Friday, November 02, 2007

Doug Pagitt is amazing

I was just listening to Todd Friel of Way of the Master Radio, interviewing Emergent Doug Pagitt.
I invite you to listen to this conversation as well (only the 1st 20 minutes are Todd and Doug) and it is nothing short of amazing. It's why I just...can't...take...the Emergents. Dave Parker is just an exemplar, and he's not the worst of the bunch. May God have mercy.


David Bryan said...

Pagitt is trying ... desperately ... to express certain patristic ideas out of the East, but what's really pitiful is that he has no construct in which to do this accurately and effectively. For example, he's gotten the concept that the fire of hell is the love of God, but instead of satisfying Friel where he was and admitting that the sheep and the goats are, in fact, judged, he just gets hung up on the whole "are they literal, physical places?" bit, and the conversation stalls, leaving him (Pagitt) looking like an idiot.

I would have said that, yes, there's a judgement, but that we'd be hard-pressed to predict the individual outcome of that judgement. IOW, yeah, there'll be sheep and goats, but who comprises which group? Lots of folks who thought they were in the Jesus camp turned out to be goats. So for me to say that I can say, for sure, that someone who calls on the name of the Lord will be a sheep when it's all said and done, is not supported by the "sheep and goats" parable.

Now, re: Pagitt's butchering of the patristic interpretation of the scriptures on Hell...While Friel's right--said interpretation would have horrified the reformers, which is why Luther hated Chrysostom--what Friel either neglects to mention (or doesn't know or doesn't care about) is that Chrysostom, Basil, the Gregories, Athanasius, Cyril, Irenaus, and Ignatius all preached and (some) died for this gospel. And said gospel definitely has a judgement which is through, by, and according to the righteousness of Christ, and it will, in fact, put a forcible end to all wickedness. It's just more existential and ontological than a forensic, legalistic view of salvation through the imputed merits of Christ is comfortable with.

See, that's how I would have handled the question. Then, in that case, I could say that, theoretically, a Muslim who's spent his life conformed to the image of Mohammad or Allah or whatever, or a Buddhist who's emptied himself of anything and everything certainly would not be in the same place as a person who's sought to have Christ formed within him.

Rhology said...

Seems the "places" thing was a placeholder for his objection to the idea of ANYone getting judged at all.
This is why I really seriously think that the Emergents are the new Left.

And I'd say that, as far as the sheep and goats go, yes, there are those who say "Lord Lord" but we are told nothing about their hearts except that they didn't know Christ. Scripture informs us in other places that we can know we have eternal life, we have the Spirit testifying in us that we are adopted by God, etc. Just b/c you say "Lord Lord" doesn't mean you have that. It means you say "Lord Lord".

Friel's a good guy but a historian he ain't. But yeah, true, it bugs the heck outta me when people are asked about "the historical faith" and only mention the Reformers. Yeah, it's history and yeah, it's valid, but there's more to it.