The Emergent Church makes it to Townhall

Townhall.com is the home of some of the better known conservative voices in our country. I visit this website on a fairly regular basis, as a matter of fact I have 5 of their contributors linked in the opinion section down below.

Do I agree with all that is said there? No, for example, Ann Coulter’s methods leave a lot to be desired, for one would expect more grace and kindness to flow from the pen of someone who claims Christ as God and Savior.

Today I went to the Columnists’ page and was somewhat shocked at the title of one of the columns, Frank Pastore’s latest offering, “Why Al Qaeda Supports the Emergent Church”.

It is difficult to define something as convoluted as the Emergent Church, especially when the folks within the ‘conversation’ are allergic to any sort of certainty in anything (or are they?).

Here’s how Pastore defines the “emergent church”,

The term “emergent church” refers to a loose association of people who share common values and attitudes toward, well, everything. It’s Christianity for postmoderns who don’t like truth, knowledge, science, authority, doctrine, institutions, or religion. They claim absolute or objective truth is unknowable, that the only “truth” that can be known is rooted in communities of shared subjective experience–the infamous “it’s my truth” of relativism.

Based on some of the comments from emergent leaders/facilitators the above definition is close to the mark, or is it?

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16 Responses to The Emergent Church makes it to Townhall

  1. iggy says:

    Laz,

    I left a comment to you on tr’s blog…

    I would have emailed you but there seems to be no contact info on your blog.

    feel free to delete this if you want.

    Blessings,
    iggy

  2. kimita says:

    if emergent followers are emerging from a faith of absolute truth then what kind of faith are they creating? who wants to follow a faith that claims that my truths and your truths are the only truths knowable? very confusing but it won’t last long…

    “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8

  3. iggy says:

    laz,

    the definition of ‘absolute truth’ is that be an ‘abstract thought’.

    Is that what you think Jesus is? as He proclaimed He was “The Truth”… do you think that the Bible which is “Living” as the scirpture states is also just an “abstract thought”?

    This is Platonist Dualism which is a from of Gnosticism…

    I see Jesus as the Bible teaches… Truth Incarnate a Person… from whom all Truth comes. I see the bible as “Living” and also not just an abstract thought for the reality it teaches is Jesus… for as Colossians and Hebrews states. “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” and “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.”… Jesus is The Reality not an abstract thought.

    Blessings,
    iggy

  4. Laz says:

    Is the definition of ‘absolute truth’ truly what you say it is? Are you absolutely sure of that?

    Jesus proclaimed that He was the Truth (as you have stated), what I or you think matters little, HE IS.

    Sorry but I never said Our Savior was an ‘abstract thought’.

  5. iggy says:

    http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci861884,00.html

    this is a website that states that “absolute truth” is in the realm of logcial thought… meaning that its basis of reality it within our own mind.

    Note the first explanation which is what i was stating and to whom it is credited to.

    1) In philosophy, absolute truth generally states what is essential rather than superficial – a description of the Ideal (to use Plato’s concept) rather than the merely “real” (which Plato sees as a shadow of the Ideal). Among some religious groups this term is used to describe the source of or authority for a given faith or set of beliefs, such as the Bible.

    Notice as i have stated that it is the ideal… it is not reality…

    Also, look at the definitions from Websters Dictionary.

    I took this off of Tony Rose’ site where I originally posted it…

    Objective Truth (Websters Dictionary)
    1 a : relating to or existing as an object of thought without consideration of independent existence — used chiefly in medieval philosophy b : of, relating to, or being an object , phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind — compare SUBJECTIVE 3a c of a symptom of disease : perceptible to persons other than the affected individual — compare SUBJECTIVE 4c d : involving or deriving from sense perception or experience with actual objects , conditions, or phenomena
    2: relating to, characteristic of, or constituting the case of words that follow prepositions or transitive verbs
    3 a: expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations b of a test: limited to choices of fixed alternatives and reducing subjective factors to a minimum

    Now follow me on this…

    Is Jesus just as the definition states?

    1. Relating to or existing as an object of thought without consideration of independent existence — used chiefly in medieval philosophy

    No, Jesus is not just an object of thought… that is Platonism… and dualism

    2. Of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers

    Is Jesus an object or phenomenon or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers?

    Again, I hope you say no… Jesus is not an Object… that is what JW’s believe… He is God incarnate… part of the Trinity and Who all objects were created. Also Jesus is not a phenomenon or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and nor is Jesus perceptible by all observers… In fact without the Holy Spirit, Jesus in not perceivable for Who He is.

