See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8, NASB)

Phil Johnson Has “A Conversation” With Dan Kimball

Over at Pyromaniacs Phil Johnson writes:

Well, I did finally manage to connect with Dan Kimball by phone early this week, and I had a 2-hour conversation with him… I will say that although Dan was obviously quite busy, he was friendly and didn’t sound rushed. He’s a good, thoughtful listener… But the conversation, while helpful in many ways, did little to ease the concerns I expressed a couple of weeks ago.

I still think the Emerging Church movement as a whole has shown an uncanny knack for embracing the very features of postmodernism that Christians most need to confront. And I still think Dan Kimball’s chapter in Listening to the Beliefs of the Emerging Churches exemplifies that tendency; that he was disturbingly ambiguous in key places where he ought to have spoken more clearly; and that throughout that book Dan was much less militant than he needed to be.

Having dialogued myself with Dan Kimball on and off for a couple of years now, and knowing how when pressed for direct answers he then disappears, I left the following in the comment section of this discussion:

I’ll just remind everyone that this Emergent Church movement calls itself “the conversation.” In that context Dr. John MacArthur has pointed out that a conversation never really has to go anywhere or come to a conclusion.

Now we ask ourselves, what is to be gained in a circular dialogue with “emerging” Christians who are also to be “committed” to Christ and yet are so noncommittal in what they will stand for?

Sadly, their postmodernism will prevent them from taking many definitive positions because this philosophy view holds that truth is open to the perception of the beholder. And to be too dogmatic would then also work against their ecumenicism. In truth, they are trapped by what we are warned about in Colossians 2:8.

You can read the rest of Johnson’s post and the comments section where Frank Turk really put whiny Emergent Pastor Bob Hyatt in his place right here.