Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Same Old, Same Old

In reading various articles/books by and about the "emerging church," one thought in particular has struck me time and again; namely, ECers have a penchant for dividing up Scripture according to what is “red letter” and what is not. They’ll talk about the Word of God and profess to love it, but if you use the term “Scripture” instead of “Word of God,” they turn into stone and mumble something about Jesus being the Living Word of God – which is true, mind you, but then they use that as an excuse to denigrate all Scripture outside of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In their simplified form of higher criticism, they have forgotten (or ignored) that Jesus Himself stated quite emphatically, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me." (John 14:23-24)

This is precisely the MO of the "emerging church": posit a false dichotomy between Scripture and Jesus, then claim the moral high ground by presenting yourself as a "follower of Jesus" - the implication being that those who hold to sola scriptura are bible-olaters, followers of a dead letter, love Paul more than Jesus, etc., etc.

In reality, the "emerging church" crowd is nothing more than the heirs of the theological liberals of Spurgeon's and Machen's days - they even recycle the same old canards that were in circulation a hundred years ago. The "emerging church" thinks that they've arrived at a new methodology for reaching the "postmodern" generation, but all they're doing is feeding the age-old hatred that unregenerate man has for God's Word, the Scriptures.


SolaMeanie said...

You nailed it with that one, wordsmith. Bullseye!

wordsmith said...

Thanks for the corroboration. I suspect that you're just as weary of the EC crowd's animosity towards anything that doesn't fit their paradigm (to wit, Bible-believing Christians - especially the Reformed type) as I am :)

Let's keep on fighting the good fight!

Randy said...

Great thoughts.

Where the heck do you get 'red letter' crap from anyway?

i've never even heard that said by anyone I know...

wordsmith said...

Hi, Randy -

Thanks for stopping by. (BTW, please refrain from using pseudo-coarse vocabulary here :)

Actually, I hadn't heard of the "red letter" attitude until a few weeks ago - it evidently refers to some who place a greater emphasis on the words of Christ (hence, "red letter") than on the rest of Scripture. Thing is, "all Scripture is inspired of God" (II Tim 3:16), and therefore carries equal authority as the "red letters."

SolaMeanie said...

Why, Randy! I'm shocked, shocked, that a fine upstanding Emergent-friendly pastor such as you wouldn't have known about the red-letter issue. It sort of ranks up there with some ECers using only lower case when writing. (Didn't they steal that from Ann Kiemel or e.e. cummings?