    3. Is Jesus just about expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations?

    No, He is again a Person and whom all things were created. Jesus is not just facts or conditions as we perceive them at all… in fact again without the Holy Spirit we cannot but distort who He is… and even with the Holy Spirit we often get only a fleeting glimpse of His Person. Yet, still our interpretations of the Bible and who Jesus is, often is tainted by our own interpretations.

    So all that to say that if someone just says Truth is objective… they miss that Jesus is Truth incarnate and is much more than a medieval/modernistic view we have place on him called “objective truth”.

    If one places the idea of “Objective truth” and holds to that as the biblical view they then miss that the bible is only true because of the Author… what I mean is this.

    Though we may say the truth in the bible is objectively true, it is more as I have shown above. The speaker of those truths makes them truth… they are not true just on their own… So unless there is an Author with authority, then the bible is just words.

    Yet, the word of God is said to be living and active. (Hebrews 4:12) So I still see it as more than the above definition says of it. Being that it is Living as it is described, work through the definition of “objective truth” and see if you still think is adequately describes the bible… I see that the definition falls very short and is not even close to a truth biblical understanding of Truth.

    Be Blessed,
    iggy

  6. iggy says:

    laz,

    Sorry one more bit of info as to how this comes to abstract thought…

    that this is based on the foundation of Plato’s realism which taught that truth was only an abstraction… Plato believed that “ideas” were more real than real things. Plato created a vision of two worlds… or what is called “Dualism”. In these two worlds one was of “unchanging ideas” while the other was of changing physical objects.

    Here is a link to how this all relates.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_idealism

    Be Blessed,
    iggy

  7. Laz says:

    It is becoming increasingly clear that we are bogged down by semantics, for we can agree that Jesus is Truth (John 14:6), correct?

    Thank you for the time you invested in researching the philosophical side of it but let’s take a look at what Jesus (who we are agreed is Truth Incarnate) says,

    …you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. – John 8:32

    I am the Way, the Truth and the Life – John 14:6

    Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth – John 17:17

    You say correctly that I am a king For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. – John 18:37

    I believe these statements that Jesus made to be true no matter what you or I or anyone else might think (I think we are agreed on that, no?)

    This is all I am saying, nothing more nothing less.

  8. iggy says:

    Laz,

    we do agree on this… That Jesus is Truth… yet then why is it that some are so violently opposed to me in this agreement? even when we agreed I am still wrong and had “twisted” things somehow. I do not see why when we agree that i am still wrong in some peoples eyes…

    Can you explain that to me?

    thanks,
    iggy

  9. Laz says:

    Sorry Ig I cannot speak for anyone else and like I have stated before I have neither the time nor the compulsion to immerse myself in this disagreement.

  10. iggy says:

    I think the point you are missing is that I am “emergent” and am seeking to find purer Biblical truth, while others fight against me and even deny that Truth needs no qualifiers.

    They miss that as they state emergent do not beleive in truth, I am here as one of many that are fighting for the biblical purity of it…

    So, it seems someone is lying and it is not me. Can it be those who state we “emergents” do not beleive in truth?

    Think about that a bit and then let me know who is spreading gossip and lies that we are against and then let me know why you still agree with them that is right to do.

    Tell me why when we try to point out inaccuracies like this about us we are called liars and other names and not listened to?

    Blessings,
    iggy

  11. Laz says:

    I gathered that you were ’emergent’ (whatever that means).

    Again I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but if you say you agree with the above texts then as far as Truth is concerned I don’t see how you and I are in disagreement.

    Truly whoever is spreading ‘gossip and lies’ will be dealt accordingly by God Himself. As to whom that person or persons might be, again I have no time or compulsion to get into who might be in the wrong here. It seems you guys have a long history.

    I do think it is a mistake to make blanket statements regarding any particular group of people, whether it is ’emergents’ or any other group.

    Thanks for your comments.

  12. iggy says:

    Laz,

    thank you for your gracious spirit… it has been a real pleasure to talk with you…

    Blessings,
    iggy

  13. iggy says:

    Based on some of the comments from emergent leaders/facilitators the above definition is close to the mark, or is it?

    to answer this question is, no, not even close.

    thanks again,
    iggy

  14. Neil Aquino says:

    I saw Frank Pastore pitch for the Reds a number of times when I lived in Cincinnati. He was not very useful for the Reds and does not seem so useful now.

  15. Laz says:

    I didn’t know Pastore was a former Major League pitcher, thx for the comment Neil.

  16. dlukebray says:

    I recommend everyone that reads this article to scan Brian McLaren’s book “A Generous Orthodoxy”. He has a chapter (17 i believe) entitled “Why I am Emergent” that explains why the emergent conversation and gives better understanding as to what emergent Christians believe about who they are in Christ.

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