A main focus of this particular online apologetics and discernment work here at Apprising Ministries, has been monitoring and exposing of the Emerging Church,  now upgraded to 2.0 with its newer, more clearly delineated, postmodern Progressive Christian theology.

This new, and not improved, liberal theology—a Liberalism 2.0—is what this sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church will often refer to as “big tent” Emergence Christianity

You’re likely aware of leaders within this EC—seeker driven for the “counter-culture”—movement like the Emerging Church trinity of apostates, Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren, universalist Emerging Church pastor Doug Pagitt, and his friend Tony Jones, the progressive “theologian in residence” at Solomon’s Porch.

Having been embraced by spiritually obtuse evangelicals, vipers such as these have long been teaching counterfeit forms of Christianity to young mainstream evangelicals.

A case in point is Fuller Seminary Sponsors Emerging Church Heretic Doug Pagitt:

(Online source)

As I said before thanks to FTS, for example, we’d been able to come to know that Doug Pagitt Points Us To Michael Dowd. You might recall I’ve explained that “Rev.” Michael Dowd is the evolutionary Pentecostal preacher who tries to teach us that the sinful nature is actually good, God is not a person, and the Bible is driving people away from him/her/it.

Very nice; and yet Doug Pagitt Agrees With Michael Dowd enough to have said recently:

I like what he’s up to…he’s written a book called, Thank God for Evolution and his argument is that there’s this big thing going on in the larger story of the cosmos and that it’s not at all inconsistent with Christianity; it’s not all inconsistent with the Hebrew faith, it’s not at all inconsistent with the other great faiths of the world.[1]

Right; and I guess we’d better keep an eye out for those flaming snowflakes again this winter as well. The truth is Doug Pagitt just doesn’t believe the things Christians believe; as I showed you in Toxic Theology Of Doug Pagitt, where you might recollect I pointed you to a review of Pagitt’s book A Christianity Worth Believing, appropriately entitled A Simple Review of “A Christianity Worth Believing.”

There we read:

What Christianity has Pagitt presented us? We are taught that sin isn’t a serious issue, that Jesus was simply an example of what we’re meant to do, that the crucifixion wasn’t necessary in the long run, that the afterlife isn’t important, and that we can learn a lot more from holistic medicine than we can the Bible. At what point does this become Christianity? How can this be Christianity? The role of Christ is diminished and our role with God is simply played out in a post-modern ideal that borders along pantheism. You can call it spirituality, but you can’t call it Christianity. (Online source)

Like I brought out previously, he could quite literally say: “Hi, I’m Doug Pagitt; I’m a Christian, though I don’t believe virtually anything Christians believe.” This is further confirmed by Jeremy Bouma, whom I introduced you to in Dissention Growing Around The Emerging Church. You might remember I told you that Bouma had written a post where he said Goodbye Emergent: Why I’m Taking The Theology of the Emerging Church To Task.

Therein Bouma, writing “as one who has been on the inside of and involved with this conversation for half a decade,” gave the reasons he’s leaving the EC. He also tells us that he’s:

waded through the theology of this conversation for 5 years, the last 2 of which has coincided with a serious academic pursuit of biblical and historical theological training. In that experience I have found major problems with EC theological reflection on sin, human nature, atonement (or lack thereof), salvation, judgment, and eschatology. These are not from blog posts. These are from books. Not from speeches at conferences or ephemeral conversations, but ideas encapsulated in published works. (Online source

Not too long after that Bouma did an entire, rather scholarly, series Pagitt and Pelagius: An Examination of an Emerging Neo-Pelagianism. Now consider the following by Jeremy Bouma from his post Pagitt and Pelagius: An Examination of an Emerging Neo-Pelagianism—Discipleship and Judgment 5:

Pelagius and Pagitt agree that the example and pattern of Christ is primary for our “salvation” and “integration with the life of God,” they go about it in different ways. Pagitt denies the penal essence of the event of the cross by dismissing the suffering, bloodshed, and death of Christ as reflective of ancient Greek blood god myths. Pelagius on the other hand, acknowledges that Christ’s suffering, shed blood, and death actually does something for us. While a more exhaustive study of Pelagius’ soteriology is necessary, it appears likely that he believes the cross is penal in essence, recognizing Jesus’ suffering and bloodshed provides justification for, salvation from, and forgiveness of sins, while needing the example of Christ to carry us to the end. Pagitt’s theology of salvation reduces the cross to mere example. In fact, in so doing he is left only with the example, pattern, way, and teachings of Christ. This is likely why Pagitt and the broader Emerging Church focus on following the teachings and example of Jesus: without the penalty of the cross that is all that is left.

