I want you to realize that the prevailing view in contemporary educational institutions is postmodern. Emergent is postmodern theology. I talked to a college professor from Japan who spoke at a conference here in America that was attended only by other college professors—Christian ones. He said almost to a person those professors were postmodern. They were praising people like Stanley Grenz for saving evangelicalism from irrelevance. 

What some people are falsely believing and they are implementing this, is they are believing that if they don’t go emergent or if they don’t have something that looks emergent, or sounds emergent or feels emergent, their young people won’t want to go there. They’re willing to give up on the education of a whole generation….turn them over to the wolves and let them have their experience. “We can’t teach old-fashion theology” they say to the young people. 

Yes we can, and if anyone wants to see a living demonstration of it, I will have them come here on Wednesday night and see the 8 year olds learning Christian worldview better than most adult Christians.  Okay—and we have some ladies here that are fantastic at writing curriculum that is Christ-centered. Because the young leaders of this movement are intellectuals, Christian young people admire them; they listen to them. 

Many Christian churches have failed to provide an intellectually viable satisfactory defense of the historical Christian faith. I remember one of the things that Chris Roseborough [said], who has a radio station called Pirate Christian Radio, as we sat there listening to this and listening to Moltmann; listening to these leaders, he said to me “the evangelical church is defenseless against this right now.” And the reason we are defenseless is we’re not even talking about the right issues. 

Okay, we are fighting the 50 year old battle and we are not even taking up the 21st century battle. As we have been saying [in this series], the topic now is spiritual evolution; if we can’t fight spiritual evolution, then we are not even relevant to what questions are being asked, and what things are being asserted. Something has to change and I think this dumbing down of the church is horrible, it’s horrible. There is not reason why we can’t be well enough trained and well enough equipped to deal with the heresies that are coming into the church on their own level, call them what they are, and show how they are wrong. 

Why can’t we do this? Why do we have to allow the entire movement to go to this postmodern ditch? One more point, we lack a 21st century Francis Schaeffer, and I know some people say, “Well no, don’t use the big words and just give a real simple”; and you know what, Francis Schaeffer—I dedicated my book to his memory. Francis Schaeffer saw in the middle of the 20th century that the liberals were drawing young people into liberalism because the liberals were the intellectuals. The liberals had the brain power, they were writing the books, so Francis Schaeffer did not want to see that happen and he started L’Abri [to] show that evangelicals had answers and they had answers at the same level that the liberals are giving to heresy. 

And so he brought in these young people and they grew up understanding Christianity because of an intellectually viable strong teaching that they got from Francis Schaeffer. So I cite him throughout my book [The Emergent Church– Undefining Christianity] just to show how he saw what was going on.  He rebukes the Emergent Church before it ever emerged!  Okay…and that is why I use Schaffer.  Now, the first session there [at the Jurgen Moltmann Conversation] I did not attend, but Chris did.  The reason I didn’t was because I didn’t want to give them $25.00 more dollars! 

It was called Moltmann 101 – this lady that wrote the book The Boundary-Breaking God, [Danielle Shroyer], she was the one who was teaching people what the basics of Moltmann’s theology is all about. She is a disciple of Moltmann and I put that up there [on the slide]—you can’t read it—but on the cover is an endorsement of her book by Jurgen Moltmann. Now, what did she call Jurgen Moltmann’s theology?  Neo-Hegelian, panentheistic, universalism; that is what they call themselves.[1]

Pastor Bob DeWaay


[1] Session 4: Emergence Theory: How Pantheism and Panentheism are Being Brought Into the Church and Sold as a New Spirituality of Hope, Faith at Risk 5.