Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Interview with an Emergent

Sometimes, people are so confused and corrupted that you just want to vomit. Emergent Leader Doug Pagitt, pastor of Solomon's Porch, recently had a telephone interview with Todd Friel of Way of the Master Radio. In it, he denied that Heaven and Hell are actual places, he declared that God would interact with everyone the same in eternity, he mocked Todd for using systematic theology in taking several similar examples from Scripture to come to an understanding of what God was saying, he thought using the grammatical-historical method to interpret the Word of God was wrong (the idea that interpretation is clearest when we study the grammatical context of the Greek and think in terms of what God was saying to those people at that time in history), he talked about the Bible with disdain when Todd used systematic theology to understand what God was saying (Doug seemed to be disgusted by the possibility of using four different Scripture verses from four different books and possibly four different authors, which expresses his disbelief in infallibility having forgotten that God is the Author), and he began getting into a philosophical debate about mind/body dualism, cosmology, etc, when his language and attitude expressed that he didn't believe we exist in a place. He accused Todd of being platonic in his thinking, but it sounds more like Doug was babbling on in agreement with Plato's Parable of the Cave. Anyway, probably one of the most disgusting interviews I have ever heard. I was seriously getting butterflies in my stomach and wanted to vomit from this man's perversion of Scripture. Just to get a few things straight, it seems this is the norm in the emerging church movement. I agree with what started the movement, possibly the idea that there needs to be a refocus upon Biblical living that matches Scripture and our profession of faith ("refocus" meaning to focus again upon what Scripture says, not to change focus or interpretation of that message). After all, it is true that if we are more focused on whether someone wears a suit and tie to Church rather than sharing the Gospel of Christ, we've got problems. However, with such leaders as Doug Pagitt and Brian McClaren, the movement has essentially thrown out the baby with the bathwater. I don't believe it to be correct orthodoxy or orthopraxy when your values are the following:

Postmodern Worldview - Truth is subjective

Narrative Theology - Not focusing on what was being said to who at what time, but what does this (Scripture) mean to me?

Generous Orthodoxy - Let's not take the Bible literally, let's all get together to make up some new doctrines. Something to do with sex and profanity to attract unbelievers.

Postmodern Hermeneutics - Interpret the Scripture however you want and apply it to yourself; after all, truth is subjective.

Authenticity - Forget exegesis, tell me about your experience.

Conversation - Let's talk. Bring some new ideas about what you think. You might change my mind because, as we all know, truth is subjective.

Missional Living - This actually sounds like a good idea. If only emergents could remember John 17:14.

Unstructured Ecclesiology - This is similar to house churches. As long as they rely on a Biblical model, this seems okay.

Creative Spirituality - Refers to an eclectic worship style, which is evident in Scripture, but again, a Biblical model should always be followed.

"Non-Legalistic" Conduct - Looks good on the surface, but going back to a postmodern mindset, the application is one of "Don't judge me!", and reinforces sinful lifestyles such as homosexuality.

Use of New Technologies - Actually, a good idea if using these tools for an evangelistic/discipleship effort.

Postmodern Terminology - A rose smells just as sweet by any other name. As long as they don't try to redefine traditionally orthodox terminology, like the Mormons have, call it whatever you want.

Justice - More specifically, social justice. Good in practice (feeding the poor, visiting the sick, environmental stewardship, etc.), but not in thought (the same Jewish belief that God's Kingdom was an earthly reign when trying to crown Christ [not referencing the millenial reign of Christ]).

So, before I go off on some other tangent, let me remember to give you the link to Doug and Todd's "Conversation."

The first few minutes are of their "pre-show," after that the interview starts.

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