For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. (Acts 20:27-31)

A Gospel Of Mystical And Wishful Thinking?

With the Emergent Church spreading deeper into the evangelical community recently Apprising Ministries has been receiving quite a few questions concerning its teachings. Truly it is a lot like nailing jello to the wall. MacArthur has pointed out:

The bottom line, I think, in the movement is that it is a denial of the clarity of Scripture. It is a denial that we can know what the Bible really says. And as I said, it’s amorphous because there’s a mish-mash of approaches to this and a mish-mash of styles and things like that. But they have embraced this mystery as if it’s true spirituality. And so, it becomes celebration of mystery, a celebration of ignorance, a celebration that we can’t really know. I think it’s just another form of liberalism. I think it’s just another form of denying the clarity of Scripture. And I think there’s a motive behind it…it’s just another philosophy.

You can read more in Dr. John MacArthur on the Postliberal Cult of the Emerging Church. A while back Emerging Church Pastor Doug Pagitt was very high profile and in a rare instance quite frank about Emergent *ahem* theology.

In The Emergent Cult over at his Fishers of Men Bill Phillips did a good job in bringing us up to speed concerning two important appearances of Doug Pagitt:

a famous emergent church pastor, was interviewed on the podcast (October 13) by Matt Slick, and on Way of the Master Radio (October 22, Hour 1) by Todd Friel. Each host asked seemingly simple questions, and Pagitt answered neither because he didn’t like the wording…

When Friel asked his question, Pagitt responded that he didn’t like the question because he doesn’t believe heaven is a real place. After jockeying over the wording of the question for a few minutes, it morphed to, “What happens to the soul of a good Buddhist after they die?” Pagitt decided that he or she would be reconciled to God, ending up in the same place as Christians.

This pastor’s words show a fundamental misunderstanding of the gospel. (Online source)

“But I Don’t Wanna Have To Teach Proper Doctrine!”

You can read a transcript of that appearance on WOTM here. Also on her Crosstalk radio program May 16, 2007 Ingrid Schlueter had the followng exchange with Pagitt:

Ingrid Schlueter: So what you’re saying is that the question of whether the Gospel exists in other religions is a thrilling question that we should be asking.

Doug Pagitt: I think it’s the biblical question. Yes, I think it’s the right biblical question. I think, I find that you couldn’t read the New Testament without that question being raised and without the answers to it being the answers that we should be paying to; which is there is no culture or religion which holds God in complete isolation or purity. (15:25-15:56)

Then a bit later along the same line:

Ingrid Schlueter: So we could interpret what you’re saying as how is God at work; how is the Gospel present within Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism—all of the different religions of the world.

Doug Pagitt: Yeah, for sure because—I mean—Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, those are not—I me—they are the right way to say ‘em. They are “isms,”right; so they are a school of thought, and they are also embedded in a particular cultural setting. And so I think someone could say, “yes, I can see how God—how God is expressed, talked about, understood, through these schools of thought.” Which I find to be quite helpful and they’re not all in contrast with my Christianity. (17:05-17:47)  (Online source)

Also in Doug Pagitt Speaks…In A Kinda, Sorta Emerging Church Way…On Carm Podcast I shared that back on August 9th of 2007 I received a call from one of my Christian Research Network contributors; my good friend Chris Rosebrough, also of Extreme Theology and A Little Leaven. He informed me that he was in Las Vegas at the Madalay Bay Hotel and had just spoken with Doug Pagitt on his cell phone while Pagitt was at the Denver Airport heading on to New Mexico. Chris told me that during his conversation Doug Pagitt confidently and unblinkingly denied the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement.

He also explained how Pagitt told Chris that he does not teach any doctrine at Solomon’s Porch, which is the emerging church where Pagitt is supposed to be pastor. Rosebrough then mentioned that this dubious decision lead to a very vigorous debate over the Biblical mandate given to pastors in that we — must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:9). According to Chris they also had a discussion about what the Biblical word for doctrine (didaskalia) actually means.

And so I will point out again that the question you need to begin asking your local evangelical church leadership right now is: What are men like this, who know not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, doing in the sheep pens of our youth groups? 

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