Sunday, June 25, 2006

Is Tony Jones Even a Christian?

The information in this article about Tony Jones (the US director of the Emergent Church and closely aligned with Brian McLaren) is bothersome, to think that Tony Jones may not be a true believer and yet is accepted by many in the church as though he were.

This is just an excerpt from a three part article on the Emergent Church by Richard Bennett. We should pray that Tony Jones really meets Jesus and repents from promoting forms of Eastern mysticism and Roman Catholic heresies. I do not know if he is born again or not, I can only go by what he says, writes, and teaches. It is very important to carefully understand what a person teaches before we automatically assume that they are part of the body of Christ. We need to test everything and test the teachings coming from the pulpits and books, even if the book is published by a "christian" publisher.

~~~

"In neither of his two books, Soul Shaper: Exploring Spirituality And Contemplative Practices In Youth Ministry (2003) and The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life (2005), does Jones present the Gospel.

Like so many leaders in the Emergent Church, his personal testimony is not of being a convicted sinner without hope before the all Holy God and in that conviction coming to Christ as the only Savior. Rather, in Chapter 1, “The Quest for God”, Jones' testimony shows that in 2005 he is still fumbling in the darkness of unbelief.

"[Some of us] have this nagging feeling that God is following us around, nudging us to live justly, and expecting us to talk to him every once in a while...Every time I leave God's side, as it were, it's not too long until I feel God tagging right along beside me, I can't seem to shake him. Yet having this sense of God's company doesn't necessarily translate to a meaningful spiritual life. I know this because despite my awareness of God's presence, I have spent most of my life trying to figure out what to do about it".

This sad testimony is of a man who is not “in Christ”, and yet he is one of the leading lights of the Emergent Church movement in making and disseminating materials for youth pastors and youth groups.

Of his growing up in a Protestant church, he says, “I'd say there was one word that summed up my religious life: obligation.” Predictably, he fell away from his pattern of obligatory prayer, Bible reading, and “quiet time”, but felt guilt ridden about it. His solution:

"Something occurred to me: People have been trying to follow God for thousands of years...Maybe somewhere along the line some of them had come up with ways of connecting with God that could help people like me...I could think of no better way to spend it [his three month sabbatical] than to travel and read about different ancient ways of prayer and devotion".

His travels took him to round the clock prayer vigils and to Dublin, Ireland, to Catholic priest Alan McGuickian and the staff at the Jesuit Communication Centre. He “voraciously read” Roman Catholic mystics and spoke with individuals who were Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox. Nowhere does he mention any indepth study of the Bible nor of searching after the great truths of Scripture. In this way, his searching is reminiscent of Ignatius of Loyola and it is noteworthy that he recommends the disciplines of the founder of the Jesuits to youth pastors and youths to learn and practice. What is clear from his statements is that “obligation” remains major in his understanding of what it means to be a Christian — but what becomes equally clear is that he has no dependable knowledge of God from God. That is, he has no knowledge of God through the Bible as revelation by His Spirit. Because Jones does not hold to the Bible alone as giving truthful knowledge of God, God Himself remains a truth undefined. Thus Jones is free to define his own god and to fulfill his obligation to this god of his own making.

Thus by making Roman Catholic and Greek tradition his current standard, he is able to fulfill what he sees as his obligation in a supposedly time-honored and acceptable way through these old, mostly Roman Catholic mystical exercises. Yet clearly before the All Holy God, he is still an alien and a stranger to saving grace in Christ Jesus.

Jones's definition of “Christian” needs careful attention. In The Sacred Way, he states,

"For years I'd been told that to be a Christian meant I had to do three things: (1) read the Bible, (2) pray, and (3) go to church. But I had come to the realization that there must be something more. And indeed there is. There is a long tradition of searching among the followers of Jesus — it's a quest, really, for ways to connect with God...The quest is to know Jesus better, to follow him more closely, to become — in some mysterious way — wrapped into his presence. And I thank God that some of these brilliant and spiritual persons wrote down what they learned". (pp. 16-17)

What is missing in Jones's definition of following Jesus more closely is any conviction of sin and therefore any need for a Savior. Without the conviction of sin one does not have life in Christ Jesus. The Lord declared that the Holy Spirit “will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Conviction is the Spirit's work; He does it effectually, and none but He can open the mind and heart of a sinner to saving faith. Jones appears to be totally unaware of this, for he says nothing about the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, or about the Holy Spirit's role of conviction. Jones is not a “follower of Jesus” in any biblical sense since his god is not the All Holy God of the Bible. His “Jesus”, therefore, is not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible."

77 Comments:

Blogger Phil Perkins said...

Kenny,
That's a lot of looking for something so clear in Scripture.
It seems that Jesus' disciples asked Him how to connect with God. He gave them a simple pattern--the Lord's prayer.

The Emergent suffers from the same thing many modern churchies (my term for the disobedient but religious) do. They have little regard for the Scripture.

They would rather look elsewhere.

Phil Perkins

9:11 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I think it is important to ask these questions of so-called leaders and experts.

The false teacher I referred to in another post was allowed to teach a book by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright (Wright has sound doctrine and Borg is a heretic, but the teacher held Borg's views). I joined the class part way through to monitor it, and the class had bought into the lie that Borg was a Christian. I listed a bunch of Borg's quotes, including this one: "A major task for Christians in the 21st century is grateful and enthusiastic affirmation of religious pluralism. This means accepting a relative status for Christianity, but a relative status as one of the magnificent first-magnitude stars in the constellation of the world's religions."

The whole book was full of things like this. I pointed out that If you hold Borg's beliefs, you could be a Hindu, a Buddhist, an atheist, or an agnostic. But if words mean anything, one thing you could not be is a Christian.

Let's just say that I was not very popular with the rest of the class members! Some actually held otherwise accurate views of Jesus and scripture, but I think they were embarrassed because they had been fooled by the teacher and the book.

P.S. I am working with our pastor and others to ensure this guy doesn't teach any more classes.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Kellen said...

I think if I could generate a top 100 list of the "One Hundred Worst Questions One Christian Could Ask," any question like "Is so-and-so a Christian?" would make it in the top, oh, top 20.

[And by your criteria (reading some words in someone's book to discern whether he or she is, in fact, a Christian), what's to stop me from asking the same question about you and answering it negatively?]

My answer?

Yes, Tony Jones is, indeed, a Christian -- that being someone who stakes his or her life out trying desperately to obey the command, "Come, drop your nets, and follow me."

