Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More Emergent confusion

Let this be a lesson to anyone who's wondering what The Emergent Church believes. They don't know either.

Note how it's getting uglier (not in terms of tone of voice but in terms of implication of this guy Dave's doctrine) over at the Living Room blog.

Then if you have time, you can check out Dan Kimball's comments at a recent and related discussion here and specifically here.

That's a far cry from where Dave Parker is going in his discussion w/ me. I can't tell if this is really his position or whether he is just reflexively going after the guy who believes God's Word is final. Perhaps later I'll be able to tell.

Here's my most recent post to him:


As far as the questions on
-uninhibited worship
-life experiences for sermons
-love motivating us
let’s call it good. I think the explanation is sufficient. I don’t agree w/ you on 100% of it but it’s close enough that right now I don’t want to mess w/ it.

However, I am disturbed in the extreme by your comments on sola fide and the requirements for being a Christian.

–Did you not just negate your list of requirements in claiming that you hold to “sola fide”?
>>Were those things I listed works or beliefs? Beliefs. This objection makes no sense.

–Is it “justification by grace thru faith alone”, or does one also have to adhere to your list of beliefs?
>>It’s both since they are in harmony.

–And if one must adhere, then baptism must make your list! Why? You’ll not find one single post-resurrection “salvation” that does not include baptism!!!
>>I don’t deny that NT salvations were followed by baptism. So what? And that’s the key - the salvations were FOLLOWED by baptism.

–your “thru faith alone” leverages heavily against James’ “not by faith alone.”
–Regarding the “sola fide” position, have you considered that James (the brother of Jesus) and author of a canonized NT letter disagrees with you!?!
>>This is where I get really scared for you. You are a leader of a ‘faith community’ and don’t understand the doctrine of sola fide and justification vs sanctification?
And your calling out my “thru faith alone” (ie, Ephesians 2:8-9) vs James 2 is based on your inability to understand the context of Ephesians 2, Romans, and James.
Let me ask you this - how, according to YOU, are we justified before God?

–You come across to me as a corner preacher with a bullhorn, tracts, and a giant billboard strapped to your body, “Repent, the end is near!!!”
>>I have already pointed out to you that Jesus preached “Repent for the kingdom of God is near” as well as related subjects.
And I suspect I come across that way to you b/c you react almost instinctively, reflexively against the claim that God’s revelation on sin, judgment, and salvation is clear, understandable, and final.
Above, you do nothing less than accuse God’s inspired Scriptures of containing a contradiction, so maybe it shouldn’t surprise me. Do you believe the Bible to be inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed revelation of God? If not, does one exist? If so, are there others?

Thanks Dave.


All that to say, I'm glad I didn't jump immediately to calling him "brother". That is an appellation that should mean something, and if applied between him and me, it loses its flavor. I love the bonds of brotherhood in Christ where they exist enough not to dilute them.


David Bryan said...

We've got a married couple visiting our parish who are simultaneously semi-seriously inquiring into Orthodoxy while helping lead an EC congregation.

Like you said: confusion.

I couldn't find the conversation through the links (it's late, and I'm up grading papers and needed a break), but I'd like to ask (and not debate, of course!), out of curiousity, your take on St. James' declaration that "by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."

I agree, of course, that there is no dissonance between St. James and St. Paul, but it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that you and I would part ways regarding how that harmony is achieved. I'd just be interested in hearing your take on it...since I don't think we've ever actually touched on the topic specifically.

Christ is risen!

(Word verification -- huuhj -- sounds like someone threw up)

Rhology said...

Actually, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest to hear about that couple, for a couple of reasons (ha, get it?):

1) EC communities are really into the use of candles, stuff which gives an ambience and vibe of a murky medieval liturgical-type experience, and moving away from the familiar evangelical landscape. So just in appearance, EC and EOC match up well in many respects.
2) It is fast becoming my conviction that EC is the new liberalism, and in our past conversations I have oft noted the numerous similarities between the EO approach and the liberal Prot approach to epistemology.

I'll get around to the James thing in a few. Dang it, I wrote a really nice one a while back and posted it on a RC webforum, but then they got hacked and lost their archives. I'll try to find sthg I've already written before typing it out again.
I would also be interested in YOUR take on it, just as I've asked Dave Parker to give his...

Huuhj to you too!

David Bryan said...

