Emerging church (level of understanding-minimal)

 
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Steve
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject: Emerging church (level of understanding-minimal)  Reply with quote

I don't know a whole lot about the emerging church movement.  So far in my quest for understanding, I have gathered that the emerging church caters to those who dislike authority, tradition, and evangelical thought processes.  From the little I've read on the subject, I gather that the emerging church seeks new places for meeting (bars, coffee shops), different worship techniques, and a greater acceptance of non-believers who are seeking the truth.  

Fundamentally I have no major issues with what little I know about the emerging church as long as some basics are in focus:  loving God, seeking God's will, serving like Jesus in our community, trusting God's plan, and accepting God's gift of salvation through grace.  

As long as we can maintain productive conversations with those we choose to discuss truth, spirituality, faith, etc., I think we can make a small difference in our immediate community.

There is an element of sales in any movement, and I don't believe that it's any different with the emerging church.  This movement might grasp a greater market of non-believers who look for a more gradual and less radical transition of faith.  There comes a point in any sales relationship when a decision must be made, however.  Keeping with the sales analogy, it's very difficult for Christians to speak in defense or discussion of their faith to non-believers without adding a sales element to the conversation.  In this sales environment, the fundamental need satisfaction points to the same God worth pursuing at the beginning of the conversation, but the slightest overselling or underselling of our God can lead to a lack of interest from the customer.  

If the emerging church is a better selling tool than the traditional church, so be it.  If a movement is more inspiring than an age old tradition, so be it.  Either way, we need to make sure that the discussion is happening and that absolute truth is a focal point of that discussion.  Humans have not been granted the ability to fully understand or fully comprehend our Creator.  That is one of the many beauties of Creation.  We are each independent thinkers who are unable to solely rely upon the God who solely wants us to rely upon him.  All that God asks of his creation is to accept his love which we've not earned, but have been granted.  

It's time to keep moving forward in our discussions.  Are you ready?
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Rick



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

Your sales analogy is a good one.  I view selling as the art of facilitating a transaction that is mutually beneficial between two or more parties.  The sales proposal can be anchored in the truth or untruths.  We know that truth can be objective or subjective.  Eternal truths are always objective, because they come from God’s eternal perspective (that’s why I like old Christian books, because eternal truth has no obsolescence).    

Clearly, God has lovingly proposed to every soul, and their response will ultimately constitute the body of believers identified as the “Bride of Christ”.

All this to say I do not know how well the Emergent Church is anchored on the “foundation of Christ”.  Like you, I believe it is important that we identify and cling to these foundational truths such as “we are saved by grace through faith”.  

Certainly, today much that is identified, as “Church” is not anchored in the word of God.  I’m hoping that the Emergent Church is recognizing the errant paths of the denominational churches and encouraging essential dialogue for our collective walk by faith.  The Barnum Group has a book out called Revolution, and they have identified an underground Christian movement that does not normally associate with any of the mainstream churches.  Their single focus seems to be on the “Word of God”.  

In closing, when I was young an old salesman put his arm on my shoulder and said, “Birds have to fly, fish have to swim, we have to sell.  Son, that’s life”.  Certainly, the art of successful selling is ultimately one of communicating the truth.
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ian letterman



Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:19 am    Post subject: re Reply with quote

i know i am joining this conversation late but i felt it necessary to reply to something to let you guys know i finally made it here. the foundational truths, those that define true christianity must be present in all church bodies big, small, historical and modern.the five "solas" restored to the true body of christ during the reformation are that cornerstone of authentic faith. emerging bodies or those that have survived since antiquity are nothing but cults and enemies of christ without them.
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Rick



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, glad you joined us.  Call me "Stupid" but what are the five "solas"?
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ian letterman



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the five solas of the reformation are not the only "essential" doctrines of historical Christianity but some up what constitutes reformed Theology and in truth, the faith passed down to us from the beginning;a summary  of the guidelines of faith in Christ...