But I guess that's just hearsay, since I'm only taking Tony at his word.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Luke said...

as someone who knows Tony Jones personally, and who has been personally ministered to by Tony, i find this post apalling.

Tony's books are not personal testimonies of his entire story of faith. Rather, they are individual looks at specific practices for people wqho are looking for new (and ancient) ways to connect with the person of Christ. Therefore, it's impossible to judge the man's salvation simply based upon his specific writings alone.

I wonder if the author has ever made contact with Tony (or any of the Emergent Village leaders) personally? I think the author would be surprised to hear Tony talk of a vibrant faith in Jesus, a deep Christology rooted in scripture, and a passion for the Church in all its forms.

Tony Jones is a Christian.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Tommy Bailey said...

How many books from Tony Jones have you read? Have you actually read "The Sacred Way"? Your whole article is full of holes obvious to someone who has read and personally met Tony Jones. What I see here is another attack on Emergent just for the sake of attack, nothing edifying to the body of Christ has been presented. Would it ever be possible for websites created implicitly for discernment to find something positive coming out of "Emergent"?

11:09 AM  
Blogger marko said...

i know tony well. and while i'm tempted to be ascerbic and contrary in my response, i'll keep it short:
yes, very clearly and absolutely, tony is a christian. i know him to be a follower of jesus christ and to believe in jesus as only means of salvation.
now, i think it would be great if you would consider taking this post down. there is nothing helpful in this discussion, and -- now that you know what you were asking about tony -- nothing will come of this other than damage to the body of christ. kenny, please.

11:44 AM  
Blogger marko said...

oh, and i ask the tony defenders who visit here to do one of two things:
1. respond graciously.
2. or ignore this.
a vitrolic response here doesn't help anymore than the original post.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Fajita said...

This is not a good question to be asked in public. Please, ask Tony if he's a Christian, not the blogoshpere.

I am not joking or being sarcastic. If you enter into a civil conversation he will likely enter into a civil one with you as well.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

marko,

My motive is not to cause trouble but to simply ask a basic question. I do not know Tony Jones, I only look at the positions a person takes and the things they say and write and then formulate my opinion of what they stand for. This applies to Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, all of whom hold very questionable positions on a number of issues like hell, homosexuality, inclusivity of salvation. I do not see a problem in bringing this issue up for discussion. Only God knows for sure but when you see a person promote things like contemplative prayer and ancient catholic practices rooted in mysticism, it makes you wonder and question if they are a christian or not.


Also, I do not understand how YS can be getting involved in these contemplative practices. I do not think it is doctrinally healthy for the body of Christ, especially when these things are being taught to the youth.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous bobby said...

The devil is in the details--why are folks so obsessed with one individual's doctrine? Could it be that none of that matters and we should instead be focusing on loving and serving God's people who are in need? And who is to say anyway what a "real" Christian is? A la "The Screwtape Letters", I see all of this hemming and hawing about who's a real Christian and who isn't as pure distraction from the true Christian life (loving/serving). As I recall, Jesus came to change the hearts of those who had become too legalistic in their faith . . .

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

Well said Marko

1:20 PM  
Blogger mark said...

Kennyo,

Help me understand your motivation in posting something like this?

I'm guessing that you are a better guy than is coming across in kind of post.



riddle

2:26 PM  
Blogger clave said...

I know Tony and I am sad to see that is faith is being questioned by someone who doesn't know the man. This isn't helpful.

My wife worked with Tony for many years and Tony was an excellent mentor, and she owes a lot of what she knows about being a disciple of Jesus Christ to Tony Jones, his leadership, and his practical theology (i.e., how he lives his life). In fact, I'm sure many could say that about Tony.

2:27 PM  
Blogger david rudd said...

i'm not a friend of tony's. i've never met him.

i disagree sharply with him on some issues (at least as far as i can pin down his actual opinion).

i've read his books.

i have absolutely no question whatsoever in mind that Tony is passionate about following Christ.

perhaps i didn't use the right words there, so i'll say it another way.

even though i often think tony is dreadfully wrong in the things he says and does, i have no doubt that Tony believes in Jesus as the sole provider for his salvation.

2:28 PM  
Blogger DaNutz said...

No, Tony Jones is not a Christian if we are letting you define the word "Christian". He isn't the same as you in his theology or religious practice.

However, many of us that call our selves followers of Jesus would not use the label Christian if you were the only one creating the definition. I call Tony a Christian and enjoy his leadership as well as others in the emerging conversation. But I'm not what YOU would call a Christian either.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Drew B Moser said...

1. Yes, I believe he is.
2. Should we be even asking this question? I'm not exactly sure it's ours to answer...
3. I'd encourage you, in brotherly love, to continue 'discerning'. Continue asking questions. And continue to dialogue on essential, helpful issues. Just refrain from the ad hominem. The beauty, and beast of Emergent is that it's a conversation, one that we all can join. Let's join the table in humility Critique Tony's views in brotherly love, just please don't pose such a question: "Is Tony Jones even a Christian?"

2:59 PM  
Blogger Danielle Jones said...

Dear Kenny-

I am a dear friend of Tony's. We grew up in the same town, became Christian's in the same youth ministry at the same church, later served that church together- and i can tell you without hesitation that Tony is a Christian indeed.

His ministry has touched the lives of so many and without his mentoring and friendship I would not be in ministry today.

But even if I did not know Tony- I believe that it is inappropriate to question someone's faith in the context of a blog. I would request that you take down this post and replace it with an apology.

Blessings and thanks,
Danielle Jones

3:12 PM  
Blogger Len said...

Others who know him better and longer have affirmed Tony's faith in Christ (the biblical Christ) and in our friendship I have never thought otherwise.

I'm not trying to be a jerk or come across in a bad way with this question, if it comes across in a bad way, please forgive me.

Are "very questionable positions on a number of issues like hell, homosexuality, inclusivity of salvation" & being a "person [who] promote[s] things like contemplative prayer and ancient catholic practices rooted in mysticism" the litmus test for salvation?

3:31 PM  
Blogger Andrew Seely said...

Kenny,
As someone who is often "questioning" of many things within the life of the church and within how people operate as christian leaders, I can see where this could be an honest attempt at just trying to raise some issues that you may have about who Tony is and the things he says and does.

Though I would have to agree that maybe this wasn't the best way to approach the subject.

