"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « Emerging Conversation | Main | Philosophy of (The Christian) Religion »

    A Tale of Two Mediators

    A Tale of Two Mediators In MP3 or Streaming Audio.
    Are we considered guilty for Adam's sin? What is the doctrine of original sin? Continuing their study of Romans 5, the hosts contrast the roles of two mediators, Adam and Christ, in order to better understand sin and grace. Tune in to this episode of the Romans Revolution on the White Horse Inn.

    Please take the time to listen to this VERY HELPFUL conversation with Michael Horton and Kim Riddlebarger (and others). Also, be amazed at lack of persons at a National Evangelical Pastors Conference who actually believe in original sin at all. Most of them would be brought up on charges of rank heresy if any historic church councils made any difference. If imputation of guilt is unjust as many said, then would they believe that God imputing our guilt to Jesus is also unjust???

    Posted by John on July 11, 2006 06:16 PM


    Maybe we are simply less excited about calling people heretics than we used to be. Maybe we are more willing now to talk about things and converse about them rather than to jump to insulting accusations.

    >>>>to talk about things and converse about them rather than to jump to insulting accusations.

    Sorry but that is simply absurd. so you are better than Christians used to be. I am sure God is pleased with you. For obviously since you boast about not condemning others you must believe you are superior for not doing so.

    I could hear you praying now, "Thank you Lord I am not like those Christians who call others heretics. We are more tolerant and you must really love us more because of it. So when their theology is insulting to you God, we just let them continue to preach it because it is more important that we get along than to represent you as you have revealed yourself. We are so humble Lord. Thanks"

    We are justified because of Christ, not because we behave more tolerantly toward heretics than others. Is that where your justification comes from? Declaring heresy is not an "insult" but crtitical for the life of the church


    If we speak from an epistemological or presuppositional perspective, I challenge you to seriously consider what you have just said and by what authority:

    You assert that declaring someone is a heretic is itself wrong. Yet, how do you know this is wrong? Where do you get this information? Did you decide this yourself? This is especially disconcerting since the Holy Spirit through the Bible Text has clearly given us a command for church discipline. Your conclusion certainly does not come from the Scripture. So did you just arbitrarily reach this conclusion that excommunication is wrong or are you determining right and wrong based on some other authority?

    From all evidence, It would seem that the emergent folk have a self-determining authority. It makes its own laws and decides right and wrong by seeking counsel among its interpretive community outside of God's revelation. For clearly in the Old and New Testament God is jealous that we not create idols and that we correctly represent Him based on His revelation. God had people put to death for misrepresneting Him so He obviously takes his glory and honor seriously. Ironically one of the emergent dogmas is that there is no certainty and those who claim to have certainty are wrong or arrogant. If this is true, then the belief cancels itself out because you are certain that certainty is wrong. How do you know this? Did God revel this to you?

    The wordplay and games in your movement lead me and many others to believe that emergent is perhaps the most arrogant and perverse movement out there today. Arrogant because it claims dogmatic authotity that only God has and perverse because it is self-willed and rebellious. You use some of the right words by have changed the definitions. This distorts God's revelation and leads people away from the grace of God that can be found in Jesus Christ alone. That is, the Christ of revelation.

    Now c'mon guys, lets be honest with ourselves . . .
    You just did exactly what you accused me of, by what I just read I think you need to admit that you look down on others that you think are "more liberal" than you. If you read exactly what I said, it is plain to see that I was talking about all of us, all Christians. I believe we are all less eager to burn witches at the stake, kick people out of our churches, insist on racial segregation, and claim heresy than we used to be. And yes, I would definately hope that we are better Christians than we used to be, and I hope the next generation is better Christians than we are. I'm a hopeful person.

    And John H,
    I never claimed that calling someone a heretic is wrong, I said that we are not as excited about it as we used to be. Which means that we are a little slower to jumping at each others throats, that we are listening to each other, and thinking before reacting - Which is exactly what people that respond to blogs need to learn to do. Look at what I AM saying, not what I left out.

    ...and by the way, if any of us were to go back simply 200 years, we would all be called heretics simply for believing in things like democracy, women not covering their heads, believing the earth revolves around the sun, women having jobs, birth control, NOT drinking wine with communion (ironicaly), the list goes on an on and on.
    We've come a long way, we've still a long way to go.


    You said>>>>if any of us were to go back simply 200 years, we would all be called heretics simply for believing in things like democracy, women not covering their heads, believing the earth revolves around the sun, women having jobs, birth control, NOT drinking wine with communion (ironicaly), the list goes on an on and on.

    Yes, this may have be true, but these things are not due to people following the Bible too closely, but from making up things that were not in the Scripture at all. So the problem was with a too liberal interpretation of Scripture, not because it was too conservative. These are made- up rules God never revealed. Fundamentalists avoid God's grace and avoid Jesus by avoiding sin and rules they think they can keep.

    So the answer is not conversation, but in listening. In recognizng the depths of our own sin and the heights of God's grace in Christ. When we recognize we can do nothing toward our own salvation, but that all is Christ, then arrogance gets wiped off our brow before God. That He had mercy on you because it was his will, not because He saw anything promising in you above another. These legalisms you mention become useless for they earn us no favor with God.

    We simply partake of the bread and wine, the covenant made in Christ's blood, which "reminds God" not to treat us as our sins deserve. It is all about Christ, not about us. A true church is one that is gospel centered, that proclaims the whole counsel of Scripture, not just isolated texts where we can make it to say anything we want.


    >Maybe we are simply less excited about calling people heretics than we used to be. Maybe we are more willing now to talk about things and converse about them rather than to jump to insulting accusations.

    A. So when does a false teacher become worthy of being called a false teacher? Would you or would you not say that a person who denies the Trinity is a heretic? What if they deny Sola Fide? etc.

    B. What of the NT that states quite plainly that false teachers are to be marked and called out? Where does Scripture state we are to "converse" about false doctrine?

    Friends don't let friends drive pomoism.

    Just listened to the program "The Tale of Two Mediators" while I was working out tonight. It really was an excellent program and highlights just how important the doctrine of imputation really is - the imputation of Adam's sin to his descendants, and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to all those who believe in Him. Thanks for the recommendation.


    You said>>>>I believe we are all less eager to burn witches at the stake, kick people out of our churches, insist on racial segregation, and claim heresy than we used to be. And yes, I would definately hope that we are better Christians than we used to be, and I hope the next generation

    No we were saved because of Christ's mercy alone, not because we are better than the fundamentalists or you. We are not. Your boasting that we are or can be misses the point of the gospel, which declares that we justly deserve the wrath of God save Christ's mercy. We are no better then fundamentalists and no better than you. It is Christ who saves us in spite of ourselves.

    Claiming heresy is not a bad thing and in fact I believe that it is a sign of unbelief that you are so against it. There is way too little discipline in churches today, not too much. Your religion seems to be too focuses on self and behaviorism and not enough on Christ. You seem to think what sets you apart from others is your imporvement over yesteryears Christians rather than because of Christ alone.

    I said it already, and Ill say it again, I didn;t say it was a bad thing to claim heresy, I simply said we should not be so quick to do so.
    And did you say you see signs of my unbelief? thats yet another thing we need to be less quick to say. I guess you would be right though, because now that we have spoken I know that my beliefs are definately not like yours.

    >>>>because now that we have spoken I know that my beliefs are definately not like yours.

    Again, its always about you and how you are better than others, and not about Christ and his mercy. Your comment is no different than the Pharisee who says "Thank you Lord I am not like other men..."

    "I am not like you" is way too close to the statements in that parable. The fact is we are like each other. I am no better than you God didn't choose me because I had greater faith or have a better character. And Christ did not redeem me because I am "not like others", but because of his mercy alone. You and the emergents take everything as an attack and so often see yourselves better than others when actually you need to be flooded with grace and understand that nothing you do makes you to differ from others. Grace alone makes us to differ. When people expose your error don't get so defensive. Rather you should consider that Hmm maybe I am spiritually needy and bankrupt apart from Christ. Instead you give us a list of how the fundamentalists are bad and how you are better.

    Be thankful that God has delivered you in spite of yourself. By whose authority do you claim we should not expose false doctrine? Less quick? So if someone denies the basics of the faith we should stand by idle? There is nothing quick about it at all. The emergent movement has been tested and found wanting. The philosophical underpinning of the movement has been exposed as unbiblical and and driven by "unaided speculation" as someone said above. The answer is grace alone, not another movement filled with man-made rules.

    We are attacking your theology, not you. That is true love. Tolerance is a paltry ethic compared to love. The jabs of a friend are greater than the kisses of an enemy. You should recognize the difference.

    It is okay to admit that we have different theological standpoints, and it is okay to have different views. And it is okay to truly think about what people say before rushing to judgement of heresy. If, after hearing and listening and studyingthe scriptures and attempting to look at things from the other angle, we are still convinced that these views are contrary to the scriptures (and not just YOUR INTERPRETATION of them) then heresy should be claimed with the intent of correctiong of doctrine (not to exclude ourselves from them, but to bring them closer).
    And by the way, you said "we are attacking your theology and not you", I believe attacking something so personal to a person is the same as attacking them. My theology (of which you have admitted to attacking) is something that makes me "me", revealed to me through the Logos of God (none of which by the way I have revealed to you, so I really don't see why your attacking anyways).
    Comparing someone to a pharissee is pharisaeical (ironicaly), we don't need to do that. Can't your theology be a personal thing to you? do you have to convince everyone else that you are right? And on that note, does the Gospel really need defending? I'm pretty sure it will be just fine on its own. Lets try showing it through actions, not attacking other christians "for its sake".


