Saturday, July 08, 2006

Some Questions for Emergents


I'm curious about a few things. I would like some Emergent people help me understand some of the beliefs of the Emergent movement.

1. Does a person become a "christian" by conversion or do they progress into it gradually?

2. Is the bible inerrant and infallible?

3. Is the Jesus as manifested in the New Testament the same as the God manifested in the Old Testament?

4. Is homosexuality a sin?

5. Can homosexuality separate a person from God for eternity?

6. Are only christians going to heaven?

7. Are the truths revealed in scripture objective, applicable to everyone the same or are they subjective depending upon the person reading them?

8. Does God allow human beings to actually go to a literal hell of burning fire "where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched"?

9. What is the Emergent church's view of the sovereignty of God... do they ascribe to it?. This question has me very curious since I see very little manifestation of this doctrine in the Emergent circles.

10. Why does the Emergent church have such a problem with authoritative men?

11. Is the Emergent movement susceptible to false teachings and how would they be able to define false teaching if they are constantly changing? What is their standard for discernment? How do they know truth from error?


I know people involved in the Emergent church enjoy a healthy conversation. Hopefully some of you will be willing to answer some of these questions.

Thanks,
Kenny

4 Comments:

Anonymous Nicholas Fiedler said...

Hey Ken, I don't know if you checked my site for a response, but I wanted to let you know that the invitation will remain open for you to come on and talk about whatever you want, not as a debate platform but to give your voice a chance to be heard and to let people know what you are doing with your blog and how your blog could answer their questions.

To answer a few of these questions you pose. I think you will find differing answers to all these questions not only in people you are asking that attend gatherings named 'emergent', but you will also find different answers among mainstream conservative denominations.

To address a couple questions quickly

1) Is the Emergent movement susceptible to false teachings? Absolutely, just as much as any institution religious or otherwise is susceptible. The one thing I love about talking to people in this conversation is that they accept correction and are always open to discussion, that goes against some churches I have been in that I believe misinterpret the Bible and won't open a conversation about it.

2) I consider myself part of the Emergent discussion and I don't have a problem with authoritative men, well at least not that I know of.

3) I don't know who will be in heaven. I would gamble to say no one on earth does. To say it is only one group or another doesn't work for me. Though I understand many people do. I mean I don't think Moses was a Christian, but he will probably be up there, so that only christian thing, just doesn't really work for me.

4) The bible as we have it is different from the bible as it was originally written, any footnotes to even the most conservative editions will tell you that. So the Bible as we have it may be a whole lot of things, but in our translated and copied translations there is room for errors and falibility. Though I don't know if that is what the emergent church will say, that is definitly what I am learning as I study the process of the translation of the Bible.

A few thoughts of mine. I don't claim them to be anyone elses in the emergent church, but I think some of my close friends would probably agree.

Hope this helps in your search.

Grace and Peace
~Nicholas

3:08 PM  
Anonymous chad said...

though i don't consider myself part of the Emerging Church, i'd love to tackle your questions...

1)your question seems to assume that "conversion" is a one time event. i was born in a Christian home and believe that i've known Christ's love and grace all my life. the event never happened for me, so the gradual definition seems to fit...

2)the Bible as we have is not inerrant or infallible and was never meant to be read that way. the Bible is not a textbook for life, nor does it contain the answers to all of life's questions. the Bible was written by human beings inspired by the Holy Spirit. the authors were inspired, not the words on the page. the Bible is not the fourth member of the Godhead...

3)don't understand this question...can you clarify the argument. i mean Jesus was a particular man who lived in a particular time, God incarnated. it seems silly to suggest the human being Jesus lived prior to his birth.

4)homosexuality is a sin just as greed, lying, adultery, etc is a sin...

5)don't understand the context outside of any other sins...

6)i'd love to say yes, but i'm not sure how God and Christ, ultimate judge, defines "Christian."

7)the only truth that matters is Christ. profess Jesus is Lord and that's truth enough for me. seems to be Jesus' biggest concern as well.

8)can you help me see where you get this image? what Scripture are you referring to?

9)not Emgergent, can't help you there.

10)authoritative men often fall in love with their authority and forget from where it is derived - God. holding power over the heads of others doesn't seem Christ-like to me.

11)can't help with this either. however, coming from a denomination that does not have doctrinal staments i think i see your issue. you are looking for black and white answers when the Bible and actual Christian discipleship is full of gray. what does Jesus say about homosexuality? don't know, he never said. what does the Bible say about driving SUV's and shopping at Wal-Mart? nothing specifically, doesn't mean we should do it though! reading some of your past posts it seems as though you are more interested in a religion based on rules than conversation and faith acting in love. as for the Emergent people, they probably won't bother to comment because you don't seem all that open and willing to have a conversation. you'd rather have an argument it seems!

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Carter Rose said...

Kennyo-

I'm sad Kenny. This fight of yours against emergent makes me sad. Have you met these people you so quickly label as apostate?

Where is your love? And how do you reconcile your aggressive, name-calling, and judgmental stance with Christ's model of loving acceptance.

I think this post has potential. It appears you have found the strength to appear at least somewhat hospitable. But then I look at the links to prior articles...the link names alone seem to be spewing a pharisaical judgementalism hurdling off my screen at 100mph.

You are committed to the God and Christ that you understand. I truly believe you are. Otherwise you wouldn’t spend this much time trying to spread your message of how faith in Christ should be. But how does tearing down other peoples faith work into that vision?

I am interested in hearing your response to these questions. Maybe if we can establish some form of mutual acceptance and respect of each other's beliefs it would be a better platform on which we can "tackle" your tough questions.

Sincerely,
Carter R.
Carter@thedetour.net

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Vee said...

Question 8. I believe Kennyo is referring to these verses:

Mar 9:43 And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.

Mat 18:8 And if thy hand or thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed or halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire.

Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.
Rev 20:15 And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.

4:05 AM  

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