Apologetics Index

Emerging Church – Conversation versus… : Scripture


Emerging Church

“The truth of the Bible, like any truth, is not best seen ‘objectively’…Where, then can I find authority that I can be sure of? Since God is (by and large) invisible, we are left with ordinary people holding a book. As we had said before, we cannot simply ‘go to the book.’ Truth cannot properly reside as a mere proposition on a paper. Truth lives in persons and relationships.”
Neil Livingstone

“I grew up thinking that we’ve figured out the Bible, that we knew what it means. Now I have no idea what most of it means. And yet I feel like life is big again — like life used to be black and white, and now it’s in color.”
Kristen Bell

“[We should] stop looking for some objective Truth that is available when we delve into the text of the Bible.”
Tony Jones

“The bible should merely point us in the direction of finding God’s unique individual revelation through his Spirit, and not be used as the once-for-all, static revelation of what God has said to others in the past.”
Peter Schumacher [note the false antithesis between original intent and present illumination — actually the two should harmonize]

“As in so many issues these days, the problem isn’t the Bible; it’s the assumptions we bring to the Bible about how it is supposed to be interpreted. We make demands of the Biblical writers that we don’t make of any other writers, and I’m not sure our demands are sensible or fair at all. As an analogy, I often refer to the Wizard of Oz in my teaching. Does this mean that I believe Dorothy was a historical figure? No. It means that I accept the story of Oz as being part of our culture, and that I can use it to illustrate truth or provide analogies to truth.”
Brian McLaren

“The reformation doctrine of sola scriptura, joined to the invention of the printing press and underwritten by the democratic trust in the intelligence of the ‘common person,’ has created the situation that now makes people believe that they can read the Bible ‘on their own.’ That presumption must be challenged, and that is why the Scripture should be taken away from Christians in North America.”[26]
Stanley Hauerwas

The Bible

“Forever, O LORD, your word stands firm in heaven.”
Psalm 119:89

“But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.”
Matthew 22:29

“Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life.”
John 6:68

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
John 17:17

“And how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:15-17

Non-“Emerging” Christians

“Unwilling to affirm that the Bible contains propositional truths that form the framework for Christian belief, this [emerging church] movement argues that we can have Christian symbolism and substance without those thorny questions of truthfulness that have so vexed the modern mind.”
Albert Mohler

“What I do not understand cannot enter into the heart. The Word enters into the court through the outer gate of understanding.”
Andrew Murray

“I have often heard of ‘narrow-minded views’, and ‘old-fashioned notions’, and ‘brimstone theology’, and the like. I have often been told that ‘broad’ views are wanted in the present day. I wish to be as broad as the Bible, neither less nor more. I say that he is the narrow-minded theologian, who pares down such parts of the Bible as the natural heart dislikes, and rejects any portion of the counsel of God.”
J. C. Ryle

“The culture is to be constantly judged by the Bible, rather than the Bible being bent to conform to the surrounding culture.”
Francis Schaeffer

“We have a faith to preach, my brethren, and we are sent forth with a message from God. We are not left to fabricate the message as we go along. We are not sent forth by our Master with this kind of general commission – ‘As you shall think in your heart and invent in your head as you march on, so preach. Keep abreast of the times. Whatever the people want to hear, tell them that, and they shall be saved.’ Verily, we read not so. There is something definite in the Bible. We ought to preach the gospel, not as our views at all, but as the mind of God-the testimony of Jehovah concerning his own Son, and in reference to salvation for lost men. If we had been entrusted with the making of the gospel, we might have altered it to suit the taste of this modest century, but never having been employed to originate the good news, but merely to repeat it, we dare not stir beyond the record. What we have been taught of God we teach. If we do not do this, we are not fit for our position.”
Charles Spurgeon

“We should not adjust the Bible to the age, but before we have done with it, by God’s grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible.”
Charles Spurgeon

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First published (or major update) on Saturday, July 15, 2006.
Last updated on February 13, 2013.

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