Here is where Pagitt agrees with Pelagius: in order to live a life of righteousness, a new example and pattern must replace the old ones found in Adam and others. The cross does not save, but the example of Jesus does. While Pelagius believes the cross provides for the forgiveness of past sins through faith and “the holy lather” of baptism, Pelagius does not stop with faith alone, but rather requires disciplined following after the example of Christ to provide for future salvation. Both Pagitt and Pelagius, then, rely upon the example of Christ for ultimate, eschatological salvation, in addition to the inner goodness of humanity to obey and choose integration with God.

This theology of “salvation by example” influences how Pagitt views discipleship and eschatology (end things). Those who decide to follow this new pattern are invited into God’s work now, for “the kingdom-of-God gospel calls us to partner with God, to be full participants in the life God is creating, to follow in the way of Jesus as we seek to live as people who are fully integrated with our Creator.”[2] Instead of choosing to live lives of disintegration, we are called to be fully integrated with God now. This is possible because 1) we are “inherently godly,” having the “light of God” within us; and 2) “we can change the patterns wired into us from our families and create new ways of relating and being.”[3] Discipleship, then, is about choosing to live well with God in this life. (Online source)

With this all fresh in your mind I bring you the Fuller Theological Seminary “News” Emergent Church Author Doug Pagitt Discusses New Book:

Doug Pagitt, author and pastor in the emergent church movement, discussed his new book, Church in the Inventive Age, in “A Conversation on Theology and Culture,” an event held on Tuesday, October 19. Associate Professor of Church in Contemporary Culture Ryan Bolger hosted the event, which was sponsored by the Lowell W. Berry Center for Lifelong Learning and the Office of Alumni and Church Relations.

Earlier in the day Pagitt had conducted a “Social Media Bootcamp” on campus, a one-day workshop covering ministry uses of blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and broadcast media. “When I started researching the church in contemporary culture 12 years ago,” said Bolger, “Doug Pagitt’s name kept coming up.” With his new book, Bolger noted, Pagitt is still “on the edge” of this kind of research, because “if you’re looking for books on doing church in this culture, they’re just not out yet.” (Online source)

But we’ve seen already that Doug Pagitt is an apostate, at best, and isn’t teaching anything consistent with the historic orthodox faith, so the only way he could be considered “doing church” would be by mental off-roading into the postmodern Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language. Pagitt has now dreamed something he calls “the inventive age”; however, what this actually turns out to be is an artificial category where we can just make stuff up about God and then pawn it off onto the Biblically illiterate.

FTS then tells us:

In the inventive age, “the church is no longer the first place people go for information,” Pagitt observed. “The idea that the pastor is the person who knows the most just doesn’t sell anymore.” In this new era characterized by global thinking, creativity, and technology-powered social networking, the main question people bring to the church, Pagitt says, is “What can you create that I can participate in?”

Regarding the pastor’s new role, Pagitt remarked, “What we need is a community curator of spirituality.” In his book he explores the question, “What is it going to look like when churches manifest the gospel in the inventive age?” (Online source)

Again, what’s happening is Pagitt’s cobbled together in his spiritual basement his own version of Christianity; then he tells people that in his global Pagittianity the “community” decides what parts of it they want to “participate in.” Pretty neat, huh? Sola Scriptura’s shown the door, out goes the need for a pastor-teacher, and in comes something called “a community curator of spirituality.” Then as they practice the spurious spirituality of that “big thing going on in the larger story of the cosmos,” Pagitt mentions above, they’ll “manifest the gospel” of Pagittianity, which is a type of pagan universalism.

Like I said before; I don’t know about you, but I’m really having a hard time understanding why any seminary that would claim to be Christian would sponsor and promote this terrible theology. But to put this into proper perspective for you; Fuller Theological Seminary is sponsoring and promoting, not Christianity, but pagan Pagittianity.


[1] From transcript in Universalism Is Too Small For Doug Pagitt.

[2] Doug Pagitt, A Christianity Worth Believing [San Francisco: Josey-Bass, 2008], 226.

[3] Ibid., 137, 141, 167.

See also: