Archive for December, 2010

(revised 08/11/13)

It amazes me that so many evangelicals are falling for the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence movements. This in spite of the fact that these movements refuse to hold to biblically sound doctrines, or even provide doctrinal statements. I believe that if evangelicals were to really study the Bible, learn its truths/doctrines, and believe them, they would not stray so easily after false teachings.

I have copied and pasted an excellent list of links from the  CARM website, regarding sound biblical doctrine. The  original list of links is at:


Christian Doctrine and Theology

bible keyBasic Christian Doctrine is the study of the revealed word of God.  It is  Christian Theology regarding the nature truth, God, Jesus, salvation, damnation, the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, the Gospel, resurrection, and more.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,” (2 Tim. 4:3).

Basic Christian Doctrine

The Trinity

The Holy Spirit

Objections to the Trinity answered




Read Full Post »

(revised 03/09/17)

(image source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hgQL_5Icw-c/UFDAgQx9OlI/AAAAAAAAAds/L8wpVAGZthQ/s1600/dead-church.jpg)

How should we go about leaving churches when they become ungodly (specifically, postmodern – Emerging/Emergent/Emergence)?

First, let’s take a look at apostate churches, churches where “Ichabod has been written above the door.” Literally, Ichabod means “the glory has departed.” We could apply the title to the seven churches of Revelation. History tells us that all seven of the churches eventually died out; apparently they did not heed the warnings of our Lord Jesus Christ in His words to John the Revelator.

Daniel Valles writes in How To Spot An Ichabod Church:

Ichabod is the infamous name found in I Samuel 4:21, where a mother chose this name for her newborn, marking the day that the ark of God was taken from Israel. The word Ichabod has the idea of ‘no glory’, but it is more commonly used in the sense that this mother used it in: The glory of God has departed…  Metaphorically and proverbially, the term Ichabod is often used to describe a church or ministry work where God is no longer at work. In a sense, Ichabod could be written over the church doors; yet, sadly, most people do not notice when God leaves or is absent. Just like Judas was able to fool the other disciples with his testimony and outward piousness, so that none suspected him of betraying Christ, so many dead church works and ministries continue on, cleverly hiding the fact that they have been cut off at the roots. Yes, the rose is still blooming, and may still smell and look appealing, but the life force behind those blessings is gone, and it is only a matter of time till the death pall overtakes it.

II Timothy 3:5 warns us that in the last days, there will be many who have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” In this verse, the Apostle Paul warns young Timothy to not go by appearance, but to use discernment instead. Jesus Christ, Himself, warned all of His disciples, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:24.
[emphasis mine]

The Emerging, Emergent, and Emergence movements fit the description of apostate “Ichabod” churches. Each movement has its own unique traits:

* Emerging churches – postmodern; usually evangelical churches, they still hold to some orthodox biblical doctrines
* Emergent churches/gatherings – postmodern; they emphasize liberal/ mainline teachings
* Emergence churches/gatherings – postmodern; emphasize New Age-ish/ interfaith teachings.

In this blog, I am using the terms Emerging, Emergent, and Emergence interchangeably, since the three movements overlap each other. Also, Emerging churches tend to become Emergent churches as more and more concerned, biblically sound church members decide to leave or are coerced to leave. And, as Ken Silva points out, Emergent churches/gatherings are morphing into Emergence churches/ gatherings.   How scary – and tragic – that Emerging evangelicals are headed down the slippery slope to New Age-ish/interfaith teachings.

Richard Foster’s Spiritual Formation is a taught in all three of these movements: Emerging, Emergent, and Emergence. The most appealing – and dangerous – aspect of Spiritual Formation is the spiritual discipline of occultish contemplative prayer/contemplative spirituality.

But to the point of my post. Suppose your church is becoming Emerging/Emergent/ Emergence – what do you do now?

I will start by telling of my own experience. As mentioned in previous posts, I spent my early childhood in an “old fashioned” King James Bible church that had hymns, altar calls, and services several times on Sunday plus regular Wednesday night prayer meetings. And this wonderful church was NOT a Baptist church!  Many denominations at the time held to these biblically sound doctrines and practices.

I grew up in the Ohio Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite). It was later renamed to EFC-ER, a Region in the EFCI of which the EFC-NA is a part. (I know, I know, it’s confusing.) This denomination has traditionally separated itself from liberal Quaker denominations. Unfortunately, this separation no longer seems to be the norm.  More and more Evangelical Friends are associating with liberal Quaker groups (and/or more liberal Yearly Meetings within the EFCI) under the Emergent umbrella of  “Converging Friends.”

If you belong to a church (in the EFCI or elsewhere) which is pushing Emerging/Emergent/ Emergence teachings, I would plead with you, please, please, please take the following steps immediately, in sequence:

1) Be tactful. Do not talk or blog about your pastor behind his back. If you do talk or blog about this issue, do not mention the church or pastor by name until you have taken steps #2 through #4 below.

2) Approach the pastor directly and privately with your concerns about his errant teachings.

3) If the pastor refuses to listen (and refuses to drop his heretical teachings) find some other biblically sound, wise souls in your congregation (preferably elders or deacons or board members) and again approach your pastor, together.

4) If all else fails, and your pastor/elders/deacons/board still refuse to listen, leave the church. This is especially important if you are married and/or have children. The man is to be the spiritual head of the home. What you believe/where you attend will have a huge impact on the beliefs of your wife and children.

5) Once you have truly done all you can do in your local church – and have left it – you are at liberty to speak out and blog in every way possible against Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent/Emergence teachings. Without a doubt, you will lose many friends in your former church(es). But it is worth it, to rescue even one soul from these heretical teachings.

Note – Emerging/Emergents often accuse biblically sound, “fundamentalist” Christians of being divisive, hateful, etc. The reality is, they are totally avoiding the real issue. The real issue is, Emerging/Emergents are infiltrating colleges, seminaries, youth groups and churches, spreading their false teachings. Our “divisive” reaction is merely a defense of the biblically sound teachings of our born again denominational heritage, and a defense of The Fundamentals of 1910-1915.

You need to speak out or blog about your former church and/or denomination. I know this is a hard step, but the Bible commands us to confront, rebuke and expose false teachers; I have addressed this in several other blogs – click here for one of them. Unfortunately, most biblically sound Christians who leave an apostate church or denomination never speak out against its heretical teachings.

If your former church is the only church involved with Emerging/Emergent/ Emergence teachings, you can ask your denominational leaders for help in confronting its pastor. This is important, to keep the teachings from spreading to other churches in the denomination.

It is more likely that the denomination is already infiltrated with  Emerging/Emergent/ Emergence teachings. And it is very likely that these teachings are being openly encouraged by the denomination’s highest officials (such is the case with the Nazarene Church denomination). In this case, you need to speak out and blog about the denomination, encouraging every member to leave the denomination  immediately. These people need to find a truly Bible believing denomination elsewhere – again, for the sake of their families.

In my mind, there is nothing wrong with confronting your former denomination. This is like an ex-Catholic confronting Catholicism, or an ex-Mormon confronting Mormonism, or an ex-Jehovah’s Witness confronting the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Emerging/Emergent/ Emergence movements are no different from cults. In fact, they are becoming more and more cultic, more and more New Age-ish, less and less “Christian.”

