Apprising Ministries is a online apologetics and discernment labor in the Lord and part of my commission as pastor-teacher is to help make you aware of trends within the church visible. I wish I had better news but as I survey the horizon I see a tsunami of apostasy on the way; in large part because spiritually obtuse leaders within seriously squishy evanjellyfish didn’t fight the neo-liberal cult of the Emerging Church, but rather, foolishly they would embrace it.

Well after all, they were only following Acts 15:1-2 in their new Missional Bible translation Anything Goes Evangelicalism: How To Make The World Love You:

Some inovative church planters came from Judea and started teaching the Lord’s followers that they could not be saved, unless they were circumcised as Moses had taught. This caused lead apostle Paul and his missiologist bro Barnabas to include them in the next Explosive Growth conference so they share how they had contextualized the gospel.

So it was decided to send Paul and Barnabas and a few others to Jerusalem to have a missions conference with the apostles and the church leaders there to teach them how the missional church planters were engaging the Jewish culture and bringing the church back to her Jewishness.

Now I’ve pointed out before that a core doctrine of the Emergent Church has always been the corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which numbs critical thinking skills, and is now being perpetrated as so-called Spiritual Formation (SF), e.g. by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and SBC minister Dallas Willard. Another teaching at the corrosive core of the new big tent progressive/liberalism, they’re calling Emergence Christianity, is commonly known as Open Theism aka free will theology or the open view.

Once again I point you to Dr. Gary Gilley, pastor of Southern View Chapel, in four subsequent posts here at Apprising Ministries as I republish his excellent four part series on Open Theism. As you’ll see, Gilley quotes Open theist Richard Rice on the classic definition of God:

This traditional, or conventional, view emphasizes God’s sovereignty, majesty and glory. God’s will is the final explanation for all that happens; God’s glory is the ultimate purpose that all creation serves. In his infinite power, God brought the world into existence in order to fulfill his purposes and display his glory. Since his sovereign will is irresistible, whatever he dictates comes to pass and every event plays its role in his grand design. Nothing can thwart or hinder the accomplishment of his purposes. God’s relation to the world is thus one of mastery and control. (Online source)

Then Gilley points out, “Open theism challenges every tenet of the above definition, denying God’s sovereignty, His omniscience and His glory. Pinnock lays the groundwork with this definition of what he calls the openness of God.” And this isn’t a Calvinist vs. Arminian issue because Gilley is right when he tells us, “The open theist believes that both the Calvinist and the Arminian fail to resolve the sovereignty/free-will enigma.” It’s an attack on the historic, orthodox, Christian faith itself and an attempt to make a faith the world will find acceptable.

In this series Gilley will take you through the history of Open Theism, introduce you to its major proponents, as well as helping you inderstand what it teaches in a clear and concise manner. As he asks “what has motivated these theologians to trade the classical view of God for this insipid version” Gilley gives the following helpful insight from Dr. Bruce Ware:

The culture in which we live, including much of the Christian subculture, has drunk deeply at the well of self-esteem. Where the Bible enjoins unfettered but deeply humble ‘God-esteem,’ we have been conditioned to think that we should have some of that esteem for ourselves.

So, when a theology comes along that says, “God often doesn’t make up his mind what to do until he hears first from you,” or “God and you together chart out your course for the future as both of you learn together what unfolds,” or, “Sometimes God makes mistakes but we need to realize that he was doing his best,” such a view plays well with many in our culture. We feel like we are almost peers with God. (Online source)

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