It is perfectly fine to critique and question theology and practices, but to personally attack someone's faith is a little out of bounds.

Since I have known Tony it has been a pleasure to get to know him better and learn of his heart for God and his love of Christ. I also know that he is very willing to be in dialogue with people. I would encourage you to write him personally (his email is publically available) or meet with him at some event. I would hope that you would be able to see his deep love for the gospel and his love for Jesus. And I'm even sure he would love to have a robust conversation about theology. (Just watch out, he's wicked smart (I'm talking phd, smart) and I even have a hard time keeping up sometimes.)

So I will encourage you to meet with folks such as Rob Bell, Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren and Tony, express your concerns and listen to their responses. All in love and with an open ear for God's heart.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I believe the question at hand is, is Tony Jones a Christian? I've met and interacted with Tony a few times, both in person and via email. I wouldn't call us friends in the sense that we hang out or call or eachother on the phone. In this respect, Marko and others are more qualified to answer. But here's my answer, for what it's worth: Yes.

But why take my word, for it, or anyone else's? Why not email him and ask him directly?

3:34 PM  
Blogger sam andress said...

Whoever wrote this blog, in my opinion, falls in the category of such heretics as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson!

Tony is a follower of Jesus, so yes he is a Christ follower. The books he wrote were aimed at specific disciplines of the Christ following life, just like Jesus taught his followers.

First of if the Roman Catholic Church is heretical, that means most of Christians throughout history are not Christians. That to me sounds like the hight of arrogance. Besides, Protestantism is just a liberal democratic-free market economy form of Roman Catholicism.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Will said...

I once doubted Tony's standing within the Church. Then, one day, to my glorious surprise, his image was evident in the most amazing way. I posted about it here:

http://willzhead.typepad.com/willzhead/2004/11/holy_tony.html

I know have a shrine to Tony. Or at least I did, until I ate it.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken,

I have the same question re. Tony Jones. By the way, ex-Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett is a friend of mine and I, as a former Roman Catholic, shared my input on his fine articles concerning the Emergent Church. Many of the responses here are obviously from Emergents who have sadly been duped by these leaders like Jones in the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church. Nothing is to be gained by having "conversations" with people like these who simply will not listen. My brother you needn't worry about the "follower of Jesus" argument because it is a red herring. There are all kinds of people who claim to be Christian (Mormons, JW's, Roman Catholics) and lead moral lives that would even exceed Jones' so this really proves nothing.

In my two part series "Tony Jones Isn't Telling The Truth"

http://www.apprising.org/archives/2006/06/tony_jones_isnt.html

as well as in my other writings concerning this highly schismatic movement

http://www.apprising.org/archives/emergent_church/index.html

I have clearly shown that this Emergent deception is actually a Christian agnosticism. As far as their whining about "unity" in the Body of Christ, this is the height of hypocrisy because they are the ones who started this attack on true Biblical Reformed theology in the first place and brought in the Gnostic mysticism of contemplative spirituality (so-called "Christian" mysticism) which is aimed by Satan at destroying the Protestant Reformation.

Men like Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt and Brian McLaren unquestionably deny the inerrancy and infallibility of Holy Scripture, and as such have denied God the Holy Spirit Who wrote it. A very dubious position to place themselves into and we do not have to fear them. As a matter of fact, this whole Emerging cult began as a rebellion against the Theocratic rule of Christ in His universal Church through His Word in Holy Scripture. This is precisely what the long apostate Church of Rome denied and is exactly what her daughter the new evangelical Ecumenical Church of Deceit (which Emergent is part of) is currently doing.

The issue really comes down to this: "Was the Reformation brought about by God to restore His Body to a proper approach to what Dr. Walter Martin often referred to as 'the historic orthodox Christian faith,' or was it instead a man-made split in the Church that we should now forget and return to a unity with the Church of Rome?" One cannot have it both ways because absolutely nothing has changed in the Roman Catholic Church regarding their dogmas pronounced at Trent. Nothing!

Kenny we need to be careful we don't "cast pearls before swine" and waste our time arguing with people who have no ears to hear. Bottom line is that men like Tony Jones are simply modern versions of the Gnostics that inspired Apostles Paul and John condemned in Holy Scripture. Let us not forget that these early Gnostics claimed to be Christians as well, but God the Holy Spirit tells us about their return:

"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping" (2 Peter 2:1-3)

and...

"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe" (Jude 3-5).

Kenny, the Lord bless you for your boldness and willingness to stand for the absolute Truth in, and final authority of, the Word of the one true and living God as revealed in the Bible.

For Christ's Honor,

Pastor Ken Silva
President
Apprising Ministries
http://apprising.org/

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kenny,
After reading all these blogs from Tony's "friends and family"(not literal). It occurs to me that the question at hand is not whether or not he is a Christian, but it should be what am I teaching to call my salvation into question? If I am aligning myself with a person and their beliefs I would want to look more closely at what they are teaching. The one blogger posted that he doesn't agree with him, but emphatically states that he believes he is. Didn't your mom ever tell you that you are known by the company that you keep? The Bible is clear but Post Moderns and others choose to blurr the line a little so they can attain a higher feeling of the presence of God. Anyone can say they love Jesus and claim to be a Christian, thats why the Bible says we will be known by our fruit. Are our apples truly apples and our oranges true oranges(figuratively), or do we manipulate the masses by telling them that the apple of the old day can possibly be the bananna of today. Thank you for not just taking a leader of today by what he says, I believe in the end there will be many so called christians spending eternity separated from the one true God. How sad that they will take many sheep who are impressed with their fallible intellect with them. Christ and Christ alone. Keep up the discussion!!!!!!

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kenny that anonymous blog about the fruit and friends and family is mine. I forgot my user name and password so i had to be anon. Good post about captain courageous !!!!!

6:42 PM  
Blogger David M said...

Seriously, someone who puts himself in the public spotlight on purpose is not allowed to be talked about?

I'm pretty sure Tony knows that one of his roles during this phase of history is to stir the pot! If he (or his friends or what seem to be followers) can't handle that, then pull out of the public view.

Tony's allowed to criticize what has been but not be critcized himself?!? Get real.

And really, Tony, what did you instigate this? That was petty.

[From my point-of-view & experience, Tony is full-"Christian."]

7:25 PM  
Blogger jeff said...

I've been reading after Tony Jones for a while. this post makes me wonder (since judgementalism is a sin) if Kenny Oliver is really a christian...