6) For encouragement in your endeavors,  you need to befriend other born again, biblically sound Christians who are concerned about the Emerging/Emergent/ Emergence movements. If you are reading this post, you probably already have a network of friends (on Facebook and elsewhere) that are supportive of you in opposing these heresies.

7) Now that you are a man or woman without a church home, you need to look for a local church or Christian fellowship – even if it is a gathering of only a few individuals. (To paraphrase, as Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst.”) You will be hard pressed to find a local evangelical church that is not getting sucked into Emerging/Emergent/Emergence teachings. But believe it or not, there still are biblically sound churches out there  – don’t give up looking. Perhaps a theologically conservative, independent church that does not label itself as “evangelical” – the label “evangelical” has become practically synonymous with “Emerging.” Here are some of the traits I look for in a pastor:

* He has a biblically sound doctrinal statement for his church – and sticks to its teachings.

* He places utmost priority on the gospel message – the preaching of salvation through the atonement of our Saviour Jesus Christ. (I call this  the preaching of The Blood and The Cross). Any pastor who does not place utmost priority on this is not worthy to call himself a man of God.

* He uses the King James Bible for English-speaking readers (or a translation of the Masoretic Old Testament and the Textus Receptus New Testament for non-English readers). There will be many well-meaning Christians who disagree with me on this, but in these times of widespread heresy, I believe we need a sure foundation in God’s Word. And I believe this is our most sure foundation.

* He places high priority on witnessing and evangelism.

* He is not afraid to name names and confront false teachers – in every movement including the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence movements.

* He is not afraid to separate himself from Emerging/Emergent/Emergence individuals, or Catholics, or theological liberals, or interfaith proponents, or any other so-called Christians compromising God’s Word. And he encourages his church members to separate themselves from such individuals.

One final note for now. Although I do not consider myself a dispensationalist, there is much we can learn from IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists). Their teachings on “primary separation” and “secondary separation” come to mind. Although this teaching seems harsh, I believe it is through these separation teachings that IFBs have, for the most part, avoided getting sucked into the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence movements.

One of the IFB writers I greatly admire is David Cloud. There will be those who disagree with me, but personally I believe he is a very balanced, discerning, biblically sound Baptist. He has written a great deal on various heresies, including the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence movements. Here is his website:


Here is another great blog on the subject of leaving your heretical Emerging/Emergent church. The blog was written by Manny Silva:

Preparing for Separation and Loss

Read Full Post »

(revised 07/30/14)

I have felt a burden for many, many evangelical acquaintances who have fallen into seeker sensitive churches, purpose driven churches, Third Wave Pentecostal churches, IHOP/soaking prayer, Spiritual Formation,  the Emerging Church movement, the Emergent Church movement, even the Emergence Christianity movement.

The Evangelical Friends denomination I grew up in, other churches I have attended, the college I attended, the seminary I attended, even friends and relatives – all have been influenced to some degree by these heretical movements. And I am angry!! The question is, why were these evangelicals so gullible as to fall away from orthodox evangelicalism so easily?

Note – by “orthodox evangelicalism” I am referring to the state of evangelicals before the advent of  “the New Evangelicals” and neo- Evangelicalism. Consider the following excellent excerpts; the entire article is found  here.  Note – below I have emphasized certain points by bolding,  and inserted comments in [brackets]. Now on to the excerpts.

Evangelical: A Brief Definition

Visitor: I am after a brief biblical definition of the “Evangelical Christian” that would not be confusing to the average born again person.

Response: That is a great question and of late has been somewhat controversial. How do we define “Evangelical Christian” — I will assume you are after the meaning of this in a traditional, rather than contemporary sense. Also the terms [sic] meaning in a positive rather than negative light. If so, then it has historically meant someone who believes and heralds the Gospel of Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Scripture and that there is no hope for them in the world save in being united to Him in his life, death and resurrection. In the past this was the unifying factor for persons from a vast array of church traditions, but now the word has, unfortunately, come to mean many things.

The contemporary use of the word “Evangelical” often refers to an amorphous mass of people with different convictions, confessions and beliefs about the Gospel. Sometimes this even includes persons who do not believe in the authority of the Bible and, like liberal theology of old, believe in a theology based on consensus, modern psychology or worldly politics.

I did a bit of research to see what others have written about the state of evangelicals currently. I came across the following review by Greg Long, of a book by David F. Wells entitled The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World. The original review can be found here.

The Courage to Be Protestant – A Review

The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World
By David F. Wells
Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008
267 pp, clothbound
ISBN: 978 0 80284 007 3

David Wells is an evangelical, and he is concerned with the state of evangelicalism. This is nothing new; he has written four previous books addressing issues within evangelicalism and Christianity at large: No Place for Truth: or, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? (1993), God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams (1994), Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision (1998), and Above All Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World (2005). Wells writes this current volume to summarize and update those four previous essays. The fact that Wells combines four previous books into one results in one of the book’s weaknesses — it is at times somewhat disjointed and at other times repetitive.

Wells begins by assessing the current state of evangelicalism. He considers the emergence and first few decades of the evangelical movement to have been a ‘success story’ (p. 1), but is greatly concerned that it has now drifted from its moorings.

The primary problem, according to Wells, is that evangelicalism has been influenced by our postmodern culture. Our culture has lost its centre; it has replaced God with self. This, of course, is nothing new; Paul reminds us that from the beginning people have ‘worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator’ (Rom. 1:25). Now, according to Wells, ‘Ours is a centerless universe . . . We are left to fumble about with only our feelings to guide us’ (p. 109). It is not that people today are no longer spiritual; no indeed — ‘spirituality’ is on the rise even as religion is on the decline. But, Wells says, there are two kinds of spirituality:

One begins from above and moves down whereas the other begins below and tries to move up. One starts with God and reaches into sinful life whereas the other starts in human consciousness and tries to reach above to make connections in the divine. One is Christian and the other is pagan (p. 176).

The surprising thing is that this mindset has affected evangelical churches, beginning several decades ago. As the centre shifted from God to self, some churches began to design their ministries to meet people’s self-identified ‘felt needs’. As the focus shifted from Bible to culture, some churches were no longer primarily concerned with asking ‘What saith the Lord?’ and became more concerned with asking ‘What saith the culture?’ Or, to put it another way,

What is the binding authority on the church? What determines how it thinks, what it wants, and how it is going to go about its business? Will it be Scripture alone . . . or will it be culture? Will it be what is current, edgy, and with-it? Or will it be God’s Word, which is always contemporary because its truth endures for all eternity? (p. 4).

Wells calls this group within evangelicalism the ‘Marketers.’

Church marketing was pioneered by Bill Hybels at Willow Creek Community Church in 1975. Wells defines church marketing as ‘the process of communicating the features and benefits of the Church’s product (relationships) in a compelling manner that helps people take their next step in pursuing the Church’s product (relationships)’ (p. 23). The strategy of the Marketers is to communicate an old message in new ways, using strategies and techniques from the world of business and marketing. The message is marketed to make it more palatable. The gospel call becomes a sales pitch.

