“The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: A Polemic Against Christendom”

That’s the title of a blog post, in two parts, that was published in the ‘Emergent Village’ subsection of the Progressive Christianity section at Patheos.com. You can read it here.

If you are unfamiliar with what is called emergent/progressive Christianity it’s basically a movement dedicated to destroying orthodox Christianity. The above title, ‘A Polemic Against Christendom’ should be a clue. Here are two small portions of the original article:

Is the bible the Word of God?

What are we saying when we make this statement (the Bible is the Word of God)? Two things really: first, God’s word is limited to the text itself and nothing else. . . Second, it places the writer’s intentions secondary to “God’s intentions” (I have also heard it said “God’s intentions trumps the authors intentions”) – though it’s not entirely clear how one has the ability to know “God’s intentions”.

As to the first contention, that in saying that the Bible is the Word of God we are limiting God’s word to words on a page is patently absurd. I know of no Christian, past or present that would make that claim. As to the second contention, I really have not figured out what he is trying to say, other than we cannot know God’s intentions. While we cannot know everything God has planned, we can know quite a bit of it. It’s in the Bible, the written word of God.

A major objective of the Emergent cause is to destroy the credibility of the Bible, much like the Serpent in the Garden. The author of the article says:

“The bible is not the WORD OF GOD. The WORD OF GOD is Jesus Christ.”

He also says:

The WORD OF GOD is a moment that a human being encounters. It is Jesus Christ in his full glory and revelation. The WORD OF GOD occurs through a compilation of acts that bring forth the WORD OF GOD within the individual– prayer, reading and meditating on sacred scripture, fellowship, and worship.

If Jesus is the Word of God (and he is) how is it that the Word of God is also a ‘moment’? Is Jesus a ‘moment’ or is he the Son of God? Is he both? If the author’s Jesus a ‘moment’ is his Jesus the Jesus of the Bible?

There is nothing I could find in the article that recognized Jesus Christ as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is reduced to a ‘moment that ‘occurs’ when we ‘do’ certain things. Of course no self-respecting Emergent would say Christ died for our sins. God sending his son to die was cosmic child abuse, according to some of the major players in the movement. That, my friends is not the gospel message of the Bible and not true Christianity. But then again, the Bible is not the word of God and Paul was just a man who wrote a good book, so Paul’s definition if the gospel could be flawed, so maintains the author.

That’s all I have time for at the moment. I mentioned the referenced article to a friend of our and she asked me to post it. Rather than posting the entire article and cause your brains to explode, I just posted a small portion and the link to the original, here.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/emergentvillage/2013/04/the-bible-is-not-the-word-of-god-a-polemic-against-christendom/

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Categories: Apologetics

12 replies

  1. I almost stopped at my tracks at Dan C

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  2. Hmm, interesting. I really do believe the bible is the word of God and it made me kind of sad that the article said it has no power, there’s nothing magical there. Actually when the Author Himself shows up and starts reading it to you, it’s pretty powerful and even feels a bit “magical.”

    Hidden somewhere in that article is a good point however, about the difference between what we think we know God requires of us, versus what God really does require of us. There are some people who really do pervert scripture and use it as a weapon, not to edify anyone, but to abuse others. I didn’t realize this until I went on the internet and started encountering some of those unpleasant people. They’re rare, but they’re real. The other day I wrote a bit about how we ourselves can get scripture wrong. That doesn’t mean scripture is wrong, it means our human capacity to mess up just about anything is unlimited.

    https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/blessed-be-the-peace-keepers/

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  3. Interesting. Did you also note the author of that article said, “Sacred scripture means nothing if it is not alive inside the individual. Embodied, fully embraced. The intent of the bible is to provide context for who we are as human beings, who god is as God; and how God has acted throughout history. It is a testimony to our lord Jesus Christ.”

    Dan, you correctly used the term ‘polemic’ in your title instead of review. A fair and just review of the 2013 article might have been more in line with Jesus’ call for unity.

