I have never tried this before, but I would like to open up discussion in the comment box about the message by Mark Driscoll outlining his concerns with Emergent and specifically with Brian McClaren, Doug Pagitt, and Rob Bell.
The podcast is approximately an hour and a half long. It can be downloaded here from itunes.
The reason I want to do this is because I had mixed feelings after listening to the message, and I am wondering what some of you thought. I will do my best to present a few facts as fairly as I am capable of presenting them, which I am sure is still biased.
I felt Mark’s tone started off appropriately humble for the task he was undertaking. He became more bold with his comments as the message progressed.
1. Brian McClaren – Guilt by Reading and Footnoting
- Mark is very concerned with Brian’s influence from several authors. He spent considerable time explaining the questionable doctrines of the authors that Brian has referenced – Borg, Crossan, Chalke, and Wilbur. Based on Brian’s association with these authors, Mark implied that Brian’s belief in atonement is questionable.
- The other concern that Mark has with Brian is his “increasingly obscure” stand concerning homosexuality based on quotes by Brian in Time Magazine and Christianity Today.
2. Doug Pagitt –
- In the “Listening to the Beliefs” book, Doug said, “we should reconsider the idea that there is a necessary distinction between creator and creation.” Mark explained that, according to Romans 1, this is by definition paganism and idolatry.
- Also when he asked Doug if homosexual practice is incompatible with the christian faith, Doug’s response was no.
3. Rob Bell –
- Strike One – Brian McClaren covers Rob’s pulpit when Rob is gone.
- Strike Two – Rob uses rabbinical sources, and the rabbis didn’t know or love Jesus.
- Strike Three – Trajectory hermeneutic. Based on the “horrible” book – Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals – Mark says that Rob is guilty of theological evolution in arriving at the egalitarian position.
- Strike Four – Because of Rob’s remark about the virgin birth in the book Velvet Elvis, Mark said that Rob’s theological method is frightening.
This is really condensed, but hopefully it is a fair representation of Mark’s critique of the 3 men in this podcast.
Near the end Mark made a few general, unsubstantiated statements:
- Emergents love Jesus the man, not the God-man.
- Emergents are guilty of syncretism, blending Christianity with paganism.
- Emergents have a low and diminished view of Scripture.
- Finally, those involved in the emerging conversation don’t have converts, just the disgruntled children of evanglicalism.
To be fair, there were points in the message when Mark talked about missiology, contextualization, and reaching the world with the message of Jesus, where I could clearly see why he has been so effective in his ministry. He is absolutely sincere about reaching the lost.
Near the end, he made some good points about not erring on either side of the spectrum, syncretism (liberal) or sectarianism (fundamental). He said that we shouldn’t be wasting our time fighting over things that don’t matter, but rather should be pursuing converts instead of conflict. Amen to that.
If you haven’t listened to the podcast, feel free to comment on the ideas I have outlined. If you have listened, I would be very interested in what you thought. Opposing views are welcome. Please be respectful to other commenters.