Wells’ devastating critique of the church marketing movement is one of the most helpful sections of this book. The Marketers are failing to produce disciples of Jesus Christ who have been taught to observe everything he has commanded (Matt. 28:20). Surveys reveal that knowledge of the Bible and theology in evangelical churches is woefully inadequate, and Wells believes that the Marketers have exacerbated this problem. He says,

Everywhere in the marketing approach theology and Bible knowledge are down­played, and then we are dumbfounded when commitment evaporates and ignorance reigns . . . Bible knowledge has declined drastically in the churches as Sunday school programs are eliminated, expository preaching becomes unfashionable, and the practices of daily prayer and Bible reading vanish with a prior generation (pp. 45—46).

However, the Marketers’ worst fear has been realized — what was once avant-garde has now become passé. Although many churches are still using the marketing approach, it is no longer the latest and greatest iteration of evangelicalism. The latest group within modern evangelicalism are the Emergents. Emergents are reacting against fundamentalism on the one hand and the marketing movement on the other. They chafe against the idea that one can be certain about knowing truth; they find such certainty arrogant and pretentious. They also rebel against the ’emptiness, loss of personal connections . . . and capitulation to consumerist modernity’ of the ‘Willow Creeky’ churches (p. 16). Emergents are ‘doctrinal minimalists’ who are ‘resistant to doctrinal structure that would contain and restrict them’ (p. 17). Wells considers the Emergents, as a whole, to have strayed so far away from the evangelical camp that they can no longer truly be considered to be a part of it.

What is Wells’ solution to the problems he has identified within evangelicalism? The solution is to return God to the centre of our lives and of our churches. How can this be done? By being reminded of God’s ‘otherness’ — his transcendence and holiness.

God is outside us . . . He is objective to us . . . he summons us to a knowledge of himself that is not something we have or find in ourselves, and . . . he summons us to be like him in his holiness’ (pp. 126—127).

As we refocus on God’s otherness, we are reminded that there is a moral law, that there is sin, and that Christ came from above to reveal the Father and to give his life as the vicarious substitute for sin. Here is Wells’ point:

Without the holiness of God, then, there is no cross. Without the cross there is no gospel. Without the gospel there is no Christianity. Without Christianity there is no church. And without echoes of the holiness of God in those who are Christ’s, there is no recognizable church. What is it about this chain of connections that the evangelical church today is not understanding that is leading it to soft-pedal, overlook, or ignore the holiness of God? . . . If we could see more clearly God in the full blaze of his burning purity, we would not be on easy terms with all the sins that now infect our souls and breed easy compromises with the spirit of the postmodern age. This is what leads to the casual ways in which we live our lives with their blatantly wrong priorities (pp. 129, 133).

What, then? ‘What is of first importance to the church is not that it learn to mimic the culture but that it learn to think God’s thoughts after him’ and to ‘think about the church in a way that replicates his thoughts about it’ (pp. 98, 223). ‘An authentic church is one that is God-centered in its thought and God-honoring in its proclamation and life’ (p. 242). Churches must be sola Scriptura, seeing the Word of God as authoritative and sufficient, not sola cultura. Churches must hold fast to doctrine and preaching. Churches must rightly administer the sacraments while clearly proclaiming salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Churches must exercise biblical church discipline in order to protect the purity of Christ’s church and reflect the holiness of God. Churches must not seek to replicate the culture but rather stand as an alter­native to it: ‘If the church is to be truly successful, it must be unlike anything else we find in life (p. 224).

The primary strength of this book is its powerful analysis of postmodern culture and evangelical church life. Wells is more adept at diagnosing the problem than prescribing the solution, but his call for the church , to return to God rather than self and to the Bible rather than culture is well needed. The value of this book is that it offers a powerful internal critique of the state of many churches within evangelicalism, particularly the Marketers and the Emergents. It is also a reminder that there are many within evangelicalism who are trying to hold fast to the essential truths of Scripture — truths that were rediscovered during the Protestant Reformation – and who are calling others within evangelicalism to do the same.

From The Journal of Modern Ministry Volume 5, Issue 3, Fall 2008. With permission.

By Greg Long

FOR FURTHER READING – additional items David F. Wells has written about Evangelicalism, the Emergent Church movement, etc.:

Wikipedia article about David F. Wells (may not be accurate)

The Word in the World“, a great article by David F. Wells

Read Full Post »

Following is an excellent blog by Reformed Nazarene: a list of Emergent and Emergence leaders/supporters, along with quotes showing their blasphemous positions on various Bible doctrines. I am copying and pasting the entire blog. The original blog can be found at:



The following are very short groupings of quotes by some of the more high profile emergent church leaders.  It is far from comprehensive, and I suggest you followup with additional research, at such sources as Lighthouse Trails Research, and Apprising Ministries.

[This list currently highlights: Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Richard Foster, Tony Campolo, Dallas Willard, Rick Warren).  Other leaders listed after, have or will have links to articles on them.

Brian McLaren
Brian McLaren
Known by many as the godfather of the emergent church movement, Brian McLaren has authored such book titles as: “Everything Must Change”,  “The Secret Message of Jesus”, “A Generous Orthodoxy”, and “A New Kind of Christian”.
McLaren was listed in Time Magazine’s Top 25 Evangelicals in America.  Yet, there are several definitive statements that he has made which leads many to question whether he is a Christian at all.  McLaren is very popular on college campuses, and in 2007 he held a seminar at Northwest Nazarene University as part of his “Everything Must Change” tour.  It turned out to be a very controversial seminar which is described by Eric Barger on the DVD in this packet called “Emergent Church: Clear and Present Danger”.  He, like most emergents, questions the authority of scripture and has made statements that undermine several essential doctrinal truths, including the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the existence of a real hell, and the exclusivity of Jesus for salvation.

Quotable Quotes:

“Tony [Campolo] and I might disagree on the details, but I think we are both trying to find an alternative to both traditional Universalism and the narrow, exclusivist understanding of hell [that unless you explicitly accept and follow Jesus, you are excluded from eternal life with God and destined for hell].”

“How do you know if something is true?…First, you engage in spiritual practices like prayer, Bible reading, forgiveness, and service. Then you see what happens; you remain open to experience. Finally, you report your experience to others in the field of spirituality for their discernment, to see if they confirm your findings or not.”

“The church latched on to that old doctrine of original sin like a dog to a stick, and before you knew it, the whole gospel got twisted around it. Instead of being God’s big message of saving love for the whole world, the gospel became a little bit of secret information on how to solve the pesky legal problem of original sin.”

“I must add, though, that I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.”

“This is how I feel when I’m offered a choice between the roads of exclusivism (only confessing Christians go to heaven), universalism (everyone goes to heaven), and inclusivism (Christians go to heaven, plus at least some others). Each road takes you somewhere, to a place with some advantages and disadvantages, but none of them is the road of my missional calling: blessed in this life to be a blessing to everyone on earth.”

Rob Bell

Rob BellRob Bell is the teaching pastor at Mars Hill Church (not to be confused with Mark Driscoll’s church).  He is author of such books as the very popular Velvet Elvis, and the creator of a popular series of videos geared especially for youth, called NOOMA.   He is very popular with youth, and therefore is of great concern because of young impressionable minds which are not necessarily mature in their knowledge of the scriptures.  Many of his NOOMA videos tend to twist scripture and casts doubts on the reliability of scripture.

Quotable Quotes:

(Regarding when Peter tries to walk on water to Jesus) “Who does Peter lose faith in? Not Jesus; he is doing fine. Peter loses faith in himself. Peter loses faith that he can do what his rabbi is doing…. They don’t realize what they are capable of….God has an amazingly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things. I’ve been told I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I’m learning is that Jesus believes in me….God has faith in me.”

The Christian faith is mysterious to the core.  It is about things and beings that ultimately can’t be put into words.  Language fails.  And if we do definitively put God into words, we have at that very moment made God something God is not.

“the Bible is a product of human work, not divine fiat”.

Heaven is full of forgiven people. Hell is full of forgiven people. Heaven is full of people God loves, whom Jesus died for. Hell is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for. The difference is how we choose to live, which story we choose to live in, which version of reality we trust.
“When people use the word hell, what do they mean?  They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be.  Famine, debt, oppression, despair, loneliness, death, slaughter-they are all hell on earth.  Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth.  What’s disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about hell here and now.  I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth.”

This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true.

Rob Bell’s Abstract Elvis (A review by Pastor Bob Dewaay)
The Scoop On NOOMA by Greg Gilbert- Pt. 1

Rob Bell: A Modern Day Gnostic

Tony Jones

Tony Jones

Tony Jones is a youth leader and resident theologian at Solomon’s Porch, whose pastor is Doug Pagitt, another original emergent leader.  Tony Jones is just like most of the major emergent leaders, and rejects an essential foundation on which Christians stand: he does not believe in the absolute authority and reliability of scripture, or in its inerrancy; rather, he believes in a Bible that is flexible and can change meaning based on one’s cultural influences and setting.
His dabbling with mysticism is also unbiblical. There is nothing in the Bible that supports the practices of prayer labyrinths and any of the other contemplative practices.

Quotable Quotes:

“For the conservative, the sacred text of Christianity is indubitable, established by an internal and circular reasoning: “The Bible claims to be God’s truth, so therefore it’s true.”

“I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (as least as much as any of us can!), and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.”

“Emergent doesn’t have a position on absolute truth, or on anything for that matter. Do you show up at a dinner party with your neighbors and ask, ‘What’s this dinner party’s position on absolute truth?’ No, you don’t, because it’s a non-sensical question.”

“When I was growing up in a moderate, centrist church — somewhere between mainline Christianity and evangelicalism– Original Sin was a given.  I first learned about it in youth group, and we regularly talked about it.  Actually, it’s more accurate to say that we talked about a life with Christ, and the notion of Original Sin was in the background.  It was assumed.  And I cannot remember that it was ever debated.
In other words, I assumed that the doctrine of Original Sin was a biblical notion, and that all Christians accepted it as gospel truth.  Of course, neither is true.”

“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…

See: Is Tony Jones Even A Christian?

William Bennett On Tony JonesWilliam Bennett On Tony Jones 

(William Bennett discusses Tony Jones- 13 min)

[to play this clip, go to the original blog at:]


Richard Foster
Richard Foster
If there is one person who could be considered the “father” of the present evangelical “spiritual formation” movement, that person is Richard Foster. And in spite of the non-biblical, mystical-promoting foundation of the spiritual formation movement, Foster continues to be touted, promoted, and looked up to by evangelical leaders, pastors, and professors. (Lighthouse Trails Research)

Just one of his books, his very popular “Celebration of Discipline”, is riddled with errors, such as:  faulty views on the subjective leading of God (pp. 10, 16-17, 18, 50, 95, 98, 108-109, 128, 139-140, 149-150, 162, 167, 182); approval of New Age teachers (see Thomas Merton below); occultic use of imagination (pp. 25-26, 40-43, 163, 198); open theism (p. 35); misunderstanding of the will of God in prayer (p. 37); promotion of visions, revelations and charismatic gifts (pp. 108, 165, 168-169, 171, 193); endorsement of rosary and prayer wheel use (p. 64); misunderstanding of the Old Testament Law for today (pp. 82, 87); mystical journaling (p. 108); embracing pop-psychology (pp. 113-120); promoting Roman Catholic practices such as use of “spiritual directors,” confession and penance (pp. 146-150, 156, 185); and affirming of aberrant charismatic practices (pp. 158-174, 198). (Pastor Ken Silva, Apprising Ministries)


In “Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home”.

I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance…. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection.

“At the outset I need to give a word of warning, a little like the warning labels on medicine bottles. Contemplative prayer is not for the novice. I do not say this about any other form of prayer…”

Rick Warren

Rick Warren

“You’ve heard me say many times that the greatest thing you can do with your life is tell somebody about Jesus … if you help somebody secure their eternal destiny, that they spend the rest of their life in Heaven not Hell …your life counts, your life matters because nothing matters more than helping get a person and their eternal destiny settled. They will be forever eternally grateful….And I’ve always said that that was the greatest thing you can do with your life. I was wrong. There is one thing you can do greater than share Jesus Christ with somebody, and it is help start a church.”

“I’m not talking about a religion this morning. You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish – or you may have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion.”-Rick Warren, 2005, United Nations interfaith prayer breakfast

Rick Warren and The Emerging Church (Lighthouse Trails Research)
Dallas Willard

UCLA professor, proponent of contemplative spirituality.
Dallas Willard
“What Paul is clearly saying is that if anyone is worthy of being saved, they will be saved. At that point many Christians get very anxious, saying that absolutely no one is worthy of being saved. The implication of that is that a person can be almost totally good, but miss the message about Jesus, and be sent to hell. What kind of a God would do that? I am not going to stand in the way of anyone whom God wants to save. I am not going to say ‘he can’t save them.’ I am happy for God to save anyone he wants in any way he can. It is possible for someone who does not know Jesus to be saved.”

Tony Campolo
Tony Campolo

Tony Campolo has been a frequent speaker at various Nazarene universities, which should be troubling.
Tony Campolo has authored 28 books, his most recent is Revolution and Renewal: How Churches Are Saving Our Cities. He speaks hundreds of times a year to crowds of high school and universities, conferences and retreats all over the country.

In “Speaking My Mind” , Campolo says mysticism [contemplative prayer] is the “common ground” between  Christianity and Islam

I do not know what to make of the Muslim mystics… What do they experience in their mystical experiences? Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?”

Campolo’s most obvious base for errors is the The “kingdom now” theology he upholds and many charismatics hold to. According to his thinking, Campolo places the Bible promises for a future earthly kingdom right now in this world. Campolo challenges Christians to go into the world and to transform society. While this may come from the result of a changed life, to change the surroundings of where one works is not the mandate for Christians.

In a television interview with Charlie Rose, January 24, 1997, speaking in the context of a Buddhist monk’s claim to know Jesus Christ, Campolo says, “I am saying that there is no salvation apart from Jesus, that’s my evangelical mindset. However, I’m not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians.”

‘Jesus is the only Savior, but not everybody who is saved by Him is aware that He is the one who is doing the saving,’

Other Notable Teachers/Authors/Organizations That Should Make You Very Concerned

Doug Pagitt pastor of Solomon’s Porch in Minnesota, promotes “Christian” yoga
Phyllis Tickle: Who Is Phyllis Tickle? It’s Not If Sola Scriptura Ends But When
Donald Miller (Book: Blue Like Jazz)
Neal Donald Walsch (New Age Author) (Book: Conversations With God)
Alan Jones (Book: Reimagining Christianity)  Believes the Cross of Jesus Christ is a vile doctrine!
Dan Kimball and the Emerging Church
Brennan Manning and contemplative prayer
Beth Moore gives thumbs up to Be Still DVD

Eugene Peterson, the Message and Contemplative Prayer
Leonard Sweet  Quantum Spirituality and Christ Consciousness
William Paul Young (author of The Shack)   See Review from gotquestions

Ken Wilbur New Age Meditation Proponent
Marianne Williamson (A Course in Miracles– promoted heavily by Oprah)
Mark Yaconelli and his Youth Spirituality Project
Ruth Haley Barton  and Contemplative Prayer
Tilden Edwards  and the Shalem Prayer Institute
Matthew Fox
Ken Blanchard
Henri Nouwen (Roman Catholic monk, mystic; universalist)
Thomas Merton ((Roman Catholic contemplative, mystic, panentheist)
Thomas Keating (co-father of the modern day contemplative movement)
Basil Pennington (contemplative who has written major books promoting it)
Sue Monk Kidd (former Baptist Sunday School teacher; now worships the Goddess)

Read Full Post »

I am deeply disturbed by the Emerging, Emergent, and Emergence movements’ refusal in most cases to provide a doctrinal statement. There are various reasons for this. But the end result is that it is very hard to pin down leaders of these movements on what they believe.  Or DON”T believe! Perhaps they realize they would be slammed if they stated flat out – in writing – that they do not believe in Jesus as the only way to Heaven, eternal torment for unbelievers, etc.

Following is a blog which addresses some of the problems with the lack of a doctrinal statement. Although it is not addressed specifically to the Emerging, Emergent, and Emergence movements, it does allude to these movements at several points in the blog.

I have made several comments throughout the blog repost, by either bolding or adding comments in [bracketing].

The original blog can be found in its entirety at:


What does your doctrine say?

August 26, 2009

The 20th century is an interesting one from a Church history perspective.  Its [sic] a time where we saw a massive shift in how we “do church”.  With the onslaught of new technologies, new musical styles, and increased pressure from society to have our churches not “feel like church”, the sanctuary has gone from a house of worship to a house of rock.  Our rock star worship bands raise the roof while people cheer and applaud the guitar solos which get flashed up on the giant video screen.  Pews were replaced by stadium style seating, pastors resorted to power point presentation to get their messages across and Christianity was reduced to catchy slogans that you could fit onto a t-shirt, bumper sticker, or trash bag.  All of these things I could consider to be dangerous trends in the church, many of them carrying over to the 21st century where post modernism has gotten its clammy hands on them, turning them into a big vague cloud of truth-less dust all the while proclaiming, “we are breaking the mold that our parents were stuck in!” Perhaps the most damaging trend of the 20th century’s brand of Christianity though was the decline of the doctrinal statement.

Doctrinal statements used to be at the heart of how Protestant churches operated.  Everyone from the Lutherans to the Methodists had clear concise statements of faith addressing a whole array of doctrinal issues.  Even the Anabaptists, a group of people known for their lack of consistent beliefs from sect to sect during the Reformation, were able to put together  a statement of faith such as the Schleithem Confession (even if this document was more of a confession of what they do NOT believe…).  With the rise of the “non-denominational” churches, the “independent” churches and the Charismatic movement of the 60s, a trend of doing away with such clear doctrinal statements arose.  No more were churches willing to take hard stands on things like election, the sacraments, worship philosophies, and the like. Where churches once had doctrinal statements that were several pages long (or in some cases became books in and of themselves), we now find bullet point lists that cover the “basics”.  We hear statements like, “the Bible is our doctrinal statement”.   Never mind all those fuzzy details as to just WHAT the church believes about what the Bible says.  No need to “divide people over the minors.”

That sounds like a good thing right?  No more dividing the Body, no more petty debates around secondary issues, everyone can just come together and get along!  No doubt unity in the Church is important, and no doubt Christians should be able to come together and worship the King and do Kingdom work.  However, is unity truly being achieved and at what cost?

The fact is, unity in the Universal Church is no more a reality today than it was 500 years ago or even 2000 years ago.  These trends have done nothing to unify the body and everything to confuse and stupefy it. Instead of having a local church that may or may not agree with another local church on a specific doctrinal issue, we have congregations full of people who simply don’t care or worse…don’t know what they believe. Its true that during the Reformation there were some venomous splits between groups like the Lutherans, the Calvinists, and the Anabaptists, but at least people knew what they believed and why they believed it. Their churches were willing to draw a line in the sand and say, “We believe the Scriptures teach this and if Scripture teaches it, it is worth us taking a stand even if it means we divide the Body.  God’s truth must be preserved!”

The true cost of lack luster doctrinal statements is ignorance in the Body of Christ.  People no longer know where their churches stand on issues, why they take the positions they take, or why they agree or disagree with such doctrinal issues. Churches boast that they believe in the authority of Scripture, yet they coward to take a stand on the truths that the Scriptures address.

John Owen once said, “ In the divine Scriptures, there are shallows and there are deeps; shallows where the lamb may wade, and deeps where the elephant may swim.”  I can’t help but ask, if this is true then why be satisfied with a church that is only willing to address the shallows?  If the shallows were all that mattered, then God would not have given us the deeps.

Read Full Post »


Emergence Christianity does not have a doctrinal statement. But if it did have one, what would it look like? This question is not as complex as it sounds. In a nutshell, Emergence Christianity is New Age thinking with a Christian twist. I plan to develop this blog further, showing biblical Christian doctrinal statements, followed by statements from Emergence Christianity leaders. In almost all cases, their statements are the exact opposite of biblical Christian beliefs.

Some of the closest beliefs to Emergence Christianity are those of Unitarian Universalists.

And to back up my point, consider these comments made by former Emergent Bill Kinnon at the following web page, where he comments on Jeremy Bouma‘s EXCELLENT critique of the Emerging/Emerging Church movements:


I think this is a hard but good and important post. BMcL’s A New Kind of Christian was a very important book for Imbi (my wife) and I when we read it 10 years ago. We became evangelists for Brian’s books for a time – but are no longer. Our paths have diverged significantly from the one Brian has taken (in my humble estimation.)

I’ve read most of A New Kind of Christianity (which arrived on Thursday) as I’ve had time and am disturbed by the cross-less Christianity that Brian describes. There are also some things I do like in the book but by and large, Brian appears more Unitarian Universalist in his understanding of the faith – in spite of how mean, nasty and unloving I am for saying that. 🙂 The easiest form of debate is to suggest that anyone that dares question you is arguing ad hominem. (I will unpack the reasons for my stated opinion above in a blog post I hope to put up in the next 24 hours.)

And check out this excellent blog by Ken Silva on “Christian Universalism”:


Note especially Ken Silva’s statement from the above blog, discussing the terminology of Christian Universalism:

As we pointed out in Rob Bell And Christian Universalism, [Christian Universalism] (CU) is also sometimes called Universal Redemption (UR), or even Evangelical Universalism as Gregory MacDonald (a pseudonym) wrote in the 2006 book The Evangelical Universalist.

Now on to another Internet article. Consider this description of Unitarian Universalist beliefs, copied and pasted from Contender Ministries, a born again Christian discernment website. Although Christian Universalism is technically different from Unitarianism Universalism (UU), it does share many of UU’s tenents.

The entire article can be found at:


General Unitarian Universalism Beliefs

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion that claims to be “born of the Jewish and Christian traditions.”  They believe that personal experience, conscience, and reason should be the final authorities in religion. In the end, religious authority lies not in a book, person, or institution, but in ourselves. We put religious insights to the test of our hearts and minds. In other words, the UU’s espouse a humanist believe of each individual in a position superior to God or scripture.    The UU believes that each individual’s spiritual path for truth should not be hampered by a creed or set of rules.  It describes itself as a “free faith.”  Past this, it is hard to be very specific.  If the UU cult believes in anything, it is everything, and it stands for nothing.  Whew!

UU Beliefs About God

UU’s are definitely not married to the concept of God.  Some UU’s claim to be Christians, while others claim to be agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, or even pagan!  I really can’t describe their belief in God any better than they do in their own words.  Here is a sampling from the Unitarian Universalist Association website:  “Some Unitarian Universalists are nontheists and do not find language about God useful. The faith of other Unitarian Universalists in God may be profound, though among these, too, talk of God may be restrained. Why?  The word God is much abused. Far too often, the word seems to refer to a kind of granddaddy in the sky or a super magician. To avoid confusion, many Unitarian Universalists are more apt to speak of “reverence for life” (in the words of Albert Schweitzer, a Unitarian), the spirit of love or truth, the holy, or the gracious. Many also prefer such language because it is inclusive; it is used with integrity by theist and nontheist members.”  To sum up, the UU’s believe that belief in God is too exclusionary, so they don’t have much regard for its use.

UU Beliefs About Jesus

The UU belief about Jesus will not take more than a few sentences.  They UU’s deny the deity of Jesus Christ.  Their belief on the nature of Jesus pretty much parallels that of the New Age — that Jesus was an example of a good and moral man.  Nothing more, nothing less.  In light of this, it would be hard to call the UU cult Christian.

UU Beliefs About the Bible

The UU’s do not believe – as Christians do – that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.  It is more of a guide than scripture to the UU.  Let us once again view the UUA’s own words regarding their view of the Bible: “We do not, however, hold the Bible-or any other account of human experience-to be either an infallible guide or the exclusive source of truth. Much biblical material is mythical or legendary. Not that it should be discarded for that reason! Rather, it should be treasured for what it is. We believe that we should read the Bible as we read other books (or the newspaper)-with imagination and a critical eye.” The UU sees the Bible as no more than a good issue of Readers Digest.

UU Beliefs About Salvation

Salvation to the UU is a guarantee.  They do not believe in Hell.  They do not believe that there is a penalty for sin.  As Christians, we believe there IS a penalty for sin, but that penalty has been paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.  All each person has to do is to accept that.  But to the UU, that would seem exclusionaryThere is no sin, there is no penalty for sin, there is no hell, therefore, there is nothing to be saved from.  That is the belief of the UU.

Read Full Post »

(revised 09/02/13)

Following are several doctrinal statements. The first is from  Ken Silva’s Apprising Ministries. The second is from Lighthouse Trails Research.  Both doctrinal statements clearly define bibically sound Christian doctrines, delineating them from how false teachers in the Emergent Church and Emergence Christianity define them.

I realize there are more lengthy doctrinal statements available on the Internet, along with links to the pertinent Bible passages.  I am reposting these two doctrinal statements because they are from discernment ministries which are specifically confronting Emergent and Emergence speakers.

Note – I find it interesting that very few if any Emergent and Emergence speakers provide doctrinal statements. Very convenient for them; it is often very difficult to pin them down on what they really believe. They want to label themselves as “Christians” – yet their teachings  are the very antithesis of truly biblical Christianity.

Ken Silva’s Apprising Ministries doctrinal statement can be found at:



In the one true and living God; affirming the Holy Trinity — within the nature of the one God, there exists three Co-equal and Co-eternal Persons. God the Father; God the Son-Jesus of Nazareth, Who is the Christ; and God the Holy Spirit.

In His written Word; the Holy Bible — given through divine inspiration as the infallible, inerrant Word of God. As such; the Bible in its entirety is to be the sole and final authority in all matters of belief and practice for Christians of every culture and age.

In Jesus Christ; affirming His full Deity and full humanity, His Virgin Birth, His perfect, sinless life, His vicarious and Substitutionary Atonement for mankind’s sin, His Bodily Resurrection from the dead, and His personal, visible return to earth in the Second Coming of Christ. In the Deity and personality of the Holy Spirit, Who indwells every believer in Christ.

In the existence of a personality known as Satan, who is the mortal enemy of God, and who reigns over personal entities called demons and over unregenerate mankind.

In the utter depravity of mankind; as such placing them under condemnation of God, hopelessly lost without being regenerated by the Holy Spirit through God’s grace alone and personal faith alone in Jesus Christ alone as their Lord and Savior — this being a gift from God, not of works, lest any man should boast.

In the after-life; those who have been saved will live in everlasting peace in the very presence of God, while those who die without being saved will live in conscious torment, forever shut out from the presence of God, with no second chance to change this certain destiny.

In the Church universal; the Body of Christ, consisting of all the redeemed by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, and united in the Holy Spirit. The local church being an organization of believers in a given area, called out of the world to assemble to worship God and preach His Gospel. This Gospel being summed up in the death, burial and Bodily Resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ.

And Lighthouse Trails Research’s doctrinal statement can be found at:



The Bible:

We believe the Bible is the Word of God and that it is divinely inspired, inerrant, and historically accurate. We believe the Bible to be the final authority for life, faith and practice and is the revelation of His mind and will to man and the infallible and all-sufficient guide for salvation.

God’s Nature:

We believe in the Trinity in that there is one eternal God, who has no beginning and no end, existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ:

We believe that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh, that He was born of a virgin, that He had a completely sinless life, performed miracles, and that through His death He atoned for our sins by His shed blood, His bodily resurrection and His ascension to the right hand of the Father.

We believe that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, lived a sinless life and gave it as the atonement for our sin unto the Father, so we can be brought back in a relationship with God. That Christ by His own will in pleasing the Father gave himself as a ransom for mankind. That He bore the full penalty and judgment that God’s holiness demands against sin.


We believe in the sovereignty of God, and we also believe in the free will of man to obey or not to obey the Gospel.

