Whole Counsel Theology

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Phil Johnson on the "Emergent Conversation"

After the things I've seen over the last couple of days, seeing Phil Johnson's post about the emergent church stuff over at TeamPyro was refreshing. It was clear that the man didn't have a personal axe to grind in his brief review, and he pointed out some good things about Driscoll's differences with the predominant emergent culture.

In any case, it isn't very long, and is worth your read!


**** UPDATE **** 10:30pm 8/5/2006

Phil Johnson updated his article at noon today (after I linked to it). It has much more information than before. So much for it not being long. :)



  • I think that there are plenty of things wrong with the Emergent "conversation". My current biggest complaint is the tendency to simply group Mark Driscoll into that (no one's done that here or in the TeamPyro article). Mark has his head and his heart screwed on right. He's holding to scripture and doing great work for the Lord.

    Brian McLaren, however, has some pretty messed up views. The best and fairest, non-accusatory statement I've read on McLaren is right out of Driscoll's book. Mark has met and worked with McLaren in the past and conducts himself in Brian's direction with a great deal of respect and -ahem- gentleness. =-D Per Driscoll, Brian McLaren is a VERY nice person. Very friendly and easy to be around. However, he seems to be a pacifist first, Christian second.

    Because of that, the pacifist in him colors/taints his Christianity. Where the Cross of Christ would cause pain or suffering -- (even for the greater Glory of God!), or where hell is a place of eternal torment that we all deserve (because our God is Holy!), he doesn't like that and re-writes it. He says, "Let's go back to what Jesus really meant".

    Driscoll's says that it is ironic that in his pacifist tendencies, he does violence to scripture.

    I think we tend to ALERT on "Let's go back to the first century..." and group alot of that into "Emergent" (defacto led by Brian McLaren), when it just may be "emerging", or just plain relevant thought.

    emerging is, to me, or what I would hope it to be, a vibrant, relevant, Biblical, even REFORMED church.

    That's the wheat, unfortunately when you start using words like "emerging" you group yourself in with a lot of chaff.

    What I would like to see more of, and you've seen my complaints on this, is substantive arguments about what EC is doing that is wrong. I'd also like to see a hard division in the conversation between "Emergent" and "emerging". I've seen a lot of vitriolic yet empty diatribes on this, I want more substance. You know what I am talking about, people putting the heresy stake in NOTHING. Unfortunately, when 90% of what you see is junk, you don't much care to spend time finding the other 10%.

    Phil Johnson's post looks like a good one.

    When mentioning Scot McKnight's review and his apparent refusal to use strong convicting language, McKnight is just following the defacto leader. That is the way of Emergent. It feels very relativistic and I don't like that. I never have.

    Unfortunately everyone seems to want to make us feel like we need to choose side. Just so everyone knows...I'll be siding with Jesus.


    By Blogger Andrew Short, at Saturday, August 05, 2006 10:45:00 AM  

  • Hey, Andrew!

    Much of my reason for linking to that article over at TeamPyro is because Phil Johnson DID make the distinction between Driscoll and the Emergent church at large. Of course, Driscoll isn't "Emergent" but rather "emerging" and I like your description of it (as well as his that I saw in the videos I've mentioned before).

    Anyway, I pretty well agree with everything you said in this comment, so I won't bother to say much else. :)


    By Blogger David B. Hewitt, at Saturday, August 05, 2006 1:05:00 PM  

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