Emergent Detergent (Part 1)

I would like to set apart a few blogs to deal with the emergent Church, however, this is more for guys who are in the established Church of Christ- like, remember the one He built on the foundation of the apostles… And so I am not writing to emergents, although you are welcome to read 🙂

In today’s blog I would just like to look at how we got where we are, the idea I have is that attacking the emergent church’s teaching and or leaders may not be the best approach, but I shall show you what I mean as we go along, consider this progressive Revelation (in the Bible God revealed Himself progressively from Genesis and culminated with Christ- just throwing that in there in case someone was left out of the joke)

There is a huge gap between generations (although its diminishing as the later generation dies out), and really it centers around a change in the concept of truth.
What is Truth?

No matter where you look, arts, news, magazines, literature, everywhere one look you see the stranglehold of this new methodology… this new approach to truth.

Its suffocating, like when you smell rotten eggs… my friends and I used to drive about an hour every Monday to play indoor soccer, and whenever we went through this one area there was this rotten eggs smell (apparently sulphuric gas, or something like that). We would all rush to close our windows, five to six guys squashed in a golf in the middle of summer, that’s right, we closed our windows (maybe that’s why it smelled?). Alas the steel doors that protect us from the elements were not match for the stench, and soon the car was polluted… In the same way this stench has come in, and we could not prevent it, it suffocates and fills everywhere, and we hardly ever realized it was happening.

The tragedy today is that men and women are being fundamentally affected by this new way of looking at truth, yet they never even saw the shift in thinking that took place. Young people from Christian homes are brought up in the old frame of truth, then they are subjected to the contemporary (current). After a little time they become confused because they do not understand the alternatives that are being shown to them… Like I use to think Strawberry was the only good milkshake, and then I heard about chocolate, now strawberry is the enemy, and that just trivial milkshake. Confusion becomes panic (Ahhh! but strawberry), and before long they are overwhelmed (anything but that strawberry). This is true, not only of young people, but pastors, teachers, evangelists…

Before the change occurred (we can argue date another day) we all thought along the same presuppositions (Pre- before; supposition-belief), which appeared to work with Christian’s presuppositions

What were these presuppositions… these assumptions of the way thinks worked?

Well the real basic one was that there are really such things as absolutes, the secular world accepted the idea of there being an absolute in the area of Being (knowledge) and in the area of morals. Thus, since they accepted the possibility of absolutes, though they might have disagreed on something, nevertheless they could reason together on the basis of antithesis (crazy word, I’m sorry, but bare with me J )… They took it for granted that if something was true the opposite was false… If Germany won the world cup in 1990, they did not lose it in 1990, get it?

In morality if one thing was right, it’s opposite was false. So we have the formula, “A is A and “If you have A it is not non-A” this is the first concept in classical logic… If you understand the extend to which this no longer holds sway, you will understand our present situation.

It was possible to discuss what was right and wrong. One could tell a non-Christian to “be a good dude” and while he/she might not have followed your advise, at least they would have understood what you were talking about. To say that to today’s dude would be like making a ‘nonsense’ statement.

And so then, back in the day, you could have spoke and people would know what you are talking about, but when one talks today about truth and right and wrong, it makes no sense to the average listener, it’s crazy talk, it would be like me telling you that addidas is the only brand in existence (notice the brand placement), now it may not be the only brand, my absolute statement was wrong. Today’s dudes see every truth statement as being like mine above

Ponder on these things, engage them…. wait fort the next edition as we progress. The goal here is not to win a debate on existentialism, it is to persuade men of the truth of Jesus Christ and to save those as from fire, who name Christ but are being led astray but the many false prophets we were promised.

Grace be with you all.

Isaiah 30:15

  3 comments for “Emergent Detergent (Part 1)

  1. April 26, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Tyrell, there is much that can be said about the undermining of truth in today’s culture, but there is a difference between God’s truth and man’s. In the church they frequently become intermingled, and in questioning the later, we are often accused of questioning the former, even though finding God’s truth is in fact our goal. Galileo faced this a long time ago…man’s interpretation of God’s truth led the church to believe he was committing heresy, when in fact he was just observing God’s beautiful creation.

    There *are* those in the Emerging conversation who don’t know where to stop deconstructing. But at the same time, it is not founded in questioning God’s truth, rather in questioning man’s.

    I knew too many kids who were brought up to believe you should never question your beliefs, and were destroyed in college when they got professors who raised the questions for them. But it can be very healthy to question, or else you and I would still be Catholic. Emerging starts with questioning men’s doctrines which have been passed off as God’s. There is a bedrock of divine truth, but there’s a lot of other dirt that has gotten piled on top, and not all of it is condusive to growth.

    Also, true questioning seeks and answer, and sometimes you will find the answer you started out with was right after all. Some go too far, and assume if you can question it, it must not be true. This is what breaks many young Christians in college…they’ve never been taught how to question as a holy exercise.

    That is what I have seen at the heart of the movement, and why I have been drawn to it. Are there crazies? Yup, but there’s a fair number of crazy Reformed, Wesleyan, and Catholic folks out there too. Are there well-intentioned people who have gone too far, and need discernment? Yup. Are there people probably trying to manipulate this for their own purposes? Yup. Are there people genuinely seeking God in this, and striving for a more vibrant, life-impacting faith? Yup. Are there people hurting because bof bad Christians, just seeking some answers? Yup. All under the umbrella of Emerging.

  2. April 28, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    There is a pretty good youtube video on this subject…

    It has Ravi Zacharias, Al Mohler, and R.C. Sproul in a discussion about Postmodernism and the Emergent Church.

    As far as the comment above goes, I don’t know if “questioning your beliefs” is the right term – I am not criticizing, I really am not sure. I would be more inclined to say “examining your beliefs”, as in knowing why you believe what you believe and what you base your belief on (see where I am going with this? – Bible = Absolute truth)

  3. May 4, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Yeah, good call. Examining is a better term for that.

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