We believe that mankind was created in the image of God to reflect his nature. When Adam sinned, being tempted and deceived by Satan (the arch-enemy of God and man), we incurred his sin and have become depraved sinners in our nature, and the image of God is now marred (Romans 5:1). All of mankind is born spiritually separated from God and physically dies as a consequence of sin (Romans 3:23).

We believe that salvation depends entirely on the grace of God: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works.” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Furthermore, Christ’s death on the Cross for our sins fully solidifies in our minds a tangible expression of the unearned and undeserved nature of our salvation. When Jesus said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), He proclaimed in three words that our salvation depends entirely on the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

We believe in the absolute inability of the sinner to be saved from eternal punishment by self-righteousness or good works (Genesis 3; Ephesians 2:8-9).

We believe: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) and “[t]he Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).

We believe: Christ’s atonement is not limited to just some of mankind but was a sacrifice made for all, even though many will reject it: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” II Peter 2:1, II Peter 3:9, Matthew 7:14

We accept fully what God say’s in His word about salvation:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

Heaven and Hell:

We believe: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14).

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and the everlasting, conscious punishment of the lost (Revelation 20:15).


We believe that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to regenerate believers and that He indwells those believers to whom He has imparted eternal life.

The Church (the Bride of Christ):

We believe that the early Church met together and “continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers,” and that this is God’s pattern for the Church today.

Jesus Christ’s Return:

We believe that just as Jesus Christ came to Earth at a particular point of time in history, He shall come again at a particular point of time to establish His kingdom; He will come visibly and recognizably, to complete the purposes of His life, death, and resurrection, and accomplish the eternal plans of God.

We believe in I Thessalonians 4:13-17, which states: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

We believe in the revelation of the Lord at His return, to establish His kingdom visibly on earth and to reign in righteousness (II Thessalonians 1:6-10), after which shall be set up the Great White Throne judgment in the heavens for the judgment of “the dead, small and great” (Revelation 20:15).

Finally, click here for a great series of articles on doctrine, from the In Plain Site discernment ministry.

Read Full Post »

Update:  I have made an attempt to “tone down” most of my blogs about Evangelical Friends/Quakers, to not be so hurtful to my many friends in the EFCI (and EFC-ER). Yet when I see what is going on, I still feel compelled to speak out. Read on.
In a word, Convergent Friends are various branches of Friends/Quakers who are converging together within the Emergent Church movement. And therein lies the danger: this movement consists of Friends who are abandoning most if not all  biblically sound beliefs,  joining the ungodly Emergent Church and Emergence Christianity movements. Evangelical Friends especially, who are known for their traditionally sound biblical doctrine, should have no part in this.

Consider this repost. The entire article can be found in the its entirety at the following link. In all excerpts, I have emphasized certain phrases by bolding them and/or adding comments in [brackets]:


About Convergent Friends

Robin M. coined the phrase in early 2006 in her post “Robinopedia: Convergent Friends.” She wrote: “It describes Friends who are seeking a deeper understanding of our Quaker heritage and a more authentic life in the kingdom of God on Earth, radically inclusive of all who seek to live this life. It includes, among others, Friends from the politically liberal end of the evangelical branch, the Christian end of the unprogrammed branch, and the more outgoing end of the Conservative branch.”

Important Posts:

Emergent Church Movement: The Younger Evangelicals & Quaker Renewal. Martin Kelley, 9/2003.
Faith Enough to be Outrageous. Claire, Winter 2006
Convergent Friends Introduction. (PDF), Rachel Stacy, spring 2007
Unraveling the Myths about Convergent Friends. LizOpp, 3/2007.
Convergent Friends: a Long Definition. Martin Kelley, summer 2007.
Converging around Jesus: A Personal Story. David Male, summer 2007.
Convergent Friendship and Playing around with the Other Kids. C Wess Daniels, summer 2007.
What Convergence Means to Ohio Conservative. Martin Kelley, 8/07.
Convergence Among Friends: From Kitchen to the Parlor, Robin M and C Wess Daniels, 10/2007.
Convergent presentation at Woodbrooke Study Center. C Wess Daniels, 5/08
Where is the Convergent Conversation Now? Robin M, summer 2008.
How do I find other Convergent Friends? Robin M., summer 2008.
Joining the Convergent Conversation, Angelina Conti, Friends Journal, 5/2009.
What Does a New Kind of Quaker Look Like?, Scott Wagoner, Quaker Life, 1/2010.

And here is a repost of excerpts from Robin M.’s blog. The blog can be found in its entirety at:


This [Convergent Friends] is still my favorite phrase (so far) to describe the coming together of several strands of Quakerism. It describes Friends who are seeking a deeper understanding of our Quaker heritage and a more authentic life in the kingdom of God on Earth, radically inclusive of all who seek to live this life.

It includes, among others, Friends from the politically liberal end of the evangelical branch [the EFCI], the Christian end of the unprogrammed branch, and the more outgoing end of the Conservative branch. It includes folks who aren’t sure what they believe about Jesus and Christ but who aren’t afraid to wrestle with this question. [Huhhh? Is Robin M. saying that Jesus and Christ are two different concepts? This sounds very New Age-ish to me.] It includes people who think that a lot of Quaker anachronisms are silly but who are willing to experiment to see which are spiritual disciplines that still hold life and power to transform and improve us.

Metaphorically, it suggests that Friends are moving closer together towards some common point on the horizon. Put otherwise, I would say that the winds of the Spirit are blowing across all the branches of Friends, blowing us in the same direction. The convergence of Friends is a fuzzy, changing concept, not an example of pure mathematics or philosophy.

Linguistically, it alludes to an affinity for both Conservative Friends and the Emergent Church. [It appears to me that by “conservative” Robin M. is not referring to biblically sound doctrine, but to the original Quaker teachings of mystic Quaker founder George Fox.]

Many of these Friends owe a great deal to the work of Lloyd Lee Wilson and especially his book, Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order. I believe our Quaker history offers us the common ground we need to walk on now, in order to all reach a point of greater spiritual depth and commitment to social justice.

When I first suggested this term, it was just an experiment, an attempt to more efficiently name a trend that was happening around me. Since then, many more Friends have begun to consider what the term “convergent Friend” might mean to them. Some of them are communicating across vast distances of geography or institutional theology. Some of them are communicating across dinner tables, while consuming take-out pizza and home-made chocolate chip cookies.

Welcome to the conversation!

Read Full Post »

I was researching various connections of Brian McLaren, and stumbled across yet another apostate movement: Evolutionary Christianity (AKA Evolutionary Spirituality). I get the impression that Evolutionary Christianity is very similar to Emergence Christianity, but with a “scientific” emphasis. Following are several links to Evolutionary Christianity websites.

This link lists 30 Evolutionary Christianity speakers (as of 12/5/10):


Ian Barbour – Elder statesman in the science and religion movement. Awarded the Templeton Prize in 1999. Author of Myths, Models, and Paradigms; Religion in an Age of Science; and Nature, Human Nature, and God.

Spencer Burke – Former megachurch pastor, now Emerging Church leader. Creator of TheOOZE.com, an international online community for diverse Christians to connect through articles and social networking. Author of A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity.

Jim Burklo – Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California; ordained in the United Church of Christ. A former pastor and leading voice in Progressive Christianity. Author of Open Christianity: Home by Another Road.