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Bob C said...

Tony is a follower of Jesus, a person whose life is continually transformed by living towards God, a person who moves by the Spirit of God. He embodies the salvation that Christ brings to us and the reconciliation that God calls us to.

It is always great to have the chance to witness to the power that Christ has in the lives of those we know & love.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I am not that familiar w/ Mr. Jones, but I will point out that there are a whole bunch o' scriptures telling us to use discernment and to judge what people are teaching. Here are a few - http://www.4simpsons.com/doctrine_counts.htm

Jesus taught that we shouldn't judge hypocritically. He didn't teach not to judge at all - e.g., John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kenny:

This is Julie, Tony's wife. We'd love to have you over for dinner sometime if you're ever in Minnesota. Let us know.

Peace-

Julie Jones

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew 7?

11:13 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Sam,
I think Jerry Falwell is a real man and a real Christian man that is not afraid of the world and does not give into the pressure it lays on all christians. I know he is not emergent like your boy Tony but he always preaches the gospel .
Where are all the hard core men of the christian faith?
Thank God for the Jerry Falwells.
So many men in the church are more girly than the females at their churches . I beleive that the passive male is what the emergents want , they cringe at the confident christian man who is bold and vocal and confrontational. Now a confident female they may not be scared of but the
man he is a threat . I should say the man who stand up for the Word of God and then are vocal, those are the ones who scare .
Onward Christian Soldier ! Be a MAN of God like Joshua, David , Paul, Peter , Stephen ..
Warriors for Christ. Fight Man Fight.. for the Truth

11:49 PM  
Blogger josh said...

What is sad is that we are even discussing this. I am a pastor who has taken shots from people for not taken strong enough stands. I know what it feels like to take shots, like other emergent leaders. Because of not wanting to be divisive, instead wanting to be known by our love (which I am sure is in the Bible somewhere).

11:51 PM  
Blogger josh said...

What is amazing to me, is that we are discussing this. I am curious, are you a Pastor? At the bottom of your blog, your purpose is to "help Christians become aware of the methods pastors are using" that you deem wrong. I have been amazed how Christians want to be known by what they believe and what they stand against, as opposed to love (which I think is in the Bible somewhere).

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Deborah said...

We don't need to ask Tony, he has already answered: "For them, it was significant that I personally affirmed the historic, physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ -- in fact, when asked point-blank whether I could affirm it, my response was something like, "Not only do I affirm it, I consider it the pivot point in the entire history of the cosmos.""

For the entire article on his blog, visit http://theoblogy.blogspot.com/2005/12/my-day-at-sbts.html.

This post reminds me of the conversation in Luke 9:49-50.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, the real question here is not about one's salvation but rather the teachings and statements of Tony Jones that cause us to question his salvation. Especially when they say things like:

"...having this sense of God's company doesn't necessarily translate to a meaningful spiritual life. I know this because despite my awareness of God's presence, I have spent most of my life trying to figure out what to do about it".

By his own words, Jones causes us to doubt his salvation. He's the one expressing the doubt, not us.

Or when Jones talks of: "different ancient ways of prayer and devotion" he has chosen to depart from the protestant christianity.

Many of those defending T. Jones in the fiends of emergent sphere have placed him in the position of their spiritual leader. So absolutely we must question the salvation of all leaders in obedience to the scripture as described in 1 Tim. 3.
Also, are we to think that these guys should NOT be subject to the same biblical standards as church leaders? They must be because these emergent people have made them their teachers, elders, oversees, pastors and deacons. You bet we're gonna examine and question them, their teachings and lifestyle! If we do not, we are in disobedience to God.

-KCO

3:26 PM  
Blogger mark said...

Against my better judgement...
a few random thoughts.

1)Alan, dude, you scare me and make me laugh at the same time. Please don't kill me or try to seduce my wife.

2.)Jerry Falwell is a man. Though I have no actual proof, or evidence, it seems to add up. He seems like a pretty good guy, minus his ties to the religious right, his distain for tellitubies, a differing theology and his uncanny ability to put his foot into his mouth. I have no doubt he loves God. and cheeseburgers. But who am I to talk. I like a good cheeseburger myself.

2)There is nothing good coming from this post.

3.) Quick reminder: Slander is bad

4.)Tony Jones is not my spiritual leader. He is a friend. Does that count? He isn't the emergent pope. We don't agree on a lot. I don't even know what he's talking about most of the time. Multman this, transveral rationality that.. But he's good guy who genuinely loves Jesus. Deny it all you want... that doesn't make it less true. (I've been wanting to toss that one out for a while)

5.) For those who translate defending truth via attacking others, take a deep breath. We aren't worth the trouble. Leave us alone, if we are not apart of what God is doing, will He not take care of it? If we ARE however apart of something God is doing then make sure you aren't on the wrong side of it. someone wise once said that. Good advice.

That is unless you have a low view of the power of God, then it might be best to step in and take control.

otherwise ignore us. we like it better that way.

6.) Kenny, you should take Julie Jones up on her offer for dinner. But consider leaving Alan at home.

7.) Please take this comment as it is intended. A poorly written attempt at lightening the post up a bit.

cheers!

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Vee said...

This is all part of the ecumencal movement which will play a part in bringing in the kingdom...

My question is this, Which kingdom will it be?

These men are preterists, and believe in a social gospel and that a victorious church will usher in the Christ.

That is totally bogus and unscriptural.

Christ questions whether or not He will find faith on the earth when He comes again:

Luk 18:8 I say to you, that He will execute the justice to them quickly; but the Son of Man having come, shall he find the faith upon the earth?'

The Shall part in the above verse in the Greek donotes an interrogation to which a negative answer is presumed.

In the world at the last day: there will then be little of the doctrine of faith, and less of the grace of faith, and still less of the exercise of faith, particularly in prayer, and especially about the coming of Christ; it will be little thought of, and expected, or faith little exercised about it.

V

10:41 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

please do not trust anything this man Richard Bennett says. He must be untrustworthy. Anyone with such a name cannot be trusted on any opinion or important matter.

Thanks,

Rick Bennett
Tampa, FL

by the way- just ask Tony Jones. I am sure he will let you know. I would take his word for it instead of the word of others. At least the Bible seems to point me to this conclusion over the trust of letting others make such claims for others (BTW- I know Tony and have a hunch what he would say).

peace

11:02 PM  
Anonymous jen lemen said...

hey kenny,

it's jen lemen here (who used to be jennifer hammond at ubc way back when--remember me?) i think from what i know of you and tony that you two would actually have a lot of interesting conversation in real life--your zeal and passion for christ is quite similar and tony knows his bible inside and out. you would not be disappointed. tony even has a fiery fernando-esque streak in him that you can totally respect. i don't think he's wimping out on the truth as you understand it, but it might take a real life dialogue and lots of faith to find your common ground.

blessings on your family and kids,

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin Lawrence said...

Matthew 7:15-20, anyone?

Inerrant or otherwise...

You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.....

1:26 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Jen,

I do remember you. Thank you for your comments. The whole reason thinkerup exists is to warn christians of the dangerous doctrines infiltrating the true church. I have nothing against Tony Jones or Brian McLaren personally I just believe these men are promoting unbiblical and false teachings which are confusing many. They need to repent of this.

I think of people like you and so many other young people which I have known throughout the 20 years I was a member of UBC. This is what motivates me to cry out against these things, as a warning.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous chad said...

why is contemplative spirituality so dangerous? as far as i can tell practices such as lectio divina require a close reading of scripture. it has been very interesting to me to see the more conservative Christians come out and attack practices that have been considered orthodox for centuries! now, instead of being excited that these practices are being renewed in our churches, we question the authenticity of the faith of those who practice contemplative spirituality. well, i guess i'm not a "real" Christian!

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken,

Indeed. To me I see a terrible lack of critical reasoning skills and the Devil running right in with his confusion. I agree with you completely. And yes, by all means we must continue to try and help these poor souls see just how foolish this postmodern non-reasoning actually is. Truth doesn't change because I "feel" this way or that way about it. Case in point re. this whole idea of "conversation" Christianity. Walk into a bank where you have no account and try handing a check you have made out to the teller while you explain that you feel that the bank should give you a million dollars. You'll have a "conversation" alright, a rather unpleasant one with Mr. Policeman who will explain to you with absolute certainty the laws against forgery.

For Christ's Honor,

Pastor Ken Silva
Apprising Ministries

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Nobody can really answer this question besides Tony and God. However the only thing I can question is the maturity level of Tony and the guy with this site. To call anybody out like that about their belief is crazy. And then for Tony to have everybody go to this site just to defend his honor, a little stupid. Grow a pair Tony and defend yourself...or don't even bother talking about this guy.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

Randy ,
To call someone out because of their belief is the right thing to do . When there is evidence that makes you doubt then you should stand up and confront. MAN UP!
This is for Mark .. I hope what I said doesn't scare you oh and by the way I won't kill you or seduce your wife.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Alan,

Who says we are supposed to call anybody else? How do you know for sure that anybody is unless you are able to see into their mind.

12:40 AM  
Blogger mike said...

I feel like I came in at the end of a great party. All the great snacks are already gone.

Stop being mean. Sometimes fundamentalists are just pharisees.

11:25 AM  
Blogger see-through faith said...

I wonder why you chose to leave this post up ... other than it created a lot of volume?

Who is Richard Bennett anyway. I'd like to see some credentials here.

just a thought ...

Lorna
http://stf.heavenlytrain.com

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Nicholas Fiedler said...

Well if you want the latest on Tony Jones we just did an interview with him. I am sorry the two books you mention don't give a gospel presentation. I don't think Jesus always ended his talks with a prayer that lead those listening to ask for him to climb in their hearts.

Ken we would love to have you on our podcast to explain your questions about the Emergent movement to us more clearly. If you would like that forum. Email me.

Grace and Peace

5:24 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Nicholas,

Thank you for the invitation to be a guest on your podcast. I did hear the interview. I am sure it would be interesting to be on your podcast but I do not believe it is consistent with the purpose of thinkerup.

I have no interest in the latest on Tony Jones nor do I believe I am in a position to convince Tony Jones of anything. That is not what I am trying to do.

The purpose of thinkerup is to warn young christians of the dangers and false teachings within the Emergent movement and/or any other erroneous doctrine seeping into the current evangelical church. There are many articles and posts on this site which attempt to do that.

The other purpose of thinkerup is to point to sound biblical doctrine.

This site was started to warn many of the kids I knew in my former church of the many deceptive teachings finding its way into the church today almost completely unopposed and in too many cases unnoticed.

Nicholas, one of the things that stood out to me the most in your interview with Tony was when Tony mentioned inviting his neighbors to Solomon's Porch, how he would need to explain to them that when the bible was preached it was not going to be preached with certainty but rather it would be delivered within the context of "well this is where I've been, this is what I'm thinking....this is where I think our community is coming out on this passage", and then things were left open to discussion.

Is this how we arrive at the truth in scripture?

Is the Holy Spirit inspired scriptures really that vague and subjective?

I believe this is one of the key areas where folks like you and me may disagree.

I believe a God who goes to such lengths to rescue us from certain eternal seperation by giving his own life for our redemption will certainly allow us to arrive at essential truths contained in His word not truth based on what you think or what I think or what Tony thinks or what an Emergent leader thinks or what a fundamental preacher thinks but truth based on the infallible omnicient character and nature of an unfathomable holy God as ONLY revealed through his inerrant scriptures.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Ali Campbell said...

I don't know Tony or you, I do know I have found some of his writings helpful. I would encourage you to think about what God looks at (i.e. the heart), not at outward things - ultimately, all that we express, whether from our heart, reason, whatever paints a picture that is a blur and indistinct - only God sees clearly and speaks with absolute authority, so I thank God for what I have learned through Tony and others . . . but leave his status of crudely being "in" or "out" to God alone - Maybe when we stand before Christ he will wonder why so many of us wasted time blogging about this, I think He calls us on to other stuff mate, try to follow Jesus yourself . . . I don't know about you, but that is plenty for me to worry about, I haven't got to time to wonder if anyone else is doing it right.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you say Jesus is a Christian? If so, what kind would he be... Pentacostal, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Reformed, Emergent?

3:20 PM  
Blogger Dennis Wood said...

Scot McKnight recently did a series on jesuscreed.org about Zealotry. To use the language used there.

Bible says: Beware of false prophets
Zealot says: False prophets, non-christians are those who don't agree to the exact doctrine/theologies I adhere to.
Immunity: My type of faith is RIGHT, so therefore I am immune to being wrong or practicing false doctrine, myself.
