say…. I believe that too. That is my point. They will insist that they believe what we believe.



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SBT

posted April 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm


Ann-
A true Mormon may say they believe as a Christian does but after a little more understanding of what exactly their beliefs are, it would be evident that they would disagree with the Christian faith as evidenced in the Bible.
A person can say with conviction that they hold to historic Christian faith/creeds and therefore think of themselves as a Christian. But, does their life match that of a believer as presented in the Bible? Are they truly a new creation in Christ? Do they truly hate sin and want to be made holy by sanctification through the holy spirit? And sin is defined by what the Bible says, not by what a person “feels” is a sin. So a person living a gay lifestyle and who does not see that as a sin is not showing evidence of being a true Christian.



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Bryan

posted May 26, 2009 at 3:59 am


Why, exactly, were the twins invited to this panel? I imagine it’s because they represent a new generation. Unfortunately, they’re in over their heads and come off as a very earnest Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.



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Exhibition Fair

posted June 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm


To participate in this type of activity what should we do?



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Matt

posted September 10, 2009 at 11:52 pm


“Yes, it was a bit strange to have two 18-year-olds on the panel, much less to be upbraided by one of them…”
That comment comes off a bit arrogant
they were invited to participate they repeatedly admit their lack of competence on the matter, yet it was their responsibility to contribute to the conversation, yet there you “cherry pick” and unfairly categorize them (sound familiar, it’s what you are happy to accuse Kevin of doing)
you overall seemed a bit defensive and in a bad mood in this conversation, why?
You think it is really important to be in conversation with those who have gone before us but Doug says things like the doctrine of theology has run its course..



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