Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Emergent or Biblical Narration?

Christianity has turned off many people says the emergent church movement and this movement will do something about that problem. It will be culturally relevant and tell modern man what’s in it for them, so modern man can feel comfortable in their churches. Theology and propositional truth are not emphasized because theology is a turn off. Instead, experience and conversation are emphasized. The movement uses narration in Scripture and narration in life as a spiritual barometer. Gary Zustiak in an article about the movement points out “There is a heavy emphasis upon narrative, or story, as the chief means of communicating the message of God over doctrine or exegetical approaches.” Gary Zustiak's Article

D. A, Carlson in his book Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications also points this out: "Post-moderns are likely to be happy with personal narratives—i.e., with individuals telling their own stories and explaining how they view things. They are likely to be suspicious of metanarrative—i.e., of a big story that claims to explain all of life, or that claims to be true for everyone."(p. 102)

Narration can be fiction or nonfiction. There are three popular emergent books with narration that I read -- Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, and William Paul Young’s The Shack. The Shack is fiction and the other two books are autobiographical. All three narrative works seem to deal with emergent church ideas. How biblical are these ideas? They aren't.

Stephen Holland writes: "So after 2000 years we have still not got it right and we must keep on trying and experimenting. To say that the Emerging Church has a faulty theology of God is an understatement. Any heresy usually has a defective view of God himself and the Emerging Church has gone wrong on its attempts to spread the gospel because it has a wrong view of God and a wrong view of the Bible." Holland's Blog

Tim Challes has written about The Shack when it came out. Today he posted a review of an author who knew Young and his universalism.  Tim Challies on Burning Down the Shack

2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” NKJV

These three narratives do not include sound doctrine. The works are popular perhaps with those who have itching ears or need to feel God’s love apart from the discipleship of Scripture and godly counsel.

Unlike theology, these books are easy reads, but disturbing. Let's call for biblical narratives with fiction, biography and autobiography where
God gets the glory
and they are easy reads.

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