Judgment: Anyone who doesn't celebrate, worship, walk, talk the faith like myself is not Christian.

Judge not least ye may be judged.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous English Girl said...

Im just passing through and haven't read all of the above comments.

I just wanted to say how comforting it is to know that the christians are still at each others throats!

I'm not christian. If I met Jesus I'd probably do anything to get to stay with him. But I'd do even more to be kept away from you lot.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

Wow. I am reminded of the great responsibility we hold any time we hold a podium, whether by books, radio, tv, or the pulpit, to plainly and clearly give a reason for the hope that is in us through Jesus Christ. Though I am only 27, the lack of a personal relationship with the Jesus Christ of the scriptures glares out of every word that Tony has given. I hope Tony understands that the only way to please God is through Faith in Christ Jesus and obediance. Since we cannot do that of ourselves( especially since no one seeks God in thier natural state) we need a savior to help us. Christ has overcome death, sin, and the power of sin in our lives through His atoning death on the cross. It really conveyed how much you are missing this in your life, Tony. I will pray for you.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Mark Bushor said...

I'm very concerned by the condescending, inflammatory, judgmental tone of your post, Kennyo.

This sounds more like a classic witch hunt than a concerned follower of Jesus.

But that's my 2 cents. Keep the change. ;-)

pax,
Mark Bushor

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Rick Newman said...

At the very least I can say that this post exposed some sin in my own heart. Upon reading it (and some of the more inflammatory buttresses) I became so angry that I had to actually stop and consider if the sin that I am seeing is the same sin I am currently engaged in.

NOT because the article seeks to question a public leader regarding the validity of his teaachings - this is valuable. Accepting ANYONE as a leader because they label themselves as: 'emerging', 'whole gospel', 'calvinist', 'traditional' etc.. is a mistake. The Bereans checked up on PAUL for goodness sake! No, my problem is the pick-and-choose way Mr Jones is dealt with...this is like saying that he didn't mention the vicarious atonement of Christ in this one article he wrote - that must mean he doesn't hold to it! Ridiculous.

This got me angry and I immediately began picking the article apart (and subsequent supporting articles that I read through) for error and proof that people like this don't so much love Jesus as they love their doctrine...and therein lies my sin.

How to deal with this? It's fair and necessary that we question leaders...for the good of the body of Christ and the glory of our Creator-Redeemer-God. But our methodology must remain truthful and loving...losing either one gets us in trouble.

God forgive all of us (and I really do include myself here) for our prejudice and unloving approach to one another.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Abi said...

I know Tony in a personal way, as I worked with his family as a nanny for over a year. I can say without any question in my mind that Tony is a Christian and this is evident not only through his thoughts and writings, but also in the way he interacts with people on an everyday level. He is the epitome of a loving husband and devoted father, and he gives of himself without passing judgement or shame. I am proud to call Tony Jones my friend.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous JH said...

what a poorly thought out analysis.
Just because tony doesn't mention something doesn't mean he doesn't believe it. You don't have to state your beliefs on salvation every time you put pen to paper. For goodness sake, biblical writers didn't.
And hey, there might just be something we can learn from ancient tradditions without subscibing to their doctrine. Have you ever learnt a lesson from the sporting world, which isn't very godly when you scrutinise it.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous jeremy z said...

Matthew 7:13-20
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat °:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 Beware ° of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits °. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot ° bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

10:01 PM  
Blogger terriergal said...

The first time I saw Tony Jones or heard him speak was on that very emergent-sympathetic Religion & Ethics Newsweekly back in July '05 where they profiled all the head honchos and got one (count 'em -- one) dissenting voice, D.A. Carson. But of course, it was PBS... so even one dissenting voice against liberalism was a big stretch for them!

You can view it here:

Part 1

Part 2

Dont' forget to check out the extra video on the page for part 2 "What is the Emerging Church" where Tony talks about it being "this kind of nascent, organic, movement of people who have become disillusioned with the way church is done."

Um... in the Bible that's called rebellion. (See 'Holy Spirit, leading of" in the book "Reimaginging The Dictionary")
In any case apparently he's making a judgement about 'how church is done.' Judge not... etc. etc...

As soon as Jones started talking I knew he was a heretic like all the others. So Julie Grrl, if you're reading this, it wasn't Ken Silva that convinced me, or John Macarthur, or anyone else. It was Tony himself. I'd actually never heard of Tony before.


Tony says:

TONY JONES (National Coordinator, Emergent): Is it more sloppy than what a systematic theology professor does, sitting in his tenured chair typing up a book on the doctrine of the atonement? Yeah, it's messier than that! But that's, I think, theology as it works itself out in the lives of human beings who are kind of scratching and clawing their way to try to follow Jesus on a daily basis. It's a messy endeavor, and I embrace that messiness.


It kind of sounds like Julie is not on board with that embrace of everyone (including us 'detractors' - see 'watchdoggies' in "Re-imagining The Dictionary "ALSO see cross reference to "pharisee" in same book) scratching and clawing our way to following after Jesus.

But then again, Tony has his limits on 'everyone' as well (The next Emergent Book "Re-imagining the Dictionary" ). It kinda sounds like he thinks the hypothetical 'systematic theology professor' is excluded as well... because the tone of that entire paragraph is rather holier-than-thou... don't you think? Gosh... Tony sounds so narrow minded!

11:12 AM  
Blogger pastorbrianculver said...

I was a person who was "saved" possibly by an emergent type of person. My beliefs were so "out there" that it amazes me today that I was finally TRULY saved. If all pastors do is try to sugar-coat the message of the bible, then they are doing no one a favor. I pray for people who follow the emergent leadership. If the Bible is nothing more than a "guide" that we can interpret into our own thoughts and ideas without expositing the Word, then evrything becomes okay with God (or should I say with "god"?). Homosexuality is a sin. Lying is a sin. Adultery is a sin. hating is a sin. Creating a false god to suit ourselves is a SIN! We are all guilty of breaking the first commandment which is to put God first in our life. If pastor's do not preach against sin, the listener will not know that they NEED to REPENT of their SINS. Without repentance there is no salvation! Preach all the feel good messages you want, but realize that the day will come when you will stand face to face with God and say Lord, Lord, didn't we preach your name? didn't we say we "believed" in You? and Jesus will say to them, depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you. We do not need "new" ways of reaching the lost. We need the OLD way of doing it. Law to the proud and arrogant person, and grace to the humble servant. That is the way Jesus did it. He used the Law with the rich man to show him where he lacked. The man went away sad because he did not want to give up his god(money). Keep up the faith and the good work of protecting our youth Kenny, their are cults out there that want nothing more than to "add to their roles" new members.

