We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
(2 Corinthians 5:20)

Ambassadors Declaring Biblical Facts To The Lost World

Apprising Ministries points you to a post at Remonstrans which concerns Emergent Church anti-theologian Tony Jones. What follows is an excellent example of the kind of “deep” non-thinking now confronting your youth in evangelical youth groups as more and more churches embrace Emerging Church wolves in sheep’s clothing like Jones.

The author writes:

I don’t know if you’ve ever visited an Emergent Village. I never have. I suspect the Emergent Village is a lot like Chelm but with swine. Someday I want to go to an Emergent Village,… Eventually I want to make it to their ball park.

Tony Jones is the National Coordinator here on, and he claims to have been an umpire. He told a bunch of people over at Wheaton College what a strike was [Whence Hermeneutic Authority? available here], and while I haven’t collected all the details, I gather there weren’t a lot of people cheering him around third…

Here are some of Tony’s “thoughts”. They are really bad thoughts:

Of course, it’s not lost on me that since the earliest days of the postmodern conversation, there’s been story floating around about three umpires,

• The pre-modern umpire says, “I call ‘em as they are!”
• The modern umpire says, “I call ‘em as I see ‘em!”
• The postmodern umpire says, “They ain’t nothin’ ‘till I call ‘em!”

This all stems, it seems, from the irrepressible literary critic, Stanley Fish, who years ago told this story about the legendary umpire, Bill Klem,

“Klem’s behind the plate,” Fish said. “The pitcher winds up, throws the ball. The pitch comes. The batter doesn’t swing. Klem for an instant says nothing. The batter turns around and says, ‘O.K., so what was it, a ball or a strike?’ And Klem says, ‘Sonny, it ain’t nothing ‘till I call it.’”

What the batter is assuming is that balls and strikes are facts in the world and that the umpire’s job is to accurately say which one each pitch is. But in fact balls and strikes come into being only on the call of an umpire.”
(Online source)

Tony Jones Takes A Called Strike Three

Well, I happen to come from a baseball family which is pretty well-known in New Hampshire. My dad Ralph Silva was the high school baseball coach of Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk; he’s won numerous high school baseball state championships with multiple schools, and is himself in the New Hampshire Coaches Hall of Fame. The point being, I know a bit about baseball and have even been an umpire myself.

This is why I can tell you that “the postmodern conversation” is wrong and Tony Jones really hasn’t a clue what he is talking about above. In fact, the point of Bill Klem’s story is the actually the exact opposite of the point that Jones is trying to make. Klem most assuredly knows that balls and strikes do, in fact, exist as real facts in the real world:

The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the knee cap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball. (Online source)

What Klem was actually telling the batter was: “I am an ambassador for the game of baseball, so I am the one who has the authority to declare which pitches are strikes and which ones are balls regardless of what you personally feel about it. But it’s this kind of thinking that someone like Jones objects to. Look carefully at what he says above and you’ll see that in the end this false philosophy of postmodernism is all about “me.”

And the Emergent Church doesn’t happen to like what the Bible says so they then act like “know-it-all” fourteen-year-olds when told that they aren’t going to get their way this time. Off they go stomping up to their rooms to slam the door and blast the CD player in order to try and drown out the mean ol’ world. But even in spite of their pouting, when they finally come *ahem* emerging from their room, it’s still right there.

Men and women, the historic Christian faith delivered by Christ Jesus is not about pleasing people, it’s about being His ambassadors and declaring the Truth about Him. The reason being, God’s infallible and inerrant Word in the Bible—our “Rule Book”—clearly tells us that Jesus is our Creator the LORD God Himself in human flesh. And in baseball every good umpire will have a copy of the baseball Rule Book with him because he knows that it absolutely determines the way the game is played, whether players and coaches like it or not.

So it is with Holy Scripture. The absolute Truth is—even in a so-called postmodern world—that what God has said stands, whether pouty postmodern postevangelical postliberals like Tony Jones in their Emergent Church happen to like it or not. And Tony, in this at bat, that’s strike three: “Yeeeeeeeeerrrrr out!”