Qualities like diversity, ambiguity, mystery, and novelty—as well as qualms about expressing our own certainty—will sound like positive virtues to almost anyone steeped in postmodern entertainments and mass media. But from a biblical perspective, those things are not inherently virtuous at all. In fact, they are all fraught with serious and significant dangers, especially when applied with lavish abandon to biblical theology and hermeneutics.

Sober, careful consideration of the biblical exhortations for Christians to guard sound doctrine would soon peel the mask of “virtue” off the postmodernist value system. Specifically, a better understanding of the biblical concept of humility would help correct the most glaring, fundamental flaw of the [Emerging Church Movement’s] approach to Scripture and doctrine: an almost impenetrable apathy about what’s really true.

In biblical terms it is anything but humble to imply God’s Word is not sufficiently clear—as if we can’t possibly be sure what the Bible means and as if we should never be so “arrogant” as to defend its truths against the enemy’s ruthless attempts to twist and subvert what God has said. For Christians blithely to accept (or even defer to) the postmodern premise that certainty and arrogance are essentially the same thing is to surrender a major portion of the very ground we are called to defend.

This is no minor or incidental matter. John MacArthur writes [in Truth War]:

What is really at stake are the very same truths the serpent sought to subvert when he asked Eve, “Has God indeed said…?” (Genesis 3:1). They are the same truths that have always been at the heart of the Truth War—the inspiration, authority, inerrancy, sufficiency, and perspicuity (clarity) of Scripture….Surely those are issues that cannot be swept aside or discounted as marginal in the name of a twisted notion of charity or false humility.

No one would argue that everything in the Bible is crystal clear. The inspired text itself contains an acknowledgment that “some things [in it]…are hard to understand” (2 Pet. 3:16). We’re not to imagine, however, that most of the Bible is sheer mystery—so lacking in clarity that every interpretation and every opinion about every doctrine deserves equal (or automatic) respect. In fact, Christian leaders in particular are charged with the task of defending the truth against those who would twist it (Acts 20:28-31).

As politically incorrect as this might sound to postmodern ears, there are abroad and within the church “many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers….They must be silenced…” (Titus 1:10-11). Or, in the more picturesque imagery of King James parlance, “[Their] mouths must be stopped.” How false teachers are to be silenced is one of those things in Scripture that is crystal clear. It is not by physical force or by auto-da-fé.

They are to be refuted and rebuked by qualified elders in the church who are skilled in the Scriptures, “able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). That presupposes that vital truth is clear enough to know for certain. And it prescribes a clear remedy involving exhortation, reproof, rebuke, and correction. (Reforming or Conforming?: Post-Conservative Evangelicals and the Emerging Church, 217, 218).