The 3 streams of the emerging church:
1. Guys Mark likes.
3. Guys Mark doesn't like (his "friends").
Yes, only guys, but that's an issue for another day.
In my reading this evening I came across the fact that Mark Driscoll spoke at a southern baptist conference this weekend. The reports I read so far indicate that Mark has confirmed the southern baptists' fears concerning the emerging church, and maybe thrown a few old friends under the bus.
From conference attendees:
"He talked about how Brian McClaren, Doug Pagitt, Rob Bell are basically sell outs when it comes to Scriptural integrity. He presented a strong case and held nothing back. Interesting stuff. Without a doubt, this is the most direct, I've heard Mark address these issues.
He specifically cited their views on the Atonement, views on homosexuality,rabbinical study, their influences, and theology. There were some very vivid conversations and references to the virgin Mary and McClaren's new organization, "Deep SHIfT"." (Travis Johnson)
"We just witnessed history".
"Mark Driscoll just shared a message unlike anything I have ever experienced.
Mark definitely drew a line in the sand and brought up a lot of inconsistencies with Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and Doug Pagitt - essentially the Emergent Village and movement." (Clint Carter)
Driscoll stood up and for an hour and a little more, called out heretics by name. Usually, it’s against my nature to call names and really just speak to the “issues”, which is what Mark had done up until last night. It seems as if the influence of the guys mentioned is simply too great to ignore them as individuals. The guys Driscoll pointed out as teaching false doctrine were Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, and Rob Bell. The first two were gimmes. But for a long time, people have lumped Rob Bell in with guys like Jon Burke and Erwin McManus because of style and creativity. It is simply not true. The theology of Bell is completely off base, and Driscoll really dissected it all last night, likening them to the Ebionites of the early church, and to modern-day paganists. (Derek Brown)
I want to include here some wise words from Brother Maynard (at Bill Kinnon's post, Scornucopia) concerning critique. I am not accusing Mark of using scorn in this case, but it appears that his intent is create distance.
"...there is a clear distinction between scorn and critique. The former is to deride and demote, elevating oneself and the views one holds. It creates distance. The latter is to correct what is seen as an errant viewpoint — it is offered with respect and an openness to dialogue about the matter being critiqued in the hope of finding agreement. It closes distance. One is anti-relational, the other is pro-relational...I'm all for critique aimed at closing distance, bringing understanding, and yes, correction as needed."
In discussions of doctrinal difference, at what point is it valid to accuse brothers in Christ of lacking Scriptural integrity, teaching false doctrine, and to label them heretics and paganists?
JD Greear met personally with Mark to discuss the emerging church. On his blog he describes the 3 streams Mark sees in the emerging church.
About the third stream, Mr Grear says:
"The third stream are those who have compromised some of the essential doctrines of the faith. Driscoll mentioned a number of guys--his friends--whom he said, sadly, now were in this stream. They included Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, and a few others. He cited numerous statements and excerpts from their works that demonstrated that the Gospel has been compromised in their ministries. It's worth at least hearing."
Honestly, if Mark just spelled out doctrinal differences, there is nothing wrong with that. However, it should be done in a manner in which the people hearing the message don't walk away calling the other guy a heretic or false teacher. In other words, if we are going to critique, we should go out of our way to affirm that the brothers we disagree with are as sincere as we are in their love for the Lord and the teaching of Scripture.
Fasten your seat belts folks!