Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Today in Blogworld 12/11

Dr. Mohler has written about the mainline Protestant concern with homosexual pastors. "Yes, They Said It" gives two exhibits (quotes) that point to the reason we are concerned. One of the men that he quoted is a Lutheran. When we compare that pastors comment to a quote by Martin Luther we see just how far some churches have strayed from their origin. Brian Schmeling said this: "People aren't coming to church to hear that their sins are forgiven; they are coming to experience connection to God, to the people sitting with them in the sanctuary and to people around the world. My theology has thus become more incarnational and relational." In other words, he no longer preaches the Cross. Contrast this with what Martin Luther said about preaching the gospel, "The gospel cannot be preached and heard enough, for it cannot be grasped well enough...Moreover, our greatest task is to keep you faithful to this article and to bequeath this treasure to you when we die". Schmeling and folks like him have exchanged that treasure for a false gospel.

Michael Spencer, the Internetmonk, has made a very thoughtful post about Name Tags. In effective irony he points out the hypocrisy of many who call the Emerging Church (Conversation, Emergent, whatever they are called) vague. His point is that we [insert your affiliations here] are just as guilty as the emergent of being slippery and unidentifiable. His solution serves as a fitting rebuke...we should just wear name tags that spells out who we follow. "Maybe we could just try using the names of favorite teachers, like “Keller types” or “Macarthur types.” What do you think? “I am of Paul.” “I am of Apollos.” It would make everything much simpler."

I will take his rebuke and grow from it--I know I do sometimes follow "Piper", "Sproul", "Edwards", "Spurgeon", etc. And defining my theology by a name tag is wrong, I confess. But I do have to disagree with Spencer on one point at least. What many decry Emergent for is not that they are slippery in defining their names or giving a definition to their theology. Granted, it is frustrating not knowing what to call them (it makes writing more difficult). Slippery name tags is not the problem. Slippery theology is what the problem is. When their leaders refuse to make a stance on homosexuality (something the Bible is clear about) and clothe their border-line (sometimes outright) heretical views with deliberately confusing arguments then they become slippery, and that is what people have a problem with. Nonetheless, the rebuke still stands.

New Attitude points us to a C.J. Mahaney article on "Cravings and Conflict". Every time I read or hear something by Mahaney my level of respect for him grows. After reading this article I wanted to comment on it but found myself only able to say, "Wow". I highly recommend you read this article--you will be blessed. In it Mahaney reminds us that we will face conflict, the question is are we ready for it? This article will certainly help us.

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