Philip Clayton – Philosopher and theologian at Claremont School of Theology, whose focus is the intersection of science and religion. Author of All That Is: A Naturalistic Faith for the Twenty-First Century.

John Cobb – Prominent United Methodist process theologian and long-time professor at Claremont School of Theology. Author of Process Theology and Christian Faith and Religious Diversity.

Ted Davis – Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College. Past President of the American Scientific Affiliation: a fellowship of men and women of science and related disciplines who share a common fidelity to the Bible and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science.

Michael Dowd – Itinerant evolutionary evangelist and evangelical naturalist. Author of Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, which was endorsed by 6 Nobel Prize-winning scientists and by religious leaders across the spectrum.

Matthew Fox – Founder of the Creation Spirituality movement. Formerly a Catholic priest, now Episcopal. Author of Original Blessing; The Coming of the Cosmic Christ; and Natural Grace.

Karl Giberson – Noted science and religion scholar who teaches at Eastern Nazarene College. Vice President of BioLogos Foundation, a think-tank helping evangelical Christians integrate faith with science. Author of Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution.

Owen Gingerich – Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of the History of Science at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Author of God’s Universe and The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler.

John F. Haught – Leading Catholic evolutionary theologian and Senior Fellow in Science & Religion at Georgetown University. Author of Making Sense of Evolution and Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature.

Ross Hostetter – A leader in the emerging field of Integral Christianity. Co-founder of Boulder Integral Center.

Kevin Kelly – Co-founder and Senior Maverick of Wired magazine and former publisher and editor of The Whole Earth Review. Author of New Rules for the New Economy; Out of Control; and What Technology Wants.

Denis Lamoureux – A leading evangelical contributor to the public understanding of evolution. Council member of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation. Author of I love Jesus and I Accept Evolution.

Ian Lawton – A gifted preacher ordained as an Anglican priest in Australia. Now pastor of C3 Exchange, an inclusive spiritual community near Grand Rapids. Established Soulseeds.com to inspire and encourage people in all stages of life.

Brian McLaren – “Rock star” of the Emerging Church movement. Recognized in Time magazine as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals [is this what evangelicals have come to? – McLaren is about as liberal as they get]. Author of A Generous Orthodoxy; The Secret Message of Jesus; A New Kind of Christianity; and the forthcoming, Naked Spirituality.

Kenneth R Miller – Brown University cell biologist and leading advocate, nationally, of the public understanding of evolution. Author of Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution.

Sally Morgenthaler – A prophetic voice within evangelical Christianity, calling the Church out of its inward-focus to become a transforming, generative presence in the world. Has served as adjunct professor at Yale University, Fuller Theological Seminary, Gordon Conwell Seminary, and others.

Michael Morwood – A respected voice in Progressive Christianity with 40 years experience in retreat, education, parish and youth ministries. Author of Tomorrow’s Catholic; Praying a New Story; and Children Praying a New Story: A Resource for Parents, Grandparents and Teachers.

Diarmuid O’Murchu – Catholic priest and social psychologist living in Dublin, Ireland, and a leading evolutionary theologian. Author of Quantum Theology; Evolutionary Faith; and Ancestral Grace.

Doug Pagitt – Emerging Church pastor and consultant for churches and denominations on issues of postmodern culture, social systems, and religious faith. Co-founder of Emergent Village and author of A Christianity Worth Believing. [He is also a universalist, and preaching pastor at Solomon’s Temple.]

William D. Phillips – Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. A United Methodist lay person and a founding member of the International Society for Science & Religion.

John Polkinghorne – Physicist and Fellow of the Royal Society, Britain’s most distinguished science society. Also an Anglican priest and theologian. Awarded the Templeton Prize in 2002. Author of The Faith of a Physicist and Belief in God in an Age of Science.

Richard Rohr – Catholic priest who founded the Center for Action and Contemplation. Contributing editor for Sojourners magazine and a contributor to Tikkun magazine. Author of The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See and Why Be Catholic?.

Bruce Sanguin – Pastor of Canadian Memorial United Church, in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is a congregation that, through his leadership, models open-hearted evolutionary Christian spirituality. Author of Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos and If Darwin Prayed.

Mary Southard – Catholic nun and student of Thomas Berry, whose paintings, sculptures, and Earth Calendar communicate a sacred and deep-time relationship to Earth and Cosmos across religious divides.

John Shelby Spong – Retired Episcopal bishop and prophetic theologian whose books have sold more than a million copies, among them: Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism and Why Christianity Must Change or Die.

Charles H Townes – Awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1964 for his invention of the laser. Received the Templeton Prize in 2005 for contributions to the understanding of religion.

Tom Thresher – UCC pastor and Integral Christianity leader. Teaches leadership at Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Author of Reverent Irreverence: Integral Church for the 21st Century—From Cradle to Christ Consciousness.

Gail Worcelo – Catholic nun who co-founded Green Mountain Monastery with Thomas Berry. Working toward grounding religious life within the context of the Universe Story. A leader in the Sisters of Earth movement.

Regarding Brian Sanguin listed above, check out his church’s website. The church provides links to a series of sermons explaining and defending Evolutionary Christianity:


This website also includes an archive of “sermons” – check them out.  Brian Sanguin has preached about many aspects of the false teaching of Evolutionary Christianity.


And this “church’s” website homepage:


Read Full Post »

I found this excerpt from Brian McLaren’s blog very interesting. In this excerpt, he summarizes the views of various Emergence Christianity speakers, including himself.

McLaren’s blog was posted on 8/11/10. Click here to read McLaren’s blog in its entirety.

Check out this excerpt:

This ethos [of “Big Tent Christianity”] has been emerging from many different quarters … and a lot of us have been describing it from many different angles:

[I have rearranged these names in alphabetical order]

Diana Butler Bass – Christianity for the Rest of Us
Rob Bell [and Don Golden] – Jesus Wants to Save Christians
Philip Clayton – Big Tent Christianity
Harvey Cox – The Future of Faith/Age of the Spirit
Don Golden [and Rob Bell] – Jesus Wants to Save Christians
Tony Jones – The Next Christianity
yours truly [Brian McLaren] – A New Kind of Christianity
Doug Pagitt – A Christianity Worth Believing
Phyllis Tickle – The Great Emergence

I don’t think this new ethos poses a threat [yes it does] to the established identities I mentioned earlier. People who like those identities will stay there happily [would you blame them? – they change the institutions they’re in, into Emergents and worse]. But for those who don’t and can’t fit there, I think this big tent offers space … a tabernacle for a new journey of faith [yup, a journey into Emergent/Emergence/interfaith apostasy].

McLaren’s list is obviously not complete. There are some big names missing, such as Richard Rohr and Leonard Sweet. I assume McLaren mentions names such as these in his other writings.

I have begun reading more about the false doctrines taught by these various Emergence speakers. Needless to say, they are very ungodly – and I would say many of their doctrinal stances are blaphemous.  I cannot believe that anyone with such beliefs would even label themselves “Christian.”

Click here for an excellent critique of Brian McLaren. This is just one of many by Ken Silva.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: