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      The Emergent Church and its Self-Refuting Views

      Tuesday, August 5, 2008

      self-refuting idea (n): Self-refuting ideas are ideas or statements whose falsehood is a logical consequence of the act or situation of holding them to be true. [Wiki]

      One of the major complaints I have with the emergent church and "relativism" as a whole is that the premises they work with are almost entirely self-refuting in nature. For example, Rob Bell says in Velvet Elvis,

      I was in an intense meeting with our church leaders in which we were discussing several passages in the Bible. One of the leaders was sharing her journey in trying to understand what the Bible teaches about the issue at hand and she said something like this: “I’ve spent a great deal of time recently studying this issue. I’ve read what the people on the one side of the issue say, and I’ve read what the people on the other side say. I’ve read the scholars and the theologians and all sorts of others on this subject. But then, in the end, I decided to get back to the Bible and just take it for what it really says.”

      Now please understand that this way of thinking is prevalent in a lot of Christian churches,…but this view of the Bible is warped and toxic, to say the least… The assumption is that there is a way to read the Bible that is agenda—and perspective—free…This perspective is claiming that a person can simply read the Bible and do what it says—unaffected by any outside influences… When you hear people say they are just going to tell you what the Bible means, it is not true. They are telling you what they think it means (053, 054, emphasis his).


      Well, if it's true that "when (we) hear people say they are just going to tell (us) what the Bible means, it is not true," are we supposed to apply this to Bell, also? As Ken Silva has pointed out, he does tell us what the Bible means does he not? He's also a person so he meets both the criteria he sets out to dismiss in his quote. It's a self-refuting argument.

      Another example is when someone tells us there's no such thing as absolute truth. You then ask them, "Is that absolutely true?" Unless they're extremely dishonest, they'll then realize the futility of their argument.

      Doug Eaton (who I'm happy to say I'll be near in about 10 days or so) put together an excellent critique of the emergent church and it's self-refuting views. Take the arguments he gives seriously and question if what these emergents/relativists are promoting could actually be held as Biblical truth. Of course, if people say that there's no such thing as absolute truth, that includes the Bible. That should alarm anyone who professes to be a Christian.




      Here's another great video from CrossTV about this issue:




      END OF POST

      3 comments:

      Anonymous said...

      Hi Lane, Great blog !

      I have offered to buy a couple of books for my friends introducing them to Christianity, however I am unsure of what books adequately portray the gospel of Jesus Christ these days and am wondering if you know of any (preferably more than one book) that could be used as a way to preach the gospel to them. They are avid readers so the length of the books matter not. Finally they are more than willing to be 'hard hit' by the gospel and as I'm sure u wud agree with, should not be given books that contain a watered down modern version of the gospel. So with that in mind, the harsher the better.


      Thanks in advance.
      Jay

      ethanvjones said...

      Hi Lane,

      I appreciate the videos you've been sending me. You look like you're still holding your own, which is reassuring. I honestly didn't expect those who supported Joel Osteen to be so aggressive.

      My recommendation to you: I noticed that you listen to the White Horse Inn. This is good. I have listened to many of Michael Horton's sermons and I have come to regard him as one of the most insightful and enlightened Reformed theologians of our day. He is especially adept at handling matters pertaining to suffering, self-righteousness and downright hypocrisy.

      Anyway, blessings to you.

      Lane Chaplin said...

      Jay, I've been meaning to make a post with books I recommend for a while now. This gives me more of a reason to raise it on the list of urgency. Until then, though, three that I recommend right off hand are All of Grace by Spurgeon, What is Faith? by Machen, The God Who Justifies by James White.

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