I want to continue the discussion I started with the post about a lot of confusion in presenting the gospel to youth in the Young Calvinist's camp. Today, the evangelical movement seems to be splitting into two theological outlooks at opposite ends of the spectrum. But are there "other sides?" Thankfully there are, and in future posts I would like us to explore those together.
One major theme fueling these two opposites is the question of
who is in and who is out? In other words, who is really a Christian and who isn't?
The emergent church has greatly expanded the definition of who is a Christian because many of them are in a process theology of process conversion. In other words, they don't especially like the "Can you tell me the date when you were born again?" They say it's a "process." I've tried to find back-up for this but am having some trouble. It seems that in the book of Acts when people received (notice the tense) Christ, it was at a certain time....period. Again, like liberal Protestants, who really don't have a justification theology--only a sanctification one; and like Roman Catholics as well as evangelical holiness folks who confuse justification with sanctification, the emergents seem to be doing likewise.
This explains the mystery of why many emergent pastors don't have trouble with outright practicing sinners joining their "community" and even getting baptized and in some churches becoming members. By outright sinners I mean repentance is an unknown concept. Particularly thorny to many mainstream evangelicals is the emergents' acceptance of practicing homosexuals into their "community." By this they don't mean, "Hey, gay person-we want you to come and that's fine, but you just cannot sit there year after year practicing your stuff." Most emergents (Mark Driscoll et. al. excluded) don't seem to have a problem with what people do as long as they love people and help the poor (and added in today-the environment). Oh, shades of the liberal Protestant church I grew up in. We heard this "theology" all the time (excluding the gay thing since that wasn't in vogue back when).
But on the other end of the spectrum, and somewhat disappointing to me as to how they are at times presenting their view, is the Young Calvinists. I've already mentioned two audio teachings that I believe were somewhat confusing in their view of justification and sanctification. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not an extreme "Arminian," but I am not an extreme Calvinist either. And, I do believe that all Christians should read Reformational doctrine to really understand the importance of the cross, the Bible and what justification and sanctification really are. But it isn't helpful, especially to our youth, to confuse these two. Saying things like, "Only 90% of evangelical youth are saved" is really over the top. How do they know this?
I am giving you a teaser in this post for my hopefully upcoming podcast. I bought the book, Podcasting for Dummies and hope to get this done after my vacation...so hope to do it in late April. Until then I will just keep the teasers coming and the discussion ongoing......:)
TBN Founder Paul Crouch Dies
3 days ago