Skip to comments.Growing: Movement is new form of evangelism
Posted on 12/07/2004 5:12:03 AM PST by missyme
As we enter the 21st century, a vital new expression of Christianity is growing in the United States and worldwide. This movement even has a name. It is called "the Emergent Church."
This movement expresses what I call "progressive evangelicalism," because it emphasizes traditional evangelical beliefs - affirming the doctrines of the Apostle's Creed, a high view of Scripture and the importance of a personal transforming relationship with a resurrected Christ - yet rejects the structures and styles of institutionalized Christianity. The Emergent Church
The Emergent Church turns away from spending money on buildings. Instead, most congregations meet as "house churches" or gather in makeshift storefronts and warehouses.
Emergent churches espouse a decentralized grassroots form of Christianity that rejects the hierarchal systems of denominational churches. Each emergent congregation makes its own decisions by consensus.
Leadership is fluid, with all members sharing authority and participating in the mission of the church. Task forces are assembled to undertake such specific programs as feeding the homeless, establishing a partnership with a Third World church, developing an after-school tutoring program for disadvantaged children or organizing people in a poor neighborhood to solve pressing social problems.
The missionary programs of such congregations are committed to direct involvement with those they decide to serve. These churches want little to do with bureaucratic organizations with professional administrators. Members of these congregations want to be involved personally with those in need. They want to know the names and faces of the people they serve.
Emergent congregations must not be confused with those nondenominational mega-churches that seem to be popping up increasingly in communities across the nation. In fact, the two are markedly different.
Emergent churches often express a disdain for the "contemporary-worship music" heard in many mega-churches.
The worship in emergent churches often includes classical music, and such congregations often follow a more formal liturgical style that may even incorporate such ancient forms of praying as that of monastic orders.
The people who join emergent congregations are often folks who have tired of what goes on in churches that have "contemporary services."
A postmodern mindset
The Emergent Church is often somewhat indifferent to theological and social issues that seem urgent to mainstream evangelicalism. These church members tend to think that the crusade against homosexual marriage is a waste of time and energy, and they tend to reject the exclusivistic claims that many evangelicals make about salvation.
They are not about to damn the likes of Gandhi or the Dali Lama to hell simply because they have not embraced Christianity.
In many ways, these Christians express a postmodern mindset that may come across as being somewhat "new age."
They see care for the environment as a major Christian responsibility. They are attracted to Christian mysticism. They talk a great deal about "spiritual formation" and focus significant attention on the healing of illnesses through prayer.
This new expression of Christianity is growing faster than most sociologists could have predicted. It is thriving, in part, because so many people are fed up with the arguing and pettiness that they claim are all too evident in the rest of Christendom.
It remains to be seen whether the Emergent Church will fade away or become an ongoing expression of Christianity.
But there is no question that it is attracting many sophisticated Christians who contend that traditional mainline churches are devoid of vitality and mega-churches are irrelevantly narrow.
Believing the Gospel as only Christ defines it is the act of obedience towards God. Christ commands us to believe and Faith is obedience to that commandment.
2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
See #58 which was for you but mis-addressed.
Leave off the ha ha. It's not a laughing matter.
Sorry, but I'll laugh if I want to.
But you're right. There's nothing more pathetic than arrogant man succumbing to the temptation to believe that he is a god. [Genesis 3:4-5]
I am not Calvinist, I have just found that site helpful in understanding the doctrine.
Much appreciated. It is helpful, I agree.
Salvation is freely given to anyone who will obey and receive.
"I am not Calvinist, I have just found that site helpful in understanding the doctrine" ~ CyberCowboy777
See if this is helpful:
Emory Report November 29, 1999 Volume 52, No. 13
"...Marci Hamilton ... [is] a nationally recognized expert on
constitutional and copyright law. ....
Her forthcoming book, Copyright and the Constitution, examines the
historical and philosophical underpinnings of copyright law and asserts
that the American "copyright regime" is grounded in Calvinism, resulting in
a philosophy that favors the product over the producer.
Calvinism? Hamilton's interest in the intersection of Calvinist theology
and political philosophy emerged early in her career when she began reading
the work of leading constitutional law scholars. She was puzzled by their
"theme of a system of self-rule." "They talked about it as if it were in
existence," she said. "My gut reaction was that direct democracy and
self-rule are a myth that doesn't really exist."
