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What emerging from the Emergent Church?

Posted by truthtalklive on February 22, 2008

Is it really New Testament Christianity or just a another version of watered-down liberalism?

Today Dr. Alex McFarland (www.alexmcfarland.com) interviews Raymond Morehouse (remorehouse@gmail.com)  discussing the issues of the emerging church. For more information about Southern Evangelical Seminary visit www.ses.edu 

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9 Responses to “What emerging from the Emergent Church?”

  1. Richard said

    The Emerging Church

    The same old lie of the Devil… (Did God really say that? Nah.)

    … in a hip new package

  2. Fred said

    Friday’s Shows with MacFarland

    The same old hour long advertisement for S.E.S.

  3. Anonymous said

    Perhaps the emerging church isn’t totally wrong. One doesn’t have to buy totally into the post-modernist idea that there is no truly objective truth and reality to get some use from the emerging church. If this movement can lead churches to examine again the way they worship, to see where they can do it more authentically then it can be worthwhile. This is not about watering down the gospel or changing the message, but churches should examine from time to time how they worship. The simple fact is that much of how we worship is not specifically mandated in scripture. Certainly, singing, preaching, and the Lord’s Supper were regular in the New Testament church, but nowhere does it specifically say how these were arranged in a worship service, so there is some latitude assuming that nothing we do violates commands of scripture. I’m a traditionalist at heart, but I also know that the deadliest words ever uttered in a church are “we’ve never done it that way before.”

  4. Anonymous said

    I thought this broadcast was very interesting… sounds to me like this Emergent Church movement could very well be ushering in a “univeral” type religion, since it’s so deeply rooted in philosophy and our minds, just like a lot of eastern religions. It seems like this would be very easy for people to get fooled into, because truth becomes relevant, instead of truth, which is, according to definition, verified true and undisputable fact.

  5. Mike S said

    I think you meant truth becomes “Relative”? Right?

  6. Raymond Morehouse said

    I thought “anonymous'” comments should be taken to heart.

    there is a very helpful distinction being developed between the “emerging” church – those which are seeking new ways of practicing Christianity and “doing” church (music, fashion, style, format, etc.) – and Emergent Christianity which is based on a post-modern understanding of truth and reality

    As for the hour long advert for SES, the real point here is that people need to be thinking and reading for themselves so that they understand the issues and the world they live in. I don’t know how many times I have heard Emergent thinkers accused of being universalists, relativists, pluralists, etc. Strictly speaking, post-modernism is NOT a denial of absolute truth; it is a denial that any CLAIMS about absolute truth can be held with certainty. If you haven’t read McLaren, Bell, Grenz, or Derrida, Caputo etc. You should before slinging any mud.

    Email me if you would like to have a more involved conversation.

  7. ADB said

    The above post #3 was mine BTW. Anonymous #4 I think I would differ with you a little about what constitutes truth. Truth does not have to be “verified” and “indisputable.” If it were then there would be little room for faith in Christianity. The miracles of Jesus are a good example. I do believe that they occurred as recorded in the gospels, but I also recognize that they can’t be verified with absolute certainty and that they can’t be explained apart from faith that Jesus was who he said he was. I have read some of Grenz but didn’t really agree with it. I think that Raymond did a fair, creditable job representing emergent and emerging BTW. The emerging worship movement does present the Church with an incredible opportunity. This movement is very popular and shows that a great many people are really searching spiritually. Perhaps the better path is to understand where they are and meet them there. One can be thoroughly orthodox theologically and still do some of the stuff of emergent worship without distorting the gospel.

    A curmudgeonly pastor 🙂

  8. randell danner said

    Our faith and hope is based on absolute truths (facts). let me tell you before i came to Christ my life and the things i was searching in and for were all sinking sand. Putting the Word into my mind and heart has saved my life. i challenge anyone to tell me that’s not a fact!! post-modernism absolutely denies that there are absolutes and “any ole kind of worship” is not true worship it is self worship.

  9. ADB said


    I rejoice with you that Christ has given you “new birth,” and agree entirely with what you said. The logical conclusion of the post-modernist is that there are no absolutes (or if there are they can’t be known). “Any old’ worship” sure doesn’t cut it either. Worship can be done very badly in any style- be it informal/traditional, formal/traditional, blended, contemporary, or from the emerging worship movement. In my opinion good worship should do the following things- first and foremost honor God, it shouldn’t violate clear prohibitions in scripture, it must include room for the Spirit to work, because the NT church sang hymns and Psalms we should. The classic definition (Calvin, Wesley, Luther, Augustine, etc.) of the true church also applies to worship- it says the true church exists “where the Word is purely preached and the sacraments are rightly administered.” Thus, the proclaimed Gospel must be central in worship, this by the way was one of the great changes that came with the Reformation. The Lord’s Supper should also be practiced regularly. The custom in many churches of doing it only 3 or 4 times a year comes from our frontier revivalist era of the early 19th century rather than from scripture. The very early church practiced the Lord’s Supper each time they worshipped as seems to be evident from Corinthians. One does not necessarily need to partake of the Supper at each service, but certainly it should be very regular (I like monthly myself).

    Best Wishes,
    A curmudgeonly pastor 🙂

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