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"...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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  • « Images of the Savior (2 – The Salvation of Rahab) | Main | and this was just part of Spurgeon's sermon introduction.. »

    Farewell Emerging Church

    I was reading some of the comments after the article Farewell Emerging Church Written by Anthony Bradley

    One of the descriptions of the emerging church was as follows:

    The three core practices are identifying with the life of Jesus, transforming secular space, and commitment to community as a way of life. These practices are expressed in or lead to the other six: welcoming the stranger, serving with generosity, participating as producers, creating as created beings, leading as a body, and taking part in spiritual activities.

    To this one of the proponents of emerging said, "In other words, Christianity."

    Likewise another proponent of emerging commented that emerging Christians...

    "... look to the way Jesus lived more than rigid creeds about him."

    It saddened my heart to see these comments. It shows a complete and utter lack of understanding of even the very basics of Christ or Christianity. Instead these statements reduce Christ into a moral instructor and Christianity down to a kind of moralism. Ultimately, Christianity is not instruction or advice about what you are to do for Christ. It is not about following his example. The primacy of His accomplishment, not ours, is the essence of our faith. The gospel of Christ above all brings news, rather than moralistic instruction. The above emerging definition of emerging, I hate to say, simply sounds like an attempt at Christianity without the new birth.

    Posted by John on April 28, 2010 06:47 PM

    Comments

    A Big Amen!!!!!!

    In responding to error we have to be careful not to err in the other direction. That is, the "moralism" really does remain in some way part of Christianity. That is, I would say Christianity is about what Christ has done to make us right with God - and the effect that ought to have on our lives. The cry, "Deeds without creeds!" is flawed, but so is an emphasis on creeds without deeds. When the gospel takes hold of a person's life, there is a necessary change demonstrated by that person's actions. If we do not see that person become like Christ, we are left to wonder if his idea of Christianity is little more than an academic exercise.

    Chris,

    No doubt about it. No one here is advocating a Christianity which preaches all indicatives and no imperatives. But rather, we are overthrowing the false gospel which says Christianity is PRIMARILY about our lifestyle, about what we do for Christ, as all these emerging statements plainly indicate -- it is clear from the gospels that grace is not a reward for faith or works; faith and works, rather, are the result of grace. We do not obey to be born again, we are born again, therefore, we believe and obey.

    Simply telling people to live like Christ and do good is all LAW and no gospel -- and therefore is not much different from any other world religion. It misses the whole point of why Jesus came. He came to be the Savior, not to help us save ourselves. He is Lord of all, but if we are to yield to his Lordship we first need to grace to be delivered from our bondage in Egypt, so to speak.

    We need to preach a full Christ who is Prophet, Priest and King. Anything less is not a full orbed gospel.


    I had a friend re-tweet this:

    "Luther would save you from the way of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount; Jesus saves you through it."

    The statement was made by a guest speaker visiting my old church.

    Christianity as, and salvation by, moralism is the great theological battle that we will face in the next 50 years. An all out full frontal attack on the reformation, Sola Fide and Sola Gratia.

    It is resulting from the emergent movement but it is most forcefully and effectively being instituted by the New Perspective on Paul movement.

    It is so effective be cause the fields are so fertile for this type of doctrine. Most of the "christians" in this country have never understood the gospel. They have merely kept the default humanistic religion of moralism and tacked on some christian terminology.

    We had better stop diluting the gospel. If the gospel is preached the fruit will take care of itself. If the indicatives are proclaimed God will take care of bringing about the imperatives.

    Below is an article that was posted in response to some of my statements regarding the quote above. Read it! This is what is coming and we had better learn to and teach others how to deal with it.

    http://www.clarion-journal.com/clarion_journal_of_spirit/2010/04/james-and-martin-luther-the-jewish-law-faith-and-social-justice-by-ron-dart.html

    @ Chris,

    Scary little article/diatribe that one - Dart does make a good point on Luther's involvement with the peasant revolution towards the end of his ministry but rather than a "more nuanced analysis" descends into an ad hominem attack on Luther.

    Have been going through this process in my own church with a very young seminary trained NPP/NT Write disciple.

    One often wonders how much pain and heartache would be saved in the church if we encouraged any one who wished to train for the ministry to spend a few years working a "real job" first rather than boosting them straight into a ministry teaching position once they finish their studies. The benefits of some life experience are always good in honing down the edges of a hard academic theology.

    Back to Dart, it is interesting that those of us on the reformed side always seem to et hammered over James, and those on the "new" side always want to assert the primacy of the human authorship of scripture over its divine "God breathed" nature.

    Bit of a rant but it is 4 am in Sydney

    Bless you guys and keep getting the word out

    Must it be either-or? Are theological orthodoxy and genuine community enemies?

    Arthur,

    Right ... Not either/or but BOTH/AND ... The problem with the emerging church is that it is ALL LAW and no gospel. In other words, it is trying to live the way of Jesus apart from his saving work. Faith and right living springs from a renewed heart.

    Chris,

    I agree with you Chris when you say "any one who wished to train for the ministry (should) spend a few years working a "real job" first rather than boosting them straight into a ministry teaching". I think that would be so good in many cases if not most. And that ought to be for many reasons today. 1) they do not know what it means to come out of the world always thinking they were never in it. 2) the call to Christ comes to those who were once at enmity with God who also were of the world and its ways. 3) The new birth is supernatural and works our world inside out and upside down as we are transformed. All things are new and we began to see it is true! We began the journey to another land from this worlds ways and systems and even thinking, in search of greater faith and knowledge of God and so forth.

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