What Hamilton found was that a "deep and abiding distrust of human motives
that permeates Calvinist theology also permeates the Constitution." Her
investigation of that issue has led to another forthcoming book,
tentatively titled The Reformed Constitution: What the Framers Meant by
That our country's form of government is a republic instead of a pure
democracy is no accident, according to Hamilton. The constitutional framers
"expressly rejected direct democracy. Instead, the Constitution constructs
a representative system of government that places all ruling power in the
hands of elected officials."
And the people? Their power is limited to the voting booth and
communication with their elected representatives, she said. "The
Constitution is not built on faith in the people, but rather on distrust of
all social entities, including the people." ...
..Two of the most important framers, James Wilson and James Madison, were
steeped in Presbyterian precepts.
It is Calvinism, Hamilton argued, that "more than any other Protestant
theology, brings together the seeming paradox that man's will is corrupt by
nature but also capable of doing good." In other words, Calvinism holds
that "we can hope for the best but expect the worst from each other and
from the social institutions humans devise."
"Neither Calvin nor the framers stop at distrust, however," Hamilton said.
"They also embrace an extraordinary theology of hope. The framers, like
Calvin, were reformers." -Elaine Justice
The 55 Framers of the Constitution (from North to South):
John Langdon, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Nicholas Gilman, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Elbridge Gerry, Episcoplian (Calvinist)
Rufus King, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Caleb Strong, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Nathaniel Gorham, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Roger Sherman, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
William Samuel Johnson, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Oliver Ellsworth, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Alexander Hamilton, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
John Lansing, Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)
Robert Yates, Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)
William Patterson, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
William Livingston, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Jonathan Dayton, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
David Brearly, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Churchill Houston, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Benjamin Franklin, Christian in his youth, Deist in later years, then back
to his Puritan background in his old age (his June 28, 1787 prayer at the
Constitutional Convention was from no "Deist")
Robert Morris, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
James Wilson, probably a Deist
Gouverneur Morris, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Thomas Mifflin, Lutheran (Calvinist-lite)
George Clymer, Quaker turned Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Thomas FitzSimmons, Roman Catholic
Jared Ingersoll, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
John Dickinson, Quaker turned Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Read, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
Richard Bassett, Methodist
Gunning Bedford, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Jacob Broom, Lutheran
Luther Martin, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
Daniel Carroll, Roman Catholic
John Francis Mercer, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James McHenry, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Daniel of St Thomas Jennifer, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Washington, Episcopalian (Calvinist; no, he was not a deist)
James Madison, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Mason, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Edmund Jennings Randolph, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James Blair, Jr., Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James McClung, ?
George Wythe, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Richardson Davie, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Hugh Williamson, Presbyterian, possibly later became a Deist
William Blount, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Alexander Martin, Presbyterian/Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr., Episcopalian (Calvinist)
John Rutledge, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, III, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Abraham Baldwin, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
William Leigh Pierce, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Houstoun, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Few, Methodist
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. - Ezekiel 36:16-32
Repentance is a fruit of God's saving love.
Still posting that tired old propaganda list I see.
Does a Christian get a new heart from God because he has repented and believed, or does he repent and believe because God has given him a new heart?
Your problem right now seems to be with the Calvinists, who teach double predestination. How about reading some Martin Chemnitz instead? =)
Where can I sign up?
"Whosoever will, may come".
"Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens."
One chooses to walk through it.
And another doesn't. Why?
What does predestination assume. That it is already decided.
Since the Bible says the elect were chosen before the foundation of the world, that's a good assumption to make.
So why prostelitize?
Because Jesus said so.
And more important where does that leave free will?
More important? Why is being able to proudly quote the last lines of Invictus more important than the direct command from Christ to teach all nations?
I was raised Catholic and predestination is definately not a part of Catholic teaching.
Augustine would disagree, although it's now impossible to be Augustinian in both soteriology and ecclesiology (the Jansenists tried mightily, and it didn't work).
I would be interested in being educated, but not flamed.
This is a great resource.
You would do well do engage in an objective study of the subject of reprobation. You don't understand it.
Your comments seem to indicate that you disapprove of the God who said this: Romans 9: 20-22
God has a hard time living up to the high standards of some who can't conceive of a god that they don't approve of.
These church members ... tend to reject the exclusivistic claims that many evangelicals make about salvation.
They are not about to damn the likes of Gandhi or the Dali Lama to hell simply because they have not embraced Christianity.
So much for any alleged "high view of Scripture" mentioned earlier. Scripture is crystal clear about the exclusivity of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him, Gandhi and Dali Lama are destined for hell. (And, by the way, we don't damn them.)
Oh, well. Another cult bites the dust...