11:33 AM  
Blogger pastorbrianculver said...

Hi terriergal, I just wanted to thank you for your post. well said!!

11:41 AM  
Blogger terriergal said...

Why thank you pastor brian--!

I'm hoping someone like you or pastor Ken will come plant a church in our town. Every church in this town is dabbling in some form of error and/or silliness. It's a town of about 12K and has about 15-18 churches, not counting cults and Roman Catholic. Most of the churches are some flavor of Lutheran (WELS, MSL, and ELCA, all of which I have some issues with either the denomination or the local church's focus on the wrong things, man-centered shallow preaching, Purpose Driven, etc.).

We are currently driving close to 30 miles, and with kids, to attend a little AFLC church (www.aflc.org) that makes it hard to be involved in much during the week.

I told Ken yesterday that our youth pastor was toting around Velvet Elvis earlier this year, and a friend of mine noticed and became alarmed. She was looking all summer for an opportunity to talk to him about it. When she did, and gave him some reading material, apparently (as he mentioned to my 14 yr old) he took it as an overreaction on her part.

Bad thing to say to my daughter... Well we in concern also went to our pastor who is very aware of the danger of the Emerging church. He said he will talk abou it with him. So we'll see where that goes.

One thing, it sometimes seems hard for our pastor himself to pick it out clearly if something erroneous is slipped in ,say, in a teaching DVD for some reason...*sigh* love the guy though...he really does have a pastor's heart. At least he does appreciate when some of us draw his attention to 'issues' and he is not afraid to then tackle them. So much that he's asked my hubby to teach starting in January on "anything he wants."

So now... that's quite a dilemma...where to start? The church is a good church, but a little naive. They want to think the best of everyone. So how do you start a discernment "program" or course in a case like that without going too fast? ANY SUGGESTIONS WILL BE WELCOME - including curriculum /teaching series recommendations etc.

My husband is quite capable of coming up with his own curriculum but that also takes a lot of time and he's kind of low on 'liesure hours' with his recent career change (independent IT contractor).

12:20 PM  
Blogger pastorbrianculver said...

If I could suggest something...
Way of the Master has an excellent training course of evangelism. Within it, the person learns to see what true preaching should look like. I think it is something like a 12-16 week course that is taught and it is very good. From watching Hells Best Kept Secrets and True and False Converts, maybe it would open the eyes of your youth pastor. I would at least give it a try! Good luck and God bless
Brian

ps. I would love to come serve a church there. Let me know if an opening comes up!

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is probably a "dominionist" and an "Arminianist", both doctrines which have confused the masses and led them back to "mother" church [aka Rome]

8:09 PM  
Blogger Newcenturion said...

If Jones is bothered by Christian "obligation" the Eastern Orthodox Church is the LAST place he should turn to.

1:16 PM  
Blogger michael said...

I think post modernism is misunderstood. For those who have not studied it, it means only that all things are relative. But for those within it, the intellectuals struggling with it, they are not merely picking and choosing, but are struggling with truth on a different level. It does not mean there is no truth or absolute truth, but that truth exists within layers of subjectivity. Most of the post-modern thinking stems from struggle, it stems from the turmoil that modernist thinking created: world war 2, absolute-ist nonsense dictators. The holocaust. On top of that, the real root is in linguist theory, in philosophy about Plato's forms. But, how many upset REformed theologians have read Foucalt, or Derrida, to write responses against their philosophy, as if these christians can defend themselves against the science of linguist thought (a real traditionalist here, would be learning hebrew, to learn the original ancient scriptures to start with that as the basis for Truth, not in Luther's reformation). Certainly, the worldwide global awareness, that has opened us up to many different paradigms is crushing for our identity of self, especially as christians, but it is no more crushing than for folk traditions around the world, for leftist radicals that believe in a structured world and an absolute revolution, and even for aetheists who want to hold to a simple understanding of reality.

It is not casting away absolute truth, it is awakening to the layers of truth, that the world is complex, and beautiful in this complexity. It is messiness, truth in tension, constant, yet shifting, ever present and simple, yet new and different whereever we find it. This is not doubting, but becoming aware of the level of doubt that exist in our subconscious mind already to come to terms with it, to find beauty in the paradox of belief, that true faith is not a power, an ability we can give ourselves, but a power we find ourselves swept up in. (and we better be sure that our faith does not become a works based salvation, or we'll need to go back to the drawing board to rediscover grace, and find that the context of grace in opposition to works, had once, in the past a ground and footing in sacrament: the mitzvot, which we discarded so readily for simple, mass produced, cookie cutter rhetoric).

Those deeply upset with the rise of Christian intellectuals courting with such existential philosophy think that they can defend truth. Can you convert someone to the beauty of a landscape, or convert someone to a child's joy and love for their father. What about a child's needs? Can you convert someone to amazingness of the auroura borealis? Who needs to be afraid of what is simply true?
The only reason for upset, is that tides and currents within the social construct will disrupt, indeed has already shaken the foundations of, our concept of self as formed and held fragilely within the kaleidescope social construct. Traditionalist christians need to define truth a certain way, in order to separate themselves from "the world." It is within this struggle that they find their identity (but they define the world based on ideology, so where they participate in the oppression of peoples existence, like environmental racism, economic maldistribution, starvation, top soil erosion - does not go into account. What would the Christ say? What does the Christ do? What is the Christ doing? Does Jesus stand with Reagan and Margaret Thatcher? Does Jesus believe in free market neo-liberalism?). Nothing True needs protection, as if we are to say that Christ is weak, or that Christ cannot stand up on His own, that He needs our help to protect His weak, meek self.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous john chiarello said...

