Apologetics Index

Emerging Church – Conversation… : Ministry


Emerging Church

“As we move beyond modernity, we lose our infatuation with analysis, knowledge, information, ‘facts,’ and belief systems — and those who traffic in them. Instead we are attracted to leaders who possess that elusive quality of wisdom (think of James 3:???), who practice spiritual disciplines, and whose lives are characterized by depth of spiritual practice (not just by the tightness of belief system).”
Brian McLaren

“My pastor really couldn’t say half of the stuff he truly believes without getting fired immediately. He is slowly but surely easing us into the emergent church status…What do I do? I’m really lonely for someone my age who understands me, who thinks the same way I do.”
Question addressed to Brian McLaren on his website (answered below)

“I’d suggest you get together with some kindred spirits and create a ‘safe place’ for conversation and friendship. Then, you could invite others into that space.”
Brian McLaren’s answer to the above question

“Good evangelism is the process of being friendly without discrimination and influencing all of one’s friends toward better living, through good deeds and good conversations…Christian commitment is where I’m coming from…This is not to say that there isn’t a place for Buddhist or Jewish evangelism, but someone else will be better suited to write on these topics.”
Brian McLaren

“In a post-Christian postmodern world aren’t sermons an absolute waste of time?”
Blogger at Postmodern_Theology

“If you are a ‘modern’ believer and desire to ‘fix’ us, we suggest you join another group where such is welcomed.”
Moderator at Postmodern_Theology (note that everyone except “modern” [Evangelical] believers is welcome to join the conversation)

“I’m not trying to be evasive — I’m trying to be a good teacher and helpful human being to a fellow human being.”
Brian McLaren

The Bible

“But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
2 Corinthians 4:2

“For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:3-4

“Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.”
1 Timothy 4:14

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
1 Timothy 4:16

“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 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, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”
2 Timothy 4:2-4

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”
Titus 2:1

Non-“Emerging” Christians

“Of all work done under the sun religious work should be the most open to examination. There is positively no place in the church for sleight of hand or double talk. Everything done by the churches should be completely above suspicion. The true church will have nothing to hide.”
A. W. Tozer

“My next bit of advice for evangelical exegetes is to avoid dancing on the edges. Do not see how far the border of evangelicalism can be stretched to accommodate the latest scholarly fad.”
Norman Geisler

“Nothing will help you as much in meeting people, no matter how far out they are or how caught they are in modern awfulness, than for them to perceive in you the attitude ‘we are both sinners.'”
Francis Schaeffer

“Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” [28]
D. T. Niles

“McLaren is a master rhetorician, and one of the things he does best is anticipate objections, make them himself, and then sidestep neatly. Voila! He does a masterful job of stealing thunder, but this is not the same thing as answering the questions.”
Douglas Wilson

“The strangeness of ministry in a postmodern age can be seen in Bible studies which do not study the Bible, but are psychological exercises in self-discovery; in the cafeteria-style morality practiced by so many church members; and in the growing acceptance of other religions as valid paths to salvation.”
Albert Mohler

“For he that is appointed pastor, watchman or preacher, if he feed not with his whole power, if he warn and admonish not when he sees the snare come, and if, in doctrine, he divide not the Word righteously, the blood and souls of those that perish for lack of food, admonition, and doctrine shall be required of his hand.”
John Knox

“It is of great importance that the sinner should be made to feel his guilt, and not left to the impression that he is unfortunate. I think this is a very prevalent fault, particularly in books on the subject. They are calculated to make the sinner think more of his sorrows than of his sin, and feel that his state is rather unfortunate than criminal.”
Charles Finney

“There is no comfort in Paul for the nerveless spineless minister who is afraid of his shadow, who runs at a whisper, who lacks virility, who speaks peace when there is no peace, who is satisfied with things as they are, who watches for the praise of the groundlings, who trims his sail to every wind that blows, who caters to popular taste, however maudlin or sensational.”
A. T. Robertson

“In the West, we are moving ever deeper into a pagan mindset and that mindset is producing our postmodern culture and its public forms. For a church to go along with this set of assumptions in order to get along, and to get along in order to be successful, all too often results in a hybrid which unwittingly embraces pagan elements (such as the way in which the current cultural disposition to be spiritual but not religious is usually being worked out). The issue is far less what we do (do we have drums and PowerPoint or organs and robes?) than in who we are.…In our church, we need to be articulating a worldview that has the triune God at the center, which has truth as its directive and sustenance, and which is fleshed out in a joyously countercultural life wherever a moral and intellectual over-againstness is called for.”
David Wells

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

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