Friday, September 30, 2005

Emerging Questions

I was reading the comments to Phillip Johnson’s comic book cover relating to “The Emerging Conversation” and found one of the comments interesting. The question was asked about whether Phil had had informal dialogue with the individuals who theology and practice are in question. Since the writings of people like McLaren are public and a personal audience is not so easy a task it would seem we have to let the authors writings speak for themselves. It is also true that the more that they write, McLaren for example, the more clear, or at least as clear as a “Post-Modern” writer can be, their theology becomes.

It was also mentioned that the leaders of this movement, sorry conversation, are asking good questions. That may or may not be true but my issue has been that in the midst of this conversation they are dragging unsuspecting people into the abyss. It is much different for individuals to ask probing questions and deal with the issues but when the conversation is played out in front of an audience and that audience becomes sort of the test ground, as pastors we would seem to be culpable for leading the sheep astray. Some time back I wrote on some disturbing quotes from Rob Bell. I do not say we should not question what we believe; I for one have done so and stand even firmer today than before on many things because of this. The issue is that as a Pastor when this is done in public there are many that will simply take the Pastors answers and make them their own. We might say that this is their problem as they should be more discerning but that is not how people work.

It is OK for McLaren, Bell and others to question things but simply because one is questioning something does not make that which is questioned wrong. This is where the problem really starts as all too often the questions are asked because it is assumed that the previous conclusions are based on a wrong construct, modernism. So right from the start it is assumed that what was previously thought is wrong in some way and needs to be refashioned some how.

Bottom line is we can and should ask question but as Pastors it needs to be done much differently than individuals because the consequences of what we teach and where we lead are much more serious.


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