I am once again posting my opinions regarding a highly controversial Emerging Church speaker – Dan Kimball. (I’ve revised this blog post, toning it down just a tad and making a few corrections; this is in response to some constructive comments from readers. I’m working on wording criticisms more tactfully, and on doing more research to verify facts before posting criticisms.)
In a previous post, I reposted a Crosstalk blog slamming Dan Kimball for being evasive in what he believes, and for not disassociating himself from New Age-ish Emergent/ Emergence speakers.
Now let’s turn to a blog by a fellow blogger, Neil. In his blog you will read a debate taking place between Kimball’s followers and critics. (I have provided the link at the bottom of this post.) The blog deals with the debate over whether Dan Kimball is an “orthodox” evangelical. In the blog referenced below, Neil says:
[Chris Rosebrough has] come to the conclusion that Kimball is a Bible-believing Christian who holds to the uniqueness of Christ, the existence of Hell, the authority of Scripture, a denial of universalism… etc. And even though Chris and Dan disagree on methodology… they look at each other as brothers in Christ.
[I am not conceding that I agree with Chris Rosebrough’s conclusions – I am just reposting the quote here to show what this furious debate is all about.]
These conclusions by Chris Rosebrough have generated a firestorm of disapproving responses from various Christians on the Internet, particularly within discernment ministries. One of the most outspoken at this point is Linda Schlueter of Crosstalk, whom I quoted in a previous blog.
Regarding the blog by Neil, referenced below, what I find just as interesting as the blog is the responding comments. The earlier responses from readers speak favorably of Kimball. But then my wonderful discernment brethren start putting in their two cents’ worth. And, boy, do they jump on Kimball’s positions! (Rightly so, I say.)
To all born again Christians who are concerned about the Truth of the gospel and the attack upon it, I would recommend taking very seriously the criticisms of Kimball. And don’t just take my word for it – research the criticisms of Kimball for yourself.
A few more thoughts. The fact that we are debating Dan Kimball shows that many within evangelical churches still wonder where he is coming from. Many born again, biblically sound evangelicals still view Kimball as putting up smoke and mirrors. These impressions are reinforced by several of Kimball’s practices: 1) being evasive at times regarding his true theological beliefs, 2) discussing matters with opponents privately rather than out in the open, 3) endorsing practices perceived as New Age-ish (such as candles, incense, and the labyrinth), and 4) spending a great deal of time informally with Emergent/ Emergence speakers Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, etc.
There are a few discernment ministries out there which are defending Kimball, or at least speaking of him in relatively favorable terms. This is my impression of these discernment ministries: they seem to be enthralled by Kimball’s charming personality, after spending time with him and carrying on phone conversations with him. Or, perhaps they just don’t understand the theologically murky Emerging Church movement. Come on, you discernment ministries that are endorsing Kimball. As discernment ministries, your job is to examine Kimball’s BELIEFS and TEACHINGS and compare them to what the Bible says – it seems to me you have kowtowed to his charming personality and informal, “cool” church style.
Here is the blog I mentioned originally, showing the debate between Kimball’s defenders and critics: