13 August, 2007

Thoughts on Our Emerging Brethren

This week I had visitors from Albany New York. We had a great week discussing many things as well as praying, reading the Scriptures, and singing the Psalms. (We had a ton of laughs as well!)

One of our many discussions was on the Emergent Church. We talked about some of the books that I have read on the subject, as well as the many good things that this movement is doing for the church. It is sad how the Reformed camp, which has so much to offer, does not engage the culture the way that they did during the time of the Reformation or during the Puritan movement.

  • Today I listened to a sermon on Mars Hill's website. Rob Bell is doing a series called "God is Green" and it deals with God and the Christian's (or follower of Christ) response to the creation. Interesting. "God's primary purpose in creation is not consumption, but pleasure."
  • My professor, Dr. Gerald Bilkes' wrote a critique of the movement that is good as well.


Mark said...

Aye, I'm looking forward to the day where we Reformed types can justly say and prove that the majority of us care about evangelicism. The Bilkes article was good, and a lot more well-tempered than some of the things I've seen.

MarkPele said...

I find it troubling that many, if not most of the people coming into the Reformed churches are already Christians who are dissatisfied with the shallow doctrines at other churches.

That means, as Nate has suggested, that we who have so much to offer should be more on the front lines bringing the lost in. I find myself personally to be very guilty in this as well as seeing this as a corporate sin of the Reformed church.

steveandjanna said...

I shall look forward to Bell's series "God the environmental extremist." I'm sure we can all learn a lot hearing left-wing political ideology-Earth worship from Bell.

It annoys me to no end the lack of evangelical pursuits from reformed folks, especially here in Grand Rapids. There are plenty of churches, HNRC and PR's for example, that are completely unwelcoming to visitors and they're even worse if a visitor isn't Dutch.

That said, our task has been made more difficult by the evangelical movements of the last 20 years. We have to sit back and explain their corruption and money grabbing image and we have to contend with their entertaining worship practices. These issues put us on the defensive from the beginning despite the fact that they have nothing to do with us.

If we are to grow the reformed church we need to have a two pronged strategy. First, we need to be able to find the elect within the evangelical movement and pluck them away from their sinful churches. This means we have to understand evangelical arguments and be able to counter them with reformed doctrine. Second, we need to spread the gospel to those who are unsaved, teaching them Biblical reformed doctrine in the process.

All of this of course requires that we actually do something. Reformed folks like to sit around and yap about these things, they never actually do anything about it. We would rather yap amongst ourselves about irrelevant theological intricacies than actually serve God.

nleshelman said...

The sermon was not earth worship.

As for what Reformed people should be doing- lead by example.

steveandjanna said...

Nate, the earth worship, radical environmental comment was to be taken in jest.

nleshelman said...


I recant! :)

MarkPele said...

Yeah, this all makes me want to go out and buy "12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee" - the local Christian radio station interviewed Fischer and I think a lot of cerebral Reformed folk (like me) disguise Pharisaism in an apparent quest for doctrinal purity.
Part of that tendency is to be skeptical to newcomers and outsiders, I think, and that's wrong-headed. We get our share of poor, poorly-dressed people and my first thought is, what does he want money for? That's a wrong attitude that needs to change.

Robbie said...

Check this one out... Russell Moore and Tony Jones on the Al Mohler radio..

its good