Apologetics Index

Emerging Church – Conversation versus… : Faith


Emerging Church

“Faith [within the emerging church] is mixed with ambiguity and juxtaposed with inconsistency.”
Steve Taylor

“I feel that we have harmed our ‘faith’ by attempting to turn it into ‘fact’.”
Blogger at thedetour.net

“See faith as a journey, not a destination.”
theooze.com info page

“Is agreement with what are termed ‘orthodox’ belief systems a necessity? Would you define me as a ‘non-Christian’ if I don’t espouse those beliefs? I think we’re approaching an era in spiritual maturity where each of us should have the freedom to define our own selves and our own path and let others judge only the fruit of our lives, not our heart relationship with whoever we may label God. What do you think?”
Question addressed to Brian McLaren on his website (answered below)

“Thanks for writing! As you’ve seen in other postings, I have a lot of people saying I’m way too open, not critical enough, too accepting, etc. If they’re reading now, they’re hoping I’ll say that you’re a nonChristian, hell-bound, etc., etc. But I believe we are all saved by grace through faith, not by correct belief [note the artificial separation McLaren makes between faith and belief]. Whatever a person’s religion or creed or lack thereof, I try to love and accept people and share and learn all I can with them.”
Brian McLaren’s answer to the above question

“Our faith has too often become for us just another rigid belief system instead of a unique, joyful way of living loving and serving.”
Brian McLaren [note the false antithesis between believing and living]

The Bible

“And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.”
Matthew 21:21 (note how Jesus considers faith and doubt to be incompatible)

“But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so that the number of believers totaled about five thousand men, not counting women and children.”
Acts 2:4

“But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized.”
Acts 8:12

“At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe.” Acts 15:7

“Without becoming weak in faith he [Abraham] contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”
Romans 4:19-21 (Abraham responded to the specific revelation of God with absolute certainty)

“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9

“But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ Yet faith comes from listening to this message of good news–the Good News about Christ.”
Romans 10:16-17

“Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” Ephesians 2:8 [27]

“Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.”
Ephesians 4:12-14

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
Colossians 2:6-8

“He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them.”
2 Thessalonians 2:10

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:2 (shows divine nature of faith imparted to our hearts)

“But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.”
James 1:6 (note that James considers faith and doubt incompatible)

Non-“Emerging” Christians

“Faith in God involves right belief about God.”
J. I. Packer

“Unbelief dishonors God. Every other crime touches God’s territory; but unbelief aims a blow at His divinity, impeaches His veracity, denies His goodness, blasphemes His attributes, maligns His character; therefore, God, of all things, hates first and chiefly, unbelief, wherever it is.”
Charles Spurgeon

“Sociologist James D. Hunter, author of Evangelicalism, the Coming Generation, warns that the next generation of Evangelicals may be moving toward accommodating ‘the world’ while edging away from the key beliefs that once defined the ‘historic faith’ of evangelicalism.”
Russell Chandler

“If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”

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

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