Haven't forgotten about your request...will get around to it sometime this week. If YOU'VE got time though, I'm curious...I know you've mentioned certain things you've noticed about Orthodoxy that reminded you of liberalizing trends within Protestantism...what would some examples of that be, in your mind?

Rhology said...


Looked thru my archives and found something that resembles what I was thinking of. Unfortunately, that's all I found, but, as I mentioned, it relates to the question of epistemology.

You and I were on the question of the book of Judith. I mentioned that Judith tells us that Nebuchadnezzar reigned in Nineveh and pointed out that he did nothing of the sort. Rather, he reigned in Babylon.

I said:
“Judith, for example, contains historical inaccuracies, such as naming Nebuchadnezzar the King of Assyria. Oops. Did God do that?”

I will paraphrase your response so as not to post private correspondence:
>>Some people say there was another ruler in Nineveh named Neb, but I doubt it. It doesn't matter if this is an extended parallel or parable. Another example of that kind of thing is Job. But the lesson is true despite possible historical inaccuracies.

ME: You know, I see why you’re trying to do that, but somehow the accounts, parables or no, in the Jewish and Ev Canon escaped such inaccuracies and utter disagreements with science/history. Do you realise the danger of putting theopneustos at this level – once again you are following liberal Prot-ism, and I should think you would want to avoid that at all costs? Some of the liberal Prots’ most basic doctrinal structures are based only loosely on anything that might carry any objective authority, but they slough it off because “well, hey, the Bible contains truth, but it isn’t The Truth.” One can take into account limited resources in terms of rounding off numbers or something, but getting a fact of history wrong?... Your dilemma is that either 1) God did not indeed do it, so we throw out Judith; or 2) God did do it and made a mistake.
ME AGAIN NOW: What I've noticed is that your allegiance is to what the EOC says - that Judith is canonical - rather than to what I can't believe to be anythg other than an obvious error in a book that has no value or backing historically as canonical. That's slightly to the side, but it reminds me of the liberal stop-up-the-ears-at-the-facts modus operandi. Love you, man; I'm just saying. (How's that for sappy disingenousness? ;-) )


David Bryan said...

I posted sthg on justification/sanctification here. Not that that REALLY gets to the heart of Ss. Paul and James, but it gives you a good place to start w/interpreting them.

David Bryan said...

"Judith, for example, contains historical inaccuracies, such as naming Nebuchadnezzar the King of Assyria. Oops. Did God do that?"

Well, first...there's not clear historical evidence for "King" Darius in Daniel either. "Darius" was probably a name attributed by Daniel to a very high-ranking Mede, perhaps a "sub-king" under Cyrus the Persian.

OTOH, Nebuchadnezzar DID conquer the Assyrians, so that WOULD make him "king" of the Assyrians in a sense...

Careful re: Liberal takes on Scriptural integrity...you and I went around this tree almost three years ago (and it's a public forum so I'll post links, ha, ha):

"Ben" on OC.net posted stuff here where numbers had either been gotten wrong or just copied wrong.

I then asked why these numbers would be the ones preserved in the versions of theopneustos Scripture if they were different from one another (thinking, of course, that they made no real difference, but just trying to consistently apply the criterion of historical/mathematical accuracy within Scripture as being part of its innerancy).

You then asked, "is it absolutely necessary to know for certain which numbers are the correct ones in each of these cases? Which important Church doctrine rests on getting these right at this time in the modern era? These comprise such a small amount in comparison to the vastness of the biblical text that it's not worth the worry."

I then said, "I don't really think that these numbers present a challenge to the inspiration of the books in which they're located, whether it's a number descrepancy or some king given the wrong name...the Bible is directly and completely inspired by God, cover to cover (DCs included). Yet, it WAS physically written by men, and, as such, is not free from slight, inconsequential errors in numeration, historical record, etc. As you very well stated, Rho, no 'important Church doctrine rests on getting these right at this time in the modern era.'"


So, really, this issue with holding a "high view" of Scriptural innerancy that is free even of historical or mathematical contradiction (as opposed to a supposedly "low" one wherein these things are allowed for) is one on which you yourself have been inconsistent. If it does not matter if a canonical book of Scripture as accepted today contains numerical discrepancies ("Did God lose count somewhere between Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles?") then it should not matter that the book of Judith contains a curious reference to Nebby, King of Assyria.

Any other "liberal epistemology" stuff you came up with?

David Bryan said...

My goodness...this thread is seriously endangered of being derailed...how should we go about talking about Ss. James and Paul?