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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What Should We Think of the Emerging Church? Part Two

Here is part-two from Dr. Al Mohler on the Emerging Church.

The Emerging Church Movement includes an expanding number of leaders and a diversity of representations. For some, the movement appears to be something of a generational phenomenon--a way for younger evangelicals to reshape evangelical identity and relate to their own culture. For others, the connection with the Emerging Church Movement seems to be a matter of mood rather than methodology or theory. Elements of worship, aesthetics, and cultural iconography common to the Emerging Church Movement have been embraced by a cohort of younger evangelicals, who nonetheless hold to the indispensability of propositional truth. Nevertheless, for most Emerging Church leaders, the movement appears to be an avenue for reshaping Christianity in a new mold.

The philosophical maneuvers borrowed from postmodern theory provide a mechanism for transcending the defensive posture against Enlightenment criticism that mainstream Christianity has had to assume for most of the last 300 years. By denying that truth is propositional, Emerging Church theorists avoid and renounce any responsibility to defend many of the doctrines long considered essential to the Christian faith.

In Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, D. A. Carson attempts to measure the Emerging Church Movement on its own terms--and then offers a critical analysis of the movement from a larger perspective.

Click here for entire article.


Monday, December 29, 2008

What Should We Think of the Emerging Church? Part One by Al Mohler

This is a great two-part series from the brilliant Dr. Al Mohler. As I do with all authors of articles posted here, check out his site-it's loaded!

The "Emerging Church" has become a focus of intense evangelical interest, as the nascent movement has grown in both size and influence. While its eventual shape is not yet clear, we now know enough to draw some preliminary conclusions about the movement, its leaders, and its influence.

In his recent book, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, D. A. Carson offers a penetrating analysis of this new movement and its implication. An accomplished scholar with a keen eye on the culture, Carson combines academic scrutiny with a sympathetic understanding of the motivations and cultural experiences that have shaped this new movement.

Carson, Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, demonstrates a bracing understanding of our times and the cultural challenges faced by conservative Christianity. In his 1996 book, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, he offered an incisive analysis of postmodernism. In that work, Carson's primary focus was epistemology and the postmodern understanding of truth and its knowability. In this new book, Carson continues to focus on truth and knowledge, challenging the Emerging Church at the foundational level of Christian identity.

Carson begins by acknowledging the diversity of the Emerging Church Movement. Given the "porous borders" of the movement, Carson admits that he did not find it "easy to portray it fairly." Nevertheless, after a period of embryonic development, the Emerging Church Movement is now sufficiently mature to offer an understandable model of church and theology, complete with understandings of the Bible, the culture, and the Christian message.

The idea of an Emerging Church--whether understood as a movement or a "conversation"--is based in "the conviction that changes in the culture signal that a new church is 'emerging,'" Carson explains. The logic that unites Emerging Church leaders suggests that Christians must respond to the Emerging Church with acceptance and adaptation. "Those who fail to do so are blind to the cultural accretions that hide the gospel behind forms of thought and modes of expression that no longer communicate with the new generation, the emerging generation," Carson relates.

Even though the Emerging Church constitutes an amorphous movement with ill-defined boundaries, Carson is convinced that the influence of the movement is larger than its numbers would suggest.

Complete Article

Tomorrow: What Should We Think of the Emerging Church? Part Two

Thursday, December 25, 2008

ORIGIN OF CONTEMPLATIVE/CENTERING PRAYER

Here is another great article by Pastor Ken Silva on the corrupt origins of the contemplative/centering prayer that some Christians do not see as dangerous.

I am try to archive the basic understanding of most false teachings and file them in the topic section. But, as always, I encourage you to go to these sites and check out the original writers website archives. -Chris

They did not destroy the peoples, As the LORD commanded them, But they mingled with the nations, And learned their practices, And served their idols, Which became a snare to them. (Psalm 136:34-36)
Contemplative Spirituality Was A Core Doctrine Of The Emerging Church
We can point to the Apprising Ministries article Learn Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism The SBC Way With Baptist State Convention Of North Carolina And Spiritual Director Jan Johnson as exhibit A as we began to look once again at the growing acceptance of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) festering within the apostatizing Southern Baptist Convention. The Slowly Becoming Catholic, an allegedly evangelical Protestant denomination, is hardly alone in their re-embrace of this neo-Gnostic mysticism that originally flowered within the apostate Roman Catholicism.
And as we watch this false version of Christian spirituality spreading apostasy throughout the American Christian Church it seems good to give you a working knowledge concerning just where Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP) actually came from. We begin with the incontrovertible fact that emphasis on so-called “Christian” mystic traditions was a core doctrine of the theology of the Emerging Church from its very inception circa 1997.
As such the Emergent Church has proved to be a very fertile ground into which mystics like Dallas Willard and his spiritual twin Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster could plant their neo-pietism with its so-called Spiritual Formation and which are actually absolutely hostile to the historic Christian faith. You also need to realize that this CSM with its warped spiritual practices aka “disciplines” is still very much an integral part of the theology of the Emerging Church.
Emerging Church Authorities Speak On So-Called “Christian” Mysticism (Click here for entire article).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who is Henri Nouwen?

Having come from a church that has openly promoted Mystic and Emergent leaders, I am going to be posting profiles of many of these teachers in the next few days. Most of this will be links to Apprising Ministries and Pastor Ken Silva who is second to none when it comes to Biblically exposing the claims made by these false teachers. Please take the time to check out his archives. Thanks Ken for all you do!

They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans. (Isaiah 2:6)
Chanting With Roman Catholic Henri Nouwen In A Baptist Seminary
If you’ve been following this work in the Lord at Apprising Ministries you will have seen that I have written quite a bit lately about apostate Roman Catholicism. Amazingly people who are supposed to hold to Reformed Protestant theology like Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren have apparently become convinced that the Reformation is over and that all of this is somehow behind us now. If you feel this way, my question to you would be: Says who? Because I can tell you, it certainly wasn’t God Himself.
A huge part of how this arrogant imprudence has been spreading into evangelicalism itself is through spiritually petrifying mainline denominations, such as the United Methodist Church, the Congregational Church and much of the Episcopal Church to name a few, which have been involved with neopagan Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) for quite some time. Instead of being willing to stand for the absolute Truth of the Gospel and to actually come into conflict with false religions within this pagan society so steeped in relativism now many evangelicals have simply begun to meditate right along with them.
In his Critical Issues Commentary article The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines: A Critique of Dallas Willard and The Spirit of the Disciplines Bob DeWaay brings out why:
Practices called “spiritual disciplines” that are deemed necessary for “spiritual formation” have entered evangelicalism. Recent encounters with this teaching narrated to me by friends caused me to investigate these practices. The first experience involved my friend and co-worker Ryan Habbena who went back to seminary to finish his masters degree. Here is his experience in his own words:
I recently took a seminary course on the book of Luke. It was a summer intensive and was one of only two classes being offered at the time. About midway through the week, while the class was steeped in trying to discern the intent and significance of the book of Luke, we began to hear the echoes of mystic chanting coming through the walls. As it turned out, the other class being offered was parked right next to ours. The paper thin walls were carrying the choruses of a class exploring the life and teachings of Catholic mystic Henry Nouwen.
We proceeded, trying to concentrate on studying the Scriptures while tuning out the chants that were carrying on next door. Perhaps what was more unsettling though is the class studying Nouwen was chock full, while there were plenty of empty seats next door for anyone wanting to learn about the inspired book of Luke.
How can this be? A Baptist seminary was favorably studying the teachings of this Catholic mystic whose own biographers describe as having had emotional problems and homosexual inclinations.(Online source)
Men and women, transcendental meditation for the Christian aka Contemplative/Centering Prayer first began invading the Christian community with the apostate “fourth- and fifth-century Egyptian Desert Fathers and Mothers” who became involved in this exact same compromise with religions of the East that we are witnessing right now within the American Christian Church. However, shouldn’t a red warning flag be raised as we note the word Egyptian in association with these heretical hermits? That quote by the way is taken from the back cover of a book by Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) called The Way Of The Heart (WoTH), which is one of Nouwen’s most oft-quoted books.
So Why Are Evangelicals Listening To Nouwen? Click title for entire article.

Carnal Christian?

Does the Bible teach carnal Christianity? Take 10 minutes and see what Mr. Paul Washer says that God's word says.


Monday, December 22, 2008

An Inadequate Gospel - John MacArthur & Todd Friel (from Wretched Radio)

Here are two of my favorites Theologins, Pastor John MacArthur from Grace to you and Todd Friel from Wretched Radio (formerly The Way of the Master Radio) There is not a finer expositor of the Word than Dr. MacArthur and there is not a finer.....uh.....well....uh....and then there's Todd. Just kidding. We love you Todd!

For those of you not familiar with Wretched Radio and TV you're missing out. Tonight,time will not allow me to plug these guys properly and I will do so soon. Until then-Thanks Todd, Tony V. and the rest of the gang. -from a fellow Wretch!



Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Gospel: A Method or a Message? How the Purpose Driven Life Obscures the Gospel

This is a great commentary by Bob Dewaay on the Purpose Driven movement and biblically exposing the fact that it is pragmatic and man-centered. I will admit at one time I didn't see the problem with Rick Warren or his book, in fact I championed his cause. This article and Bob's radio series (see link below) really changed the way I viewed the seeker sensitive model. I highly suggest checking out other issues of his Critical Issues Commentary for in depth articles on various topics related to false teaching. -Chris

Redefining Christianity—Understanding the Purpose Driven Movement in a 15-part CIC Radio Broadcast. The radio broadcasts are archived on the Radio Series page.


For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” (1Corinthians 1:21)

A few months ago a friend phoned to ask if I had ever heard of Rick Warren. “Yes” I replied. “Why are you asking”? He said, “I just got kicked out of a Bible Study for bringing my Bible to it.” That is how the idea for this article came to me.

The Bible study my friend attended was really a Purpose Driven Life study group. The Purpose Driven Life book they were studying referenced Bible passages that sounded off base. He was told that if he was going to attend the study, he would have to leave his Bible at home, because the issues he brought up were disruptive to the group. He chose to quit instead.

My first reaction was that the study group was just poorly led. A few days later my friend gave me the book to read for myself. In the first three pages I saw why bringing a real Bible would disrupt a group studying Rick Warren. First, Warren cited many questionable Bible translations, often without verse reference. Apart from that, one had to locate the reference (information buried in the back of the book), find the reference in a real Bible, go back to the place where Warren used the passage to see if the quoted “translation” had any resemblance to the passage from an acceptable text, and then make a decision about whether the verse in question supported Warren’s claim. Of course, that would disrupt a Bible study. Forty days of purpose would soon be forty months!

Rick Warren’s eleven million copy bestseller has replaced Bible preaching in thousands of pulpits and has replaced the Bible in many thousands of Bible study groups. His website claims he is starting a new Reformation. His claim is that rather than reform what the church teaches like Luther did, Warren is going to reform what the church does. He is well on his way. Warren has turned the Gospel of Jesus Christ into a method. The method is to invite people on a forty day journey to discover the meaning of life.1 Warren’s students are asked to take an oath before a witness (which Jesus forbids) to turn forty days of their life over to Rick Warren and his method. And there is more. Click title to link to entire article.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Headlong Into Apostasy

Until I can find more time to put up some original material, I will share another post from Slice of Laodicea. Thanks Ingrid for all you do.

Click here to see a visual image of where Rob Bell, the Barna Group, Bono, Rick Warren and many other evangelical wolves are trying to lead the Church of Jesus Christ.

The global spiritual apostasy is here and the prophecies of occultists like Alice Bailey, Djwal Khul, Helena Blavatsky and Benjamin Creme are coming true before our eyes. Evangelical leaders are in lock step and helping to lead the charge to the new spirituality. Read what is written on the Share International site from their latest magazine issue about this worldwide outpouring of global poverty and social justice efforts. Note what is said about Obama, and how the world teacher will be manifested as the spiritually minded work together to end social ills. Then go back and re-read the press release below.

But first, read what the one true God has said in His Word:

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and set it before me,
since I appointed an ancient people.
Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.

Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
And you are my witnesses!
Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”

Isaiah 44:6-8

Welcome to the Future of “Spirituality”

We need to wake up to these things folks. Check out this article from our friends at Slice of Laodicea.


This little gem just dropped into my email. The New Spirituality occultists are on the march and they want you. The link in the quote below will take you to their online edition of the new magazine which you can page through by following the arrows at the top of the page. This is what Phyllis Tickle means when she talks about the Great Emergence. The emergent leaders’ role is to pull evangelicals into this, their ultimate goal for world spirituality.
From the scientific pursuit of singularity to the spiritual practice of yoga, ideas that once seemed futuristic and esoteric are creating a new global meta-culture of “early adapters.”
The self-selecting members of this emerging market defy conventional demography and are moving political, scientific, social and spiritual inquiry beyond the traditional borders that have typically divided us.
Enter EnlightenNext, a new magazine for evolutionaries who are taking reality by the reigns, and exploring the evolution of consciousness itself and the impact that will have on the human experience and the future of life on Earth.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Don't trust a word I say" (What and why we believe...)

This blog is dedicated to Biblically defending and exposing (Ephesians 5:11-13) the Truth against the false prophets that Jesus warns us about in (Matthew 24:3-4) as does Paul and other New Testament writers continually through out the New Testament. Including the dangerous postmodern mindset that is rampant in today's church.

We are dedicated to defending the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith. We cannot "agree to disagree" on these and are as follows:

1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The Virgin Birth.
3. The Blood Atonement.
4. The Bodily Resurrection.
5. The inerrancy of the scriptures.
6. The doctrine of the Trinity.
7. The doctrine of Heaven and Hell.

It is also dedicated to bring the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ by using the law & grace of God. Not just the warm and fuzzy parts. God is loving, but he is also righteous and will deal with sin through eternal punishment called Hell. Anyone who leaves this out of the gospel presentation is presenting a false gospel.

We provide thought provoking, biblicaly based articles and and videos (by solid biblical teachers) that are not expounded upon enough in most churches today.

This site is also dedicated to provide Bible verses and links to other Biblical resources in order to encourage extended study.

We believe in the authority and reliability of the Bible and the trustworthiness of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). With out that as a foundation we have nothing and then anything goes. It trumps man's teachings (Mark 7:7) and any "new revelation" that may come along (Galatians 1:8). and there is a right way and a wrong way to interpret Scripture through proper hermeneutics.

We believe that we do have an adversary (Ephesians 6:10-12 and 1 Timothy 4:1) who Jesus teaches will in the latter days send a "Spiritual" imposter in the world (Matthew 24:15 and Revelation 13: 1-8). Jesus warns us not to be deceived by the false prophets and false Christs that will precede and prepare the way for the ultimate deceiver. The Bible warns to test the spirits (1 John 4:1) to see if they are from God. And Scripture describes how an extremely charismatic spiritual leader will one day deceive most of the world into thinking that he is Christ. But while pretending to be Christ, this antichrist figure will actually oppose Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2 1-9)

This deception has hit the church through the postmodern movement with eastern mystical practices being accepted, such as yoga and centering prayer. Purpose Driven ideas such as entertaining the congregation, "topical" pep-talks on "how to live your best life now", the new social gospel (works with out the true gospel) and a "non-offensive" watered down gospel that leads to false converts. We need to get back to real preaching and teaching of God's Word.

Please see the online book Reinventing Jesus Christ "The New Gospel" below for detail. It is a MUST read.

But the bottom line is: Don't trust me. Pray for wisdom and and see if what is posted here lines up with God's word.

Most importantly, the best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the real thing. Study God's Word daily.

By His Grace,

Chris

For more on this and other topics, see archives.
First time here? Please read "Don't trust a word I say!" in the right hand side of home page.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Warnings About the Emergent Church Movement with guest Pastor Ken Silva (Crosstalk America)

Check out this short version about the dangers of the Emergent church. The long version can be viewed by link that is embedded with in the video.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)