There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12, KJV)

Redefining Preaching As “Progressive Dialogue” In Community

Here’s another example of the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church denying Sola Scriptura right in line with apostate Roman Catholicism and looking just like her harlot mother the man-loving semi-pelagian Church of Rome. The following comes from the 2005 book Preaching Re-Imagined [read:redefined] by Emergent Church innovator Doug Pagitt who is “pastor of Solomon’s Porch–a holistic, missional, Christian faith community–in Minneapolis, MN” (back flap).

Now I realize this will probably come as a shock to many of you but amazingly enough–probably because allegedly he’s not such an influential leader in the Emergent rebellion against the Bible–Pagitt’s book is endorsed by Guru Brian McLaren who prophesies:

Ten years from now Christian leaders around the world will be talking about “preaching versus speaching” and progressive dialogue, and they’ll point to this book as the one that stimulated thinking about what happens in church gatherings week by week (back cover).

And here’s another Dan Kimball sighting. Kimball is also endorsing a good many books himself these days. He tells us, well…kinda, sorta:

We need to preach, but perhaps we have turned contemporary preaching into something it wasn’t meant to be. Doug is not afraid to ask the hard questions, but he doesn’t stop there – he gives hope for what re-imagined preaching could be (ibid).

Wow! Man alive, that’s a pretty powerful postmodern profession there. “Perhaps we have,” waffles Dan. And he hints to us that Pagitt “gives hope for what re-imagined [repainted, redefined] preaching could be.” Um, unless you disagree and then…well – ah, just maybe it might not be. Seriously; have the critical thinking skills among evangelical leaders really sunk this low that they can’t see through this stuff?

The Children Will Look Like Their Mother

Now you need to understand that the authority structure for the Church of Rome is three-fold. Rome does give lip service to the authority of the Bible, then there is the College of Bishops aka the Teaching Magisterium headed by the Roman Pontiff–the Pope–“the Vicar of Christ” and finally Tradition. You can see this for yourself in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But any of us who are studied up on Roman Catholicism know that the Magisterium trumps both the Scriptures and Tradition because it is the actual final authority which interprets both of them.

And this is precisely why the Reformers used Sola Scriptura in the way they did holding that the Bible speaks for God so it alone is the final authority for doctrine as His infallible Word to His Church and mankind. Now note how Doug Pagitt in his “reimagined” pseudo-Christianity is teaching the fools who follow him that the Bible is only “an” authoritative member of these new gatherings of faith communities.

Oddly enough, as I pointed out in The Living Room Emerging Church Gatherings and Wiccan Gatherings, the above description of these so-called “Christ-followers” sounds more Wiccan than it does Christian. Pagitt will explain, in agreement with Rob Bell, that the Scriptures are to be interpreted by the community. This is actually quite similar to Rome’s own warped and toxic position, which explains why the Emergent Church is so egregiously ecumenical.

He begins with a lesson he supposedly learned from his 13-year-old son. During a family discussion “one night” Pagitt says he went and “got a Bible” simply to “make a point.” And when his son “saw the Bible,” [he] said, ‘Oh boy, here comes a speech’” (195). From that statement Pastor Pagitt makes an interesting observation:

There are those who recognize the introduction of the Bible into a conversation as an indication that a speech is coming and therefore a signal that any real dialogue is about to come to a halt (ibid.)

Here’s then we see difference between Pagitt’s Emergent man-centered view of Holy Scripture and my God-centered view. Where Pagitt sees this statement as negative and stifling conversation I would see that the young man recognized the Bible as having inherent authority. Therein lies the impassible chasm between the neo-orthodox subjective use of Scripture and the adherence to Sola Scriptura.

The authority of the Word of God should shut down man’s conversation. As it is written – I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise Your Name for Your love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word (Psalm 138:2). This certainly includes men’s conversations, how ever noble they might be. And – my heart trembles at Your Word (Psalm 119:161). O that the Lord had but even a few of those people within leadership in the nearly comatose American Christian Church!

Yet Pagitt will use this to go on and set up his straw man in order to attack it in the quote to follow as he says we need to “live a faith where the Bible has a more authoritative role than that of a cold, dead record of the past” (194). But as you can now see this is not the way the historic orthodox Christian Church views the Bible in the first place. But like any cult the Emergent Church, following in the footsteps of the counterfeit Christian Roman Catholic religion, must undermine the authority of God’s Word to advance their perverse people-pleasing interpretations of it.

And so it is with Pagitt as he will then say:

The Bible ought to live as an authoritative member of our community, one we listen to on all topics of which she speaks. Understanding the Bible as a community member means giving the Bible the freedom to speak for herself. Sometimes that will mean getting out of the way and putting less effort into interpreting Scripture for others, instead letting them carry out their own relationship with what the Bible says (195).

Just perfect for a “me” generation but is actually the fetid fruit of years of Bible studies where we all discussed what particular verses of the Bible meant to each of us. However, God’s Word cuts right across this kind of selfish flesh-pandering teaching because the absolute Truth is that the glorious and majestic, great and mighty LORD God Almighty–Creator of the universe–couldn’t care one whit what degenerate and rebellious creatures think He ought to do.

Sound harsh and unloving? Not to the genuine Christian. So if you’re feeling a rising anger at what I have just said then you’d best follow the Biblical admonition of 2 Corinthians 13:5 – Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test (NASB)? For you see, the true child of God knows that the most loving thing the Lord could do is to save us from ourselves.

We who truly love Jesus also know that the Great Shepherd has lovingly and ever so gently told His sheep–not the sharpest knives in the animal drawer–that He gave us His Word so we might attain – wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; [and] for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair (Proverbs 1:2-3). You see God is not having “the conversation” with us. No, rather He is instructing us to – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance (v.5).

But the Lord is also warning mankind in no uncertain mystery-embracing terms that – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7)