    Without question we must vigorously look deeply into another's theology before leaping to conclusions and judging it, and this we have done and continue to do, but when the gospel is denied at its very roots, when the gospel is distorted, as it clearly is in the emergent church movement, then we have no choice but to speak up. If you are offended, then be offended. The gospel is offensive. It is a stumbling block to many. Misrepresenting God is no small matter. If attacking your theology is an attack against you then so be it. But the difference is that giving medicine to someone who needs it is never done out of disdain, even if the medicine tastes bad. Being confronted with the truth hurts, but is the most loving thing a person can do. "Wounds from a friend." Your own rules that you made up about not offending people by avoiding telling them they are distorting the gospel frankly don't apply here. Loving each other in the truth, and condending for the faith is God's command.

    You are right to say, the gospel does just fine on its own, that is why we need to keep it from perversions like the one described in the post. That is, we must actually preach the gospel and not false ones (see Gal 1) Your authority is found in yourself or your community. When you claim that your final authority is God and not Scripture, you need to explain where you are getting your information outside of Scripture about God. Historic Christianity has worked through these issues for a long time and every time a new heretical movement arises it is because they either deny the authority of the Bible or add other sources of revelation to the Bible. With this serious of an error we can't "all just get along" You may not like it, but your movement's obvious distortion of truth is no small matter and must be confronted head on.

    Somehow your posts seem to indicate that you are beating the the air because you keep mentioning fundamentalism as if this was the only form of Christianity besides your own and so we must somehow fit that category. But I think you will find that you have missed out on a group that has been historically existed alongside fundamentalism. Calvin and Luther and many of those who agree with Reformation Theology are a beer drinking, cigar smoking bunch. The Pietist fundamentalist movement, which is semi-pelagian, spent way too much time making up rules that God has not made in order to avoid the grace of Christ.

    Emergents have likewise made up rules that God has not given. For one, finding revelation outside the authority of Scripture.

    I believe most who surf this board would agree, we are as equally opposed to fundamentalism as you are.

    BTW, any rule which cancels itself out is not a valid rule. You seem to believe that I am a Pharisee simply for revealing that your statement was just like a Pharisee. This remark about me breaks your own rule by implying I am a pharisee, thus your rule is invalidated, and rendered void since is a logical cointradiction. Not to mention a rule NOT found in Scripture, but rather one of your own making. I applied the parable of the pharisee and the Tax gatherer to your statement ... the Bible also teaches we are to use Scripture to correct and rebuke brothers. So your personal rule actually invalidates Scripture.

    But like I said in my comments, I am certainly not better than you sir, and perhaps worse in many ways. It isn't about me or there would be no hope. But it is mercy found in Christ, by which we are justified. It is only grace which makes people to differ. Solis Deo Gloria


    I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish at this point. Most things we can discuss (politics, education, favorite foods, etc.), but when it comes to the Word of God, the basics are clear and not open for "discussion."

    Based on your responses thus far it appears (and this is just from my side of the internet) that you brushed past the truthful things that others say to attack the minor points of their comments.

    John did remind you that Scripture is clear that when God is not honored, God will rightly punish the trangressors. Even Uzzah was struck down for touching the ark of the Lord in 2 Samuel 6 when he did not follow the proper procedures established by the Lord:

    And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.

    That is a hard lesson, but proper "fear of the Lord" is required of God's people, and declared as the "beginning of all wisdom." Please don't take those things lightly.

    Thomas, we needed to be saved. You must know that if you call yourself a Christian, so please consider the gravity of our fallenness. We should be careful declaring anyone a heretic, but we should be even more guarded for God's name and honor than mans. That is counter cultural, but the same way that you are guarding people (and we should God made them) we need to honor God, and moreso. We are unclean (Isaiah 6).

    Meaghan makes a very good point. The gospel is not discovered through a "conversation". We do not just sit down, read a Bible passage and ask each person in the room: "What does this Bible passage mean to you?" as if the answer were subjective to each individual. The gospel is the truth. God has accommodated our weakeness and sin by revealing it to us in language we can understand. God by the Holy Spirit uses words to communicate truths to us.

    To say that language is inadequate is tantamount to telling God that you don't like the method He used. But He has made Himself know adequately and while we affirm that no one comprehends God, He has indeed enabled us to apprehend Him, to understand what He wants us to understand.

    "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."

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