December 17, 2005

The Radical Reformission 3

Category: Theology - Ecclesiology :: Permalink

Toward the end of The Radical Reformission, after a rather superficial (but sometimes insightful!) survey of western history up to the emergence of postmodernism, Mark Driscoll writes:

Perhaps modernity and its lonely individualism, arrogant rationalism, judgmental skepticism, and atheism was a demon that needed to be cast out. But as Jesus taught, unless that demon is replaced with the Holy Spirit, we are in deep dung, because seven new demons will take its place. After spending some years speaking with pastors from around the nation, including arguably most of the important leaders in what has been dubbed the emerging church, I have seen seven troubling demons that have entered the American church and brought fatal wounds to those ministering on the cutting edge (p. 165).

Here are the demons Driscoll identifies:

1. Jesus being transformed into “the Sky Fairy,” who never talks about and sin and doesn’t send anyone to hell (pp. 166-167).

2. Authenticity being promoted over holiness: “[B]ecause we are sinners, simply encouraging people to be who they are in the name of authenticity is dangerous because it can easily be taken as a license to sin without repentance…. As we work among cultures that value realness, we must not forget that the kingdom first values repentance” (p. 167).

3. A hermeneutic that reduces the bible to a story without authority and without one truthful interpretation (p. 168).

4. A kind of “deconstructionism” that simply attacks traditions, modernity, or other things in our society or in our past without anything positive (and I would add: biblical) to put in its place (pp. 168-169).

5. The tendency to have our churches pander to the wants of unbelievers in an effort to draw them (pp. 170-172).

6. Egalitarianism: “Theologically, a postmodern church addicted to egalitarianism is also marked by a confusion over gender issues, such as masculinity and femininity, and sexual issues, such as homosexuality and bisexuality, as well as by a peculiar commitment to making sure that everyone’s voice is equally heard and everyone’s input is equally considered, whether or not it is foolish, as if the church were one big internet chat room. Some churches have gone so far as to replace a preaching monologue from a recognized leader to a spiritual dialogue among a group of peers who refuse to acknowledge any leader over them. This makes about as much sense as shooting your doctor and gathering with the other patients in his lobby to speculate about what is wrong with one another and randomly write out prescriptions for one another in the name of equality” (p. 173). In this section, Driscoll also mentions open theism, which extends egalitarianism to God, reducing Him to our level (pp. 173-174).

7. The idea that one can be a “hyphenated Christian” (e.g., a Buddhist Christian, a New Age Christian) (pp. 174-176).

Good stuff, and perhaps a helpful response to some in the “emergent church” conversation.

Posted by John Barach @ 12:51 pm | Discuss (0)

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