Sunday, May 15, 2005

Where's the Holy Spirit in the EC?

I was talking to my neighbor yesterday about my research on the Emergent Church. He too is charismatic and I realized as we chatted that I have yet to read anything about the Holy Spirit's role in revival among EC blogs. The Assembly of God seems to do just fine growing the church without the need for the "conversation." My friend told me he was just reading M. Lloyd-Jones' book, Revival, and was fascinated with Jones' conclusion that revival comes after people become concerned with their depravity after becoming aware of God's holiness. What are these things of which they become so aware? First and foremost, the glory and the holiness of God. Have you ever noticed, as you read your Bibles, the effect on these people as they suddenly realized the presence of God? Like Job, they put their hands on their mouths or like Isaiah they say, 'Woe is unto me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.' They have just had a realization of the holi-ness and of the majesty and the glory of God. That always happens in a revival...The holiness of God, their own utter sinfulness and wretchedness, their own unworthiness; they realize they have never done anything good at all. Before, they thought they had done a great deal, now they see that it is nothing--useless. Like Paul they begin to talk about it as dung and filthy rags. In their utter helplessness and hopelessness, they prostrate themselves and cast themselves upon the love and mercy and compassion of God.What is Revival? So who among the bloggers is pleading for a move of the Holy Spirit to bring revival to the post mod crowd before worrying about coffee tables and music styles and ancient practices and affirmation of the image of God?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Kan. Woman Begins Speaking After 2 Years - Yahoo! News

Kan. Woman Begins Speaking After 2 Years - Yahoo! News Good thing her husband didn't suddenly recall her desire to starve to death if she ever became a vegetable.

Mormon Jesus

Joseph Smith's various First Vision accounts If Joe Smith's Jesus told him that no sect is acceptable, then how can the Jesus I worship in my unacceptable sect be the same as Joe's? Here are Joe's words:
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right--and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight: that those professors were all corrupt; that "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrines the commandments of men: having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." He again forbade me to join with any of them: here.
How can a Mormon hold this exclusive claim of Joe's Jesus and claim that he is not a different Jesus? I guess that's why I'm supposed to read the book. The answer to the question is "yes. Yes the Mormon Jesus is different."
Btw, a good blog entry and discussion with Richard Mouw from Fuller Seminary at the A-Team blog.

Jesus Creed: Emergent Reaction

Jesus Creed: Emergent Reaction Scot McKnight does an amazing 6 paragraph summary of the EC. The comments are helpful too. I think his view is contaminated by being old church because those ideals are not necessarily held by some writers, for example at TheOoze. So I see a couple real negative "solutions" to the "problem" of the "system." Legalism, toss out grace, cause people need to start living it or else, or liberalism, always saying Yes and embodying the good news, never saying No, and waiting for the community to gel and spontaneously be orthodox.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Inadequacy of "Yes" Theology - The Inadequacy of "Yes" Theology This article turned up an hour after I wrote I want to write more on the missiological church. Specifically, my thinking is prodded by the emergent church at large and some excellent reading I had done in January, The Celtic Way of Evangelism, by George G. Hunter, 2000 and Evangelism Outside the Box, by Rick Richardson, 2000. I enjoyed both books. However, as I reflect on those books, I'm not sure their message is that much different from Becky Pippert's Out of the Saltshaker and into the World, 1979. The combined synopsis is to be the salt of the earth, make your friends thirsty, and introduce them to the one who can slake that thirst. One of the keys is to make friends outside of the church. So maybe our friends are no longer asking what is true, but rather is there truth? But we also have to deal with lies. I haven't read McClaren's books but the concept of a "generous orthodoxy" sounds very similar to the house of cards situation described in the article above.
I'm reading the different bloggers in the emergent conversation to grasp meta-themes. I like the concentration of voices at TheOoze and the-next-wave. I need to read these down under sites the living room and tall skinny kiwi. I've also been reading Jesus Creed. Finally I discovered an old friend who is up to his neck in this stuff. That's alot on my plate. Some stuff is good and some stuff is bad. I'll be writing about both.

Communio Sanctorum: Our Witness to the Mormons

At Communio Sanctorum: Our Witness to the Mormons Paul Owen defends Eerdmans for publishing a Mormon apology by BYU prof Bob Millet. Paul Owen is an editor of The New Mormon Challenge, which is an excellent critique of the more academic, sophisticated defenses of Mormonism. Owen claims Eerdmans is not poisoning the well from which dumb Christian sheep buy their latest version of The 40 days of purposeful praying with power like Jabez but countering some awful anti-Mormon books that are collecting dust on the bookshelves. I guess the slippery slope isn't that steep to lside from carrying books by Benny Hinn to putting a Mormon book there too, in the name of an "open-minded approach." Although it looks like Eerdman's does not print the health and wealth flavor of books they do print Catholic books. Is that so bad? No, but there is plenty to disagree about with Catholics too. Can i fellowship with Catholics, sure, can i fellowship with Mormons? NO. Apparently, Owen agrees with me "Such dialogues of course, are not themselves truly ecumenical in nature (as is Roman Catholic/Protestant dialogue); rather they are evangelistic and inter-religious in nature (along the lines of Acts 17:16ff.)" but his defense of the book seems to contradict this sentence. It seems he wants to throw the big tent over the Mormons and let them get saved by osmosis, AKA fellowshipping with believers. His appeal to Paul's sermon at Athens is a common appeal of the post-modern/emergent/liberal 2.0 church. And the same results that Paul saw should be expected to follow, some sneer, some want to keep talking, and some repent. This is heading to a much larger blog entry on the missiological church.
To sum it up. I think Eerdmans is wrong to provide a Mormon apologist an unanswered/ unaccountable forum and Owen demonstrates the liberal churches' error of generosity to a fault. He writes, "1) I have no doubt that people within the Mormon Church (even professors of religion) are capable of having a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Mormons confess Jesus to be God the Son, whom they worship and serve. The Bible is read, taught and regarded as God’s word within the Mormon Church." That's a nice sentiment but if Jesus is redefined, as in Islam, and his only-begotteness is altered, and the Father is diminished, and Bible is subservient to Joseph Smith's doctrines, then I'm not sure how a Mormon can confess Jesus is Lord when both titles mean something other than the Biblical intention. James White, not the most irenic of anti-cult apologists has some more thoughts on this 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
So how are we to be a missiological church in our polytheistic society? I have few thoughts i can throw against the wall. We can see what sticks.

Thursday, May 05, 2005