Today while I was at the church I was reading an article written by Mark Driscoll, one of my heroes in the faith, about the Emerging Church Highway. It was a great read, about how postmodernism has impacted the church and how it has permeated to even the most fundamental doctrinal statements of the faith (i.e., The Virgin Conception, Miracles, Bodily Resurrection, etc.) to muddy the waters to the point where the Historical Orthodoxy of the faith has been replaced with a “new” Christianity. This is a Christianity where Jesus does not have to be the only way to salvation, where the Virgin Conception does not have to be a historical accuracy to warrant salvific faith in Christ, and where expressions of the faith can be seen in the eastern religions and the pluralism we see throughout our day.
At one extreme are the emergents who just want to do church differently, and these are our dear brothers in the faith, who may just be a little frustrated with how things happen (trust me, we’ve all been there before). The danger doesn’t come from methodology, if anything methodology is clearly up for debate, though there are theological ramifications. The “seeker-sensitive” movement, while with the best of intentions, is so faulty in its presuppositions and attitude towards unregenerate people that it caused a generation of Christians to have to listen to the same sermon every week and have their services geared towards people who (if they are honest with themselves) want nothing to do with Christ or the things of God. The danger is in theological liberalism, in creating a new kind of Christianity, not the “faith handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). The dangers are numerous and problematic, most notably when you reduce Christianity to nothing more than a “way of life,” you lose sight of the fact that humanity is fallen and in need of a Redeemer; you lose the reality of the Resurrection, which is the blessed hope of the church; and you lose the promise of Scripture being a unified, reliable, inerrant document speaking through the ages to us from the mouth of God.
The only thing “new” in Christianity is heresy, and any teaching that counters the witness of Scripture and the regula fide should be investigated at least, most likely to be cast aside as garbage. Driscoll does a great job picking apart the Emergent Highway and pointing out the theological inconsistencies and at times, departures from anything Christian.
Anyone who wants to repackage Christianity according to our enlightenment as a people and our cultural understandings of truth being reader-based and subjective, is promoting a Gospel not in accordance with Scripture. It is a shame that prominent figures in this movement are filling churches and getting on TV and promoting their watered-down false gospel.
If you’re interested in reading this article, I’d be happy to run a copy of it for you. Let me know! Thanks for reading!