But if I say, “I will not remember Him, Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire, Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it. (Jeremiah 20:9, NASB)

Finally Giving In To Weariness

I actually began to cover this issue some time ago in Emergent Church: Dan Kimball Is Not Thoroughly Orthodox. But for those familiar with my recent post The Emergent Church and their Ecumenical Change Agents here at Apprising Ministries I made the following statement:

Please understand that there is an impassible chasm between men like me who proclaim the Gospel to unbelievers and men like Dan Kimball who want to talk about it with them.

Men and women, we have now reached the point where either men like Charles Spurgeon and Dr. John MacArthur are Christians or people like Rob Bell and Erwin McManus, both leaders in the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church, are. Because the time has arrived to be brutally honest and publicly admit that we are simply not preaching the same Gospel.

And I would place Dan Kimball into the same equation. I am speaking strictly out of my own personal convictions because I am weary of attempting to hold inside what I believe to be of the Lord. Whether it is or not you must dokimazo for yourself. In any event, the above comment led to an honest and important question being raised to me over at Slice of Laodicea in the comments section of Ingrid Schlueter’s piece Willow Creek Arts Conference 2:

“If [Dan Kimball] truly preaches a perverted, or different gospel, then I need to know. I thought from all I’ve seen and read that He is orthodox in his understanding of the Gospel.”

This piece is to now embellish upon my answer and to also comment on Kimball’s recent assertions that I shouldn’t refer to his doctrine as “vague.” First of all, in my answer to the above point at SOL I said that I agree; people will need to know that information. In my view this is all going to come down to what one considers a “perverted, or different gospel”. And, as I stated there, it is not my intent to fully argue this right now. Suffice to say at this point I have spoken my opinion from my own Christian convictions that I believe Kimball is preaching a “vague and perverted” gospel. But he is hardly alone.

Then other day at the What We Have Here Is blog Kimball said:

Hi Ken Silva,
I would encourage you to please tell the truth that I am not being vague about doctrine, as I even took the time and called you up on the phone a few weeks ago and I specifically walked you through the doctrines I believe and followed that up with an email list to you of the doctrines we teach and hold to – so that you wouldn’t be saying I am vague. (Online source)

This is true; he did. But it is also true that I explained to him how it is not a clear message when someone outlines their views as being orthodox, which Kimball does do, but then turns around and openly aligns himself with Emergent men who clearly are not. Some are so far out we can’t even get a radar fix. So you see Mr. Spencer at Bore’s Head Tavern there is more to the story. And the last time I checked, for one to be “unclear” is also to be vague, as in “not clearly expressed.” So in Kimball’s case, it is true that the words do look pretty good on paper. However, as I literally told him, because he is openly embracing the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church his practice now belies his statement of orthodoxy.

A good analogy, and I also shared this with him, for Kimball in the emerging church and myself would be my own stance in the Slowly Becoming Catholic denomination. If I see heresy and apostasy coming into the SBC then I am bound as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to speak out against it, publicly oppose it, and to defend proper doctrine. And the record is very clear that this is exactly what I am doing. However, as I explained to Kimball he is clearly not doing so in the case of the Emergent Church. As I also pointed out to him, if you don’t publicly disassociate yourself from apostate Emergent leaders like Brian McLaren and neo-orthodox (at best) teachers like Rob Bell then you are responsible for lending them your supposed orthodoxy.

Salvation: God Alone, Or God Plus Man

These issues really come down to whether one believes in monergism, as I do, or synergism, as Dan does. If you are a monergist and believe that God alone is responsible for the salvation of man, then you cannot also be a synergist and believe that on some level man is involved in the salvation process. My friend Bob DeWaay is correct when he says, “the synergist must admit that the reason he or she is saved and someone else is not is found only in themselves, not in God…[and] a logical corollary to their belief is that if God is indeed always doing everything He can to save everyone, and yet some are saved and some are not, then the reason some are saved has to be found in them, not God” (Online source)

So as I asked Kimball when we spoke on the phone, how possibly does a deeply rooted semi-pelagian and twisted Arminianism in the emerging church then square up with the Biblical doctrines of grace and the absolute sovereignty of God? Answer: It doesn’t. I have said many times that this whole Church Growth Movement, and the Emergent Church, which is really just the church growth strategy for the so-called postmodern “emerging generation,” is already outside orthodoxy. I can also tell you that it is most definitely not orthodox, nor is it even “Protestant,” to accept the apostate religion of Roman Catholicism as a Christian denomination, which Kimball does.

My particular personal position is e.g. Dr. John MacArthur correctly preaches no one can come to Christ apart from God electing them and then granting them the faith to believe. Mankind is totally depraved and apart from this gift irretrievably lost because they cannot seek God on their own. And whether he claims this or not, the fact is that Dan Kimball is a semi-pelagian new evangelical and as such must equivocate that while God saves a person He does so in some fashion of looking into their heart to see if they are going to believe. If they will God then “helps” them. As a former Roman Catholic I can tell you with certainty that this is the very essence of the non-gospel of Romanism–that man on some level cooperates with God in the salvation process–save for the baptismal regeneration.

In my mind then this is another gospel; it is vague and unclear, and I personally can no longer in good conscience deny this. I have been led to the conviction that the majority of apostatizing evangelicalism, virtually all of new evangelicalism and the emerging church currently preach a deficient semi-pelagian gospel. Now whether Kimball is a “brother” or not I don’t presume to say; but I for one, will have nothing to do with yoking myself to him–or any of these Emergent rebels–until there would be full repentance from this perversion of the Gospel. It is as I was quoted in the recent Christian Post piece Emergent Church Debated Battled In Posters:

It grieves me that the evangelical community by embracing this (at best) neo-orthodox movement will now find itself arguing for, and having to defend, what should have been its most basic beliefs. (Online source)

You know, a while back Steve Camp wrote an excellent article which sums all of this up quite nicely in just the title alone: “Are There Any Men Of God In The EC Movement Who Stand For Biblical Truth And Are Willing To Confront Error Head On? If So, Please Come Forward…” So Dan Kimball, if you truly are orthodox, then how about you?