Emerging Church

"...doctrinal statements really are more important than fashion statements."

Pyromaniacs’ Double Repost on the folly of chasing fashion trends in the name of relevance.
Sample… “And why is it mainly the lowbrow and fringe aspects of Western youth culture that this argument is invariably applied to? Why are so few Christian young persons keen to give up video games and take up chess in order to reach the geeks in the chess club? or give up heavy metal and learn the cello in order to have a ministry to the students who play in the orchestra?”

784 reads

Blessed Are the Intolerant

Then it was Elijah’s turn. Stepping onto a large boulder, he slowly pivoted to gaze upon the prophets of Baal. Before him were 450 sweating, bleeding, exhausted leaders of the most prominent religion of that region and time.

Surprisingly, rather than calling down fire from heaven, rallying the Israelites around the true God, and eliminating the false teachers, Elijah said, “Gentlemen, I have come to realize that while we may have our differences, we have much to offer one another in our understanding of life. As a matter of fact, God has infused a great deal of truth into your religion, and it would be rather arrogant and unloving for me to claim otherwise. Let us unite around our common goals and demonstrate to the world that while we may have different traditions, we are all, every one of us, children of God.”

Few of us could imagine such an ending to the great encounter on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18. But listening to some of the rhetoric swirling around Christian circles today, one gets the impression that perhaps Elijah got a little carried away. Couldn’t Elijah have made more progress with dialogue than the sword? Shouldn’t he have looked for common ground rather than differences and used loving affirmation rather than confrontation? Not if he wanted to be consistent with the will of God.

6618 reads

Review - Why We Love the Church

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I loved this book, but I shouldn’t have. For starters, the authors are closer to my children’s ages than to my own. Additionally, the authors are Reformed and I am not. Also, in the past I have found books with multiple authors to be too unevenly written to be enjoyable. (I do have a theory that might explain the success of this joint effort, however. Maybe Ted Kluck is really Kevin DeYoung’s alter ego?)

DeYoung is the senior pastor of the University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. Kluck is a sportswriter who attends the church DeYoung pastors. Together they also wrote Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be. The odd numbered chapters were written by DeYoung. Kluck wrote the even numbered chapters. There are eight chapters and two epilogues. The first epilogue is written by Kluck to his five-year-old son, Tristan; the second is written by DeYoung. Each also writes an introduction.

DeYoung writes as a theologian/pastor. Kluck writes in layman’s terms—a layman with a great sense of humor. Together, these authors have created an informative and entertaining read. I appreciated DeYoung’s copious endnotes at the conclusion of each chapter. The use of the hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation,” a verse of which precedes each of DeYoung’s chapters, was also very edifying.

1948 reads

American Council of Christian Churches 2009 Resolutions, Part 1

Resolution on the Convention Theme—Taking Heed
Resolution 09-01

From its founding in 1941, the American Council of Christian Churches has dedicated itself to defending the fundamental truths of Gospel doctrine against Satanic attack and to promoting those truths in a world marked increasingly by apathy and even antipathy toward them. Sadly, the corrosive influence of weakness in the face of apostasy, as manifested in the so-called New Evangelicalism, has produced an appalling drift toward positions that have bargained away the hallmarks of the Gospel in exchange for wider acceptance and more popular acclaim.

The first decade of the 21st century has been a time of turning away from the separatist positions maintained not only by the early generations of Christian Fundamentalist leaders and those who benefited from their ministry but also by those who came before them, going all the way back to the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. The legacy of Billy Graham’s ecumenical evangelism and the NAE’s fascination with admitted advocates of universalism, such as Robert Schuller, have generated an atmosphere in which Joel Osteen and other purveyors of “evangelicalism lite” have been able to flourish.

2840 reads