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    • That was the author’s title, not mine. And HIS polemic (contentious argument) was against ‘Christendom’, or the orthodox church, which the emergent community disdains. I would also suggest that Scripture, being the Word of God, is not dependent on being embraced by little old me. God’s Word is just as meaningful in and of itself because it IS the Word of God. One of the basic goals of the Emergent movement is to diminish the written Word of God and call it a collection of propositional statements that can be useful in guiding our lives. When the author says that The Word of God ‘occurs’ when we do certain things and in some way makes US the Word of God is frankly not much more that a form of pantheism, just without saying God is in trees and rocks. B.B. Warfield, eminent Princeton theologian of the 19th and 20th centuries once said that “When the Bible speaks, God speaks!” The Bible is just a ‘context’? To say that’s all the Bible was meant to be wound be, according to Merriam Webster, heresy.

      You said that the title was mine, which it was not, and a just and fair review of the original article would be more in line with Jesus’ call for unity. That was a mistake a more careful reading of the original post could have been avoided. Don’t worry, I’m not upset.

      The emergent view of the gospel, and denial of Christ’s substitutionary atonement is false and the Emergent gospel is a different gospel and according to the Paul they would say just wrote ‘good stuff’ said of everyone who would teach a different gospel than the one he preached, “let them be accursed!” (eternally condemned). How’s that for unity?

      Sadly, many have fallen for the emotional feelings driven false theology of the Emergent Village. They hate real theology and the honest exegesis of scripture and would rather sit around on couches with a few lit candles here and there for ambiance and have a ‘conversation’ about what they think the Bible means rather than study it for what actually means in context.

      I was involved in ‘what does verse mean to you’ Bible studies that in essence were the same thing – 30 years ago. We just didn’t call it by a fancy name that sounded really hip and cool.

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    • Could you have engaged in a friendly fire with Dan? I think the emergent position is attacking the Bible.

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      • I didn’t mean it to be fire at all. I meant it to be conversation. Sorry it sounded like fire. And I didn’t take the emergent position to be an attack. I think what they are saying is that sometimes we as Christians tend to idolize the book, and worship it more than the God who wrote it. I think what the author was saying is that it is a living, breathing phenomenon, and as we open ourselves to it, God speaks to us in different ways at different times, even through the same passage.

        We have to stop attacking each other, and try to understand all sides. Thanks for giving me a chance to clarify my own position.

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        • Susan,
          Please don’t take this as an attack on you personally. I’m just curious as I’ve been seeing several people this past week talk online about idolizing the Bible. Do we ever see God, Jesus and the Prophets ever see too much of God’s Word is a problem? I think the problem is usually the other way around: We don’t have enough of God’s Word fully in our lives. By fully I mean for truths, for commands and for promises as part of a relationship with God. I think we can’t really worship or have a relationship with God if we don’t take God’s Word seriously, it would become a one way monologue from us if we don’t hear His Words. Again please don’t take this as an attack on you sister Susan. I just have a hard time seeing this as an actual problem.

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          • ” I think we can’t really worship or have a relationship with God if we don’t take God’s Word seriously.” I think we’re saying the same thing, just in different words.

            I’m not diminishing the Bible by any means.I believe it’s God’s Word.
            I also think that we sometimes forget Jesus’ admonition to love God and love our neighbors. I think we forget he said that we would be obeying all the laws and prophets if we focused and kept those two commands. I think sometimes we pull Scripture out of context and use it as a club, and I’m certain Jesus never told us to do that. I’m also certain that does not enhance our relationship with God.
            I think when we label something as “heretical teaching,” we’re not looking beyond the surface; we’re seeking to be right instead of seeking to be unified under the One who gave us the Word in the first place.

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        • Susan, Do you think it’s ‘attacking’ someone to point out heretical teaching? Of course there is a false teacher behind every heresy, Just curious.

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  4. The Emergents guys are more off with the passing of time.

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  5. I think you are right, but passing fad they aren’t. There is a concerted attack on the Bible and denial of the substitutionary atonement of Christ, among other things. None of it is new, just repackaged false and dangerous teaching – a false gospel. Early on, they made much of having a ‘conversation’ rather than taking a strong stand on doctrine. After all, if the Bible just sets the ‘context’ for life why not just talk it over so folks can feel really good about themselves. If the Bible is just a great book, we end up with false gospels at the expense of truth. We end up worshiping the Gods of niceness, unity and love, which is not just a mark of the Emergent church, but also of much of evangelicalism.

    I would say ‘I think’ to all of that, but there’s not a lot oj just thinking about it any more.Thanks for your observation, Jim!

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