Sunday, May 20, 2007

Devour Someboby Else... Not me

This was the main application point from our guest's sermon at church tonight. Pastor Ted delievered a whole message on avoiding the enemy. Point number two...steer clear of those false doctrines. Came home and saw this from Dan Kimball...

Which one is truth? Truth? Common? Sacred? Profane?

Can we at least put the pick ax away until we figure it out? I have good friends who might be described as "rampaging fundamentalists". I also have good friends that some might call "hyper-Calvinists". (see previous post) It makes it really hard to have a bithday party. The first group freaks out if you serve beer and the second group freaks out if you don't. Neither of them have enough grace for O'douls, not even the amber! What would it take for us all to hang out on the same rock and try to show the rest of the world Jesus?


Timothy said...

I believe it can be accomplished with nine things. I think they're even pre-prioritized. It's really nothing fancy. It's decidedly not a gimmick.

1. love
2. joy
3. peace
4. patience
5. kindness
6. goodness
7. faith
8. humility
9. self-control

for me, the bottom 4 are the least intuitive.

reverend rockstar said...

Coors cutter!

JDF said...

Okay, first things first, and just for the record, I am not a so called "hyper-Calvinist." I'm just a vanilla Calvinist. You'll never hear me spouting active reprobation. I simply believe that sovereign grace is actually sovereign and actually gracious (contra Arminianism). I believe it absolutely (contra the emergent church).

As for the cartoon, I think the irony is that in caricaturing historic evangelical protestantism in this way, the cartoon itself only serves as a sectarian pick ax to further alienate the emergent church/conversation from orthodoxy (the "not so generous" creedal kind that does not place a post-modern enmity between faith and certainty).

I certainly do not think there is anything "scary" about "emerging types." Disturbing yes, at least what I have read of McLaren ("A Generous Orthodoxy"). I realize of course that McLaren does not speak for the "Emerging Church", but then again in a movement that so prizes ambiguity and diversity, who does?

Also just for the record, I hate the label "emerging." Whether it was intended or not (and I hope it was not) makes it sound like the church is a butterfly finally coming out of its cocoon with this movement. That it seems to me (contra McLaren) smacks of arrogance far more than the proposed certainty of historic doctrines based on sound and careful exegesis.

Topherspoon said...

For the record... I do not think jdf is a "hyper - calvinist" nor do I think he would ever be offended by my discernment in deciding what beverages to serve or not serve. It may be suprising but I do have other friends who love the TULIP. After all, I'm a 3.5 point calvinist myself...absolutely! LOL! Thanks for the comments JDF.

JDF said...

A 3.5 Calvinist? What is that? LOL I guess that's like a black and tan made with a Guinness and a warm Coors light. LOL

Topherspoon said...

Honestly, I love the comments and the discussion. I just want to make sure we all stay friendly. I find McLaren's excessively long titled books wonderfully interesting (NKOC thrilogy, Generous Orthodoxy, Secret Message...). Sure, I don't agree with everything he writes or even sometimes vaguely suggests, but saying he "smacks of arrogance" is a little unfair. I've had oppurtunity to share a meal with him and can say he has quite the humble spirit. I could write an entire post on movement labels. What does an "evangelical" believe? What do "charismatic" or "emerging" or "reformED" mean? Surely there is some diversity and ambiguity in all of these groups?

JDF said...

Arrogant statements can be made in very un-arrogant ways. I don't know McLaren except for what he has written and so that is the only thing I can make a judgment call on. I have no intention of being unfriendly, but I don't think I am misrepresenting him to say that he is hostile to the notion that Christian's can speak with certainty on any point of doctrine. It is McLaren who thinks it is "arrogant" and "unspiritual" to speak "dogmatically" about spiritual truth. Which of course is exactly what the church has done since the Fathers. He himself "accepts" the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed (though has not confidence in their propositional statements, whatever that means LOL). What it boils down to for McLaren is this...

"If, for you, orthodox means finally “getting it right” or “getting it straight,” mine is a pretty disappointing, curvy orthodoxy. But if, for you, orthodoxy isn’t a list of correct doctrines, but rather the doxa in orthodoxy means “thinking” or “opinion,” then the lifelong pursuit of expanding thinking and deepening, broadening opinions about God sounds like a delight, a joy. (Ibid., 293–94)

That is exactly the kind of thing I am talking about. Of course it is dressed up in lipstick and rouge but what he has done is to reduce orthodoxy i.e. "right doctrine" to "opinion." Those are his words not mine. And if you reduce doctrine to "opinion" you remove both Scripture's clarity (perspicuity) and its authority. And that is not a generous orthodoxy, that is neo-orthodoxy. It is modern theological liberalism for a postmodern generation.

I'll give you last the word...

Topherspoon said...

Are we still commenting on this old post?

Let me say... I think we agree. I become way uncomfortable, defensive and passionate when folks start to question foundational pillars like substituitionary atonement, the Holy Trinity, and the virgin birth.

And while I appreciate the Fathers, the Catholic church, the Reformers and others who sacrificed greatly to preserve Truth (and truth), I'm frustrated and even repentant about the hurt and disunity these same groups have caused. Please don't question my own confidence or assurance, but I find real difficulty in dogmatically puttting God inside a box (or sytematic theology) that I completely understand. It does the same thing as hyper-Armeanism in the sense that it makes an amazingly mysterious God seemingly small and simple.

McLaren asks some interesting questions but I am often with you on wishing he'd have some less ambiguous answers.

As far as scripture, creeds, and the last word; I don't ever want to question the authority or clarity of scripture. I seriously doubt that McLaren or anyone else could take away from this. Recently I have found a new love for God's word as I approach the total narrative, and allow room for some mystery in God's redeptive story.

Why do we have to fold so tight to things that have minimal effect on our praxis? Like in the Apostles creed... "he descended to Hell" Does that mean to a grave? to set free some prisoners in Hell? or he suffered Hell on the cross? I have real problems with those first two. I think I've found TRUTH in the third one (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think me and Calvin agree), but honesty I don't know! When people say they suppourt the propositional truths of the apostles creed, which one of these "right doctrines" are they supporting? Certainly some have a different "opinion" than me, And I think they're wrong, but we can still have dinner together. This is one thing I appreciate about McLaren and others, The idea that HOW we hold truth is important. You have to be willing to have dinner with folks.

With out getting all "the dew is still on the roses"... I want to experience God in a way where I know Him, not just about him. I want to see his "kingdom come" here and now, even if it means standing with others who I think are wrong. I am hopeful that just like the reformation and revival periods ( I understanbd you value the first much more than the second) that God is doing something fresh and new in our time. I'm not saying Mc Laren's got this right, because he wouldn't either, I'm just saying it's interesting reading.

How's that for a final word?
Let's have dinner together!

JDF said...

Can I say yes to dinner, without it being the final word? And it would be cool if McLaren joined us.


As a side note, you do agree with Calvin (but on this point I don't). I tend to agree with Grudem that it's a moot point since the phrase is actually not original to the creed but a late addition. But if I were taking sides, I think the best translation which poses the least difficulty is "descended into the grave" (since that is the meaning of the Greek and obviously a defensible Scriptural proposition). I do agree that Jesus suffered the equivalent of hell on the cross, I just am not convinced that is the intention of that particular creedal statement.