Sola Scriptura: the Bible alone is the inspired and authoritative Word of God, nothing should be added to it or taken from it

Sola Fide: Justification is recieved by faith alone without any mixture or need of good works

Sola Gratia: Salvation comes by Grace alone utterly unmerited by the recipient but given by God through faith

Sola Christus: Christ alone is the mediator between God and Man and only can achieve justifcation and salvation for us

Sola Deo Gloria: Glory to God alone because the gifts of salvation, justification, and sactification are realized only through His actions and His will
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Steve
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian:

Glad to have you join this forum.  I created you a spot to post under your own name, so as you have time, continue the conversation.  You can obviously reply to what's already been writting by others, you can create a new dialogue under your name, or write general statements that you feel are relevant.  

Look forward to talking with you.  

Steve
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Russell Hoerman



Joined: 01 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the Body of Christ to grow we better hope there is new energy and fresh views toward seeking truth. Historically the problem arises not while seeking truth but rather staking claim to it.  Yes it has to be Christ centered, the spirit is not always the Holy One.  
 What I find interesting is the serpentine jouney we all are on toward the devine. Often, to understand and feel something important we need to search and discover it for ourselves.  Unfortunitly in this process we can also throw out the baby with the bathwater.  The framework of traditions are reassuring when we struggle and should be equally inspiring if alive with the Holy Spirit.
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Rick



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ian,

Just added a few scriptures!

The five solas of the reformation are not the only "essential" doctrines of historical Christianity but some up what constitutes reformed Theology and in truth, the faith passed down to us from the beginning; a summary of the guidelines of faith in Christ...

Sola Scriptura: the Bible alone is the inspired and authoritative Word of God, nothing should be added to it or taken from it (Mathew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.)

Sola Fide: Justification is received by faith alone without any mixture or need of good works  (Roman 4:16 Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace;)

Sola Gratia: Salvation comes by Grace alone utterly unmerited by the recipient but given by God through faith  (Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God Not of works, lest any man should boast.)

Sola Christus: Christ alone is the mediator between God and Man and only can achieve justifcation and salvation for us (John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.)

Sola Deo Gloria: Glory to God alone because the gifts of salvation, justification, and sactification are realized only through His actions and His will (Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God.)
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Steve
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick--
It's interesting that each verse written was a new testament passage.  Would there be any old testament verses that are similar to the 5 solas as well?  

I'm still trying to get a handle on new testament versus old testament and the different messages each brings.  Only on the surface, and I could be off on this, it appears that the new testament is perfect for explaining how to live and love Jesus, how to find salvation, and how grace finds us.  From what little I know of the old testament, it appears that we can use examples there of how to live in the world we currently live in and have a relationship with God the Father.  For example David's Psalms and his worship, "The Teacher" and Ecclesiastes, Solomon and Proverbs (and that's only 3 of the 39 books).  Each of those books seems to give examples of how to live in the world without Jesus, and have a relationship with God.  

So maybe, the new testament helps build relevance to the Christian faith for those who are yet to believe or find salvation through grace.  Then, the old testament drives it home by helping secure that faith and exhibits how we can live for God in a Jesus-less society the way people did from Adam to Malachai.  

Just a thought, but would like other's insight on the subject.
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Rick



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

Great Question.  The Old Testament formats this life.  We are created, thus there is a Creator.  We have fallen from the Creator’s intended relationship.  God has a lofty agenda for us (the Law).  We prove over and over again that we cannot attain God’s demand for righteousness.  God exhibits extraordinary patience with His creation.  God sets apart a human path to introduce the Messiah into the world.  

The Old Testament educates mankind on our pedigreed and purpose.  The New Testament drives home the reality that only God can restore mankind to the Creator, and that through Christ alone He has done just that.

However, the great mystery is that Jesus Christ’s work of salvation is retroactive, or eternally active, because it is an eternal work.  The faith of all those Old Testament characters mentioned in Hebrews 11 was activated by God’s eternal grace (Jesus Christ) unto salvation.  

We are saved by grace through faith!  God’s grace is in union with man’s faith for the purpose of man’s reunion with the Creator.

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