At Last… The Emerging Church Defined

mssnl-1.jpgIt seems that the body of Christ is having a tough time naming its latest protuberance. What is this soft mass we’ve been calling the Emerging Church? It has been said to mean many things. It has been said to defy definition. It has been said to be so new (emerging) that we don’t know what it is yet.

Well, I believe I have it figured out. You are welcome to join the conversation. Here is the essential glossary of the emerging church. Continue reading


Control the Story, Control the World

galileo.jpgHalf a millennium ago, the predominant cosmology viewed the earth as the center of the solar system. Geocentrism was the story of the day. An Italian researcher named Galileo told a different story. He argued for heliocentrism; the data proved that the sun, not earth, was the center of the solar system. But that didn’t fit the story line.

So the stewards of the story–at that time, the Catholic Church–condemned Galileo to spend the last years of his life under house arrest. Thank you, Inquisition. Never mind that his view fit the facts. It didn’t fit the story so it was false and he had to be punished.

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An Old/New Way of Ancient/Future Thinking

rader1a.jpgPostmodernism/emergentism loves paradoxical/slash thinking/reading so I thought I’d take a shot/stab at it.

Not really. Too many slashes would be annoying/unkind to you, my merciful/forgiving reader/visitor. Really. I’ll stop. I’m done. Seriously.

Can I say that I’m alarmed by some trends in the church today? Mostly in terms of theology. The alarming trend bouncing in my brain this morning is the changing view of the church’s and Christian’s mission. Continue reading


To Debate Or NOT to Debate?

boxinggloves.jpegIf you’ve followed this blog and its comments you noticed that the discussion turned errr… a little feisty yesterday. The heat centered on one commenter in particular whose comments tend to be critical of things I say. There are a couple like that, and I occasionally reply, but often do not.

Fellow commenters did.

Now it’s my turn. Continue reading


Blown Away by Law

old-library.jpegI was blown away this morning by Law. Henry Law was a pastor in the Church of England. He lived from 1797 to 1884. I’ve had his book, The Gospel in Genesis, sitting on my very own bookshelves for more years than I can count; but I’ve never read it. Until this morning.

What first blew me away was this quote on the back cover: Continue reading




Evangelism is the latest dirty word among the hippest, trendiest churches and their soul-patched pastors (leader?  facilitators? good-buddies?  what do you call a “pastor” in a post-modern, emergent setting?  a visioneer?)

What’s wrong with evangelism you ask?  It worked fine for 2,000 years as a word.  Why is it on the way out?

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Perspicuity… Per-spi– what?

Yesterday I uploaded a file to the website for the independent study course I am teaching for Tozer Seminary. The course is called “Christian Theology.” It is essentially a course in systematic theology. Systematic theology is an attempt to clarify, harmonize, and collate all that the Bible teaches on several major subjects. glassesbible.jpg

I love studying theology.

Anyway, like I said, yesterday I uploaded a file that the class participants will read. And I realized just how little most of today’s Christians know about this topic.

What is that topic? you ask… The Perspicuity of Scripture.

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Hell Froze Over?

Sorry for the break in blogging. I was at the General Council for the Christian and Missionary Alliance, this year in Orlando, FL. Wasn’t able to blog while I was away, but I’m back on track now. Thanks for your patience.

Read this paragraph from one of the most famous sermons in English-speaking history:

jonathanedwards.jpg “O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.”

Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” stirred America’s first great revival in the 1700’s. It was a sermon that blasted people without Jesus to hell. Seminaries and pastoral training programs used to consider this sermon required reading.


Compare that quote with this one, in an interview with Spencer Burke. Spencer Burke operates the most popular website for the emerging church–with over 100,000 hits a month, I’ve been told. He is talking about his book, A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity. Continue reading


The Absolute Need for Doctrine and Theology

Who wrote those marvelous words, and when? Okay, I know it’s a tough question, so I’ll make it easier. Guess a decade in which you think these words were written (they’re all from the same essay).

Here’s a picture of the author: I’ll tell you more about her on the next page.


“Theologically, this country is at present in a state of utter chaos, established in the name of religious toleration, and rapidly degenerating into the flight from reason and the death of hope. We are not happy in this condition, and there are signs of a very great eagerness, especially among the younger people, to find a creed to which they can give wholehearted adherence. This is the Church’s opportunity, if she chooses to take it.”

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I Am Pro-Candle

“I object to a God who can be understood.” [blogger 1]

“We don’t hold to inerrancy because we believe that it answers the wrong question in reference to the Scriptures….not because we believe the Bible is filled with errors.” [blogger 2]


The little vein on the right side of my temple throbs when I read statements like this. Am I a dinosaur? Am I missing something? Don’t get me wrong. I am all for:

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