March 19, 2008

Why So Angry?

Russell Moore, while filling in for Albert Mohler on the Albert Mohler radio program several months ago, interviewed Tony Jones of Emergent Village.

Listen to the interview.
Read Jones's (.pdf) paper that Moore focuses on during the interview.

After the interview, Moore had some commentary. The following quote caught my attention.

Russell Moore: I think the reason that the emerging church conversation is gaining a foothold is because many in the emerging church are pointing to some people in our churches and they are absolutely right. Too many of our churches are not counter-cultural. Too many of our churches do not have real authenticity. Too many of our churches do not have real community. Too many of our churches are awash in consumerism and boring, American middle-class life.

I think the problem is that you have some people that are coming in willing to talk about these things and they're called "Emerging" because they wear black turtlenecks or sit on a stool, but they're faithful Christians. But you have others, like [Tony Jones], kind of growing out of youth ministry curriculum peddlers and [unclear], taking consumerism to the next level.... That's not new. The inerrancy debate that Tony Jones says is new? That's been going on since the Garden of Eden, and it still is. Truth is of God. Truth is about Jesus.

I think it's interesting and somewhat confusing that he starts off by generally agreeing with a lot of what Emergent Village and those in the greater emerging church conversation have been saying*, and then finishes by pouring a load of disdain over most of them. And then he finishes with two seemingly irrelevant rallying platitudes that no one would disagree with. Where does this strong urge to criticize and condemn come from?

Also, Moore repeatedly used a quote to defend the idea of absolute truth that was something along the lines of "my Word is forever settled in the heavens." I hadn't heard it before, and I can't find it in the Bible anywhere. I see a hymn that has it. Is this Scripture or not?

What a confusing and exciting and weird and fun and strange time to be a Christian.

*With the one glaring exception of what I bolded in Moore's comments. Can someone explain to me why "counter-cultural" is good?


tony said...

The real kicker was when he said that people have been debating inerrancy since the Garden of Eden. Seriously?

Jason said...

The Edenites had incredible foresight. That's been the accepted doctrine of Bible-believing Christians since the Garden of Eden.

Anonymous said...

Hi...came across your blog by virtue of Tony Jones post. Please consider this a troll in Christian love.

"And then he finishes with two seemingly irrelevant rallying platitudes that no one would disagree with."

And by "no one", you really mean you. Surely it is axiomatic that God is truth. Therefore truth is of God. Jesus of course said that He is the Truth (John 14.6).

How is that irrelevant on any level? Unless of course you don't hold to that??

Which leads to the next point...I believe what Moore was pointing to in his comment about inerrancy and the Garden of Eden goes back to the original deception by Satan, "Hath God said" or if it helps "Did God really say..." (Gen. 3:1-TNIV). Do you see that?

This, thusly, leads to Psalm 119:89 "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled (stands firm) in heaven." As followers of Christ, our authority is God's Word, right? The Bible (just in case).

Yes it is in the Bible. I think that what you perceive at criticism and condemnation springs from what appears to be very good concerns to test the spirits (1 John 4:1). Sometimes rebuke and reproof and correction may be received as criticism and condemnation. Perhaps you'd be willing to test the Emergent creeds and doctrines (and oh yeah, they're there...behind all of the eschewing of creeds and doctrines) against Scripture. However, whenever you hear someone "reimagining" hermeneutics be sure to ask yourself if you are hearing that same voice "Did God really say"?


Jason said...

Thanks, Max. I'm thinking about what you've said. If you come back, please leave your own blog or email so we can correspond further.