Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Attended a talk by Erwin McManus, organised by Campus Crusade for Christ, held at The City Church. I must admit I did not have much prior knowledge or understanding of his background, save that I read his profile saying that he was into innovation, creativity and maximising individual or organisational potential.
I was pleasantly surprised by his sharing, and the journey he has taken in coming to Christ, pastoring Mosaic Church, and being involved in the top echelon of the world’s top thinkers and innovators.
Quotes and notes
- the church is for the world (pastor not paid to be a friend, counsellor, messiah)
- church members who ask to be fed or discipled (we feed those who feed others)
- healing comes through serving
- focus on human creativity and uniqueness
- unleashing God-given potential vs managing sin
- involvement in TED (see previous post)
- technology adoption lifecycle, focusing on top 15% (2.5% innovators, 13.5% early adopters)
Did some background research after the session. Seems Erwin is associated with the emerging church, and has had quite a lot of bad press. Still, there were interesting perspectives that he shared, which is worth considering and reflecting about.
See related articles
A Lot of People in Christ Lose Their Spiritual Instinct for What is Real and Authentic (Christian Research Net)
Finding God inside of yourself (Apprising Ministries)
Mosaic Of Pain
Examining the Emergent Church – Harsh Criticism Concerning Erwin McManus
Saturday, 1 March 2008
The Emerging church movement (or the Emergent church movement) is described by its own proponents as “a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Instead of calling it a movement, those of the Emergent sentiment would rather call it a “conversation.” The leading voice for the emerging church movement is the Emergent Village, which began as a group of young Christian leaders gathered under the auspices of Leadership Network in the late 1990s and organized in 2001. In their own words, they began meeting because many were “disillusioned and disenfranchised by the conventional ecclesial institutions of the late 20th century.”
According to D.A. Carson, the emerging church movement “arose as a protest against the institutional church, modernism and seeker-sensitive churches… It has encouraged evangelicals to take note of cultural trends and has emphasized authenticity among believers.” At its heart “lies the conviction that changes in the culture signal that a new church is emerging. Christian leaders must therefore adapt to this emerging church. Those who fail to do so are blind to the cultural accretions that hide the gospel behind forms of thought and modes of expression that no longer communicate with the new generation, the emerging generation.”
Sam Storms notes that it is a protest against the “failure of [evangelicals] to recognize the demise and passing of so-called ‘Modernism’ and the ascendancy of Postmodernism and the countless ways it affects both the larger culture and how we live as Christians and pursue ministry as the Church… It has an emphasis on narrative rather than propositions (‘tell me your