[this long comment comes from my blog www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com (626) EMERGENT STUFF. Let me explain ‘Emergent’ a little. Some of you guys have no idea what this is, in a nutshell that’s one of the ‘problems’. Not so much that all Christians need to know about this movement, but the movement has a tendency to be a little ‘ivory tower’ isolationist. A lot of theologizing among intellectuals while by passing the ‘nuts and bolts’ stuff. Grant it, they intend to do this on purpose to some degree, but I think they are getting a little too experimental for me. Now, when I first read on this movement I liked the trend towards simple church, the challenging of the ‘way we do church’. There are a whole bunch of radicals like me who see church as a real lived out thing as opposed to ‘going to the church house’ [UGHH!]. It was this part of ‘being Emergent’ that I liked. As I have read a bunch of stuff these last few months I have come to see the war raging in the blogasphere between the ‘Anti Emergent’ and Pro Emergent groups. As you read all the comments I have made you will see there are obvious times where I had to openly disagree with some of the trends. While I believe homosexuality is a lifestyle that scripture sees as sinful, I also do not believe we should discriminate against gays. I also see the point of being open and discussing the ‘pro gay’ side of whether or not gays should be ordained. I think if you are open and honest about it, you would see that they frankly shouldn’t be serving in positions of leadership in the church. We should recognize and not stigmatize people who struggle with this lifestyle. We should help those who struggle with this lifestyle. Those who have a radical agenda to promote it, well I think Christians should disagree and have the freedom to disagree! But when it comes down to it, there is enough scripture and church tradition [AND!] that should lead us into a view of what’s right or wrong. Some in the emergent debate seem to have all the characteristics of being open and willing to hear both sides, but then seem to never come to any firm conclusions. Hey, ultimately we do need some answers! That's where the other problem comes in. Some feel we really can’t know the answers! This is where you have the Chuck Colsons and others come out openly and fight the movement. I like Chuck, I have disagreed with him in the past. I kinda see Chuck as embracing the ‘pre evangelism’ philosophy that says ‘until you change society’s worldview, you can’t really present the gospel effectively’. Sort of like because we live in a postmodern culture, so we need to do battle on the field of ideas and establish the fact that there is ‘true truth’ [some have flipped over this statement] before we can present truth. I actually disagree with this. I think Paul nailed it down in Galatians [chapter 4?] when he said ‘after the fullness of times was come [what fullness?] God sent forth his Son’ if you read it carefully, you see the ‘fullness of time’ as describing the whole period of Old Testament law. God gave man an ‘age’ where he instituted, in humanity, a basic philosophical underpinning of right and wrong. This was law. Since Jesus [fullness of times] all mankind [postmodern, pre modern and every other group!] have been ‘victims’ to the power of the presentation of the gospel. It truly is the power of God unto salvation. You might think you need to go to great lengths to convince people of right and wrong and ‘true truth’ but according to Paul, the ‘pre evangelism’ stage is over! Now, there is some merit to Apologetics and dealing with stuff like this, but the point is God went out of his way to redeem man, the early church had a simple way to present the gospel in ‘a nutshell’ and we need to see it as the answer to peoples needs. We can’t get lost in thinking we have tons of ‘pre evangelizing’ to do before we present the truth [the real true truth- I hope you guys know I’m kidding a little here!]. So Colson fights the Emergents over knowable truth and to be honest the Emergents seem to be saying at times that you really can’t have the final answer. I commend their willingness to be open and invite everyone to the table of ideas, but ultimately we have to eventually come to conclusions. Like the guy in the movie ‘Office Space’ and his ‘jump to conclusions mat’. The debate on ‘penal substitution’ [whether or not God was punishing his Son in anger and wrath when Jesus died on the Cross]. Over the years while reading church history and theology, I have come to see how smart scholars have proposed different ‘ideas’ on Redemption. If I remember right C.S. Lewis, in his famous ‘Mere Christianity’ mentions the different ideas on this. I thought he said we know that Jesus death redeems us, but how it happens we don’t know. Hitting on this idea of differing views of Redemption. Some scholars say we really have multiple choices on the ‘theory’. I think scripture makes it plain. I think Penal Substitution is the plain answer. Isaiah 53 says ‘it pleased the Lord to bruise him’. Some say ‘this is an outrageous idea, how can God punish an innocent man for others crimes!’ some very influential scholars say this! Well, the answer is in the great mystery of the incarnation. God became man so he as man [Jesus] could bear the sins of man. In a mystery that is impossible to explain ‘God was just, and the justifier of those who believe’ [Romans]. At least Paul saw the ‘philosophical’ answer to how a just God could punish his own Son. I realize some great scholars have espoused different ideas like ‘God ransomed man back, as opposed to being the kidnapper’ and they show the ransom idea as opposed to the penalty idea. I see these as both true, not conflicting theories. God ransomed man back to himself, not from satan who now ‘owned them’ but Jesus death ‘saved man from God!’ [his own just wrath- as R.C. Sproul puts it]. So ransom and penal substitution go hand in hand. I don’t want to go on here, I just wanted to show you how we can be open to hearing all sides, but there are final truths that we need to know. We should help all people, we should not discriminate against gays any more than the good old bubba who cheats on his wife every now and than. They are both sinful! We need to be merciful to all sinners [after all we are very familiar with this camp!] but also tell them the truth in love. Contrary to Colsons ‘pre evangelism’ they are dieing to hear the gospel right now! Note; Let me explain my theory on why we do not need to do ‘pre evangelism’ to the extent that Colon sees it. When people reject truth, even as a whole society. That ‘rejecting’ in and of itself is actually sin. Thomas Aquinas [the great 13th century Doctor Angelicas of the Catholic church] said it was possible for man to come to the truth of God thru the study of the natural sciences, but it would take a very long time and only a few could attain it. Therefore God gave us revealed truth so we can quickly see the truth of God without going to great lengths to find it. If we live in a post modern society that rejects the basic premise of ‘knowable truth’ than we live in a willfully ignorant world, much like the world that Paul wrote about in Romans chapter 2. Willful ignorance of the truth of God is not some modern plight, it was around in 1st century Rome. Most adherents to the Colson doctrine seem to see post moderns willful ignorance as a different kind of willful ignorance. The kind that the simple preaching of the gospel can’t really undo! A sort of special class of rebels! My belief is the power of the gospel [Romans 1!] has the power to ‘undo’ this willful ignorance in a millisecond! Hey, you would be surprised at how powerful the gospel really is. It, my friend, is what I call TRUE TRUTH!

7:50 AM  
Anonymous David said...

When people are manipulated with guilt and fear, when they are told that if they don’t do certain things they’ll be illegitimate, judged, condemned, sent to hell forever, that’s violence. It doesn’t matter what spiritual language is used, or what passages in the Bible are quoted. It’s destructive. It’s the misuse of power. And central to the Way of Jesus is serving, which is the loving use of whatever power you possess for the good of another.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes.

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was, but is no longer.

4:56 PM  
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10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anser to the question is, no.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse, that I interfere, I too would like to express the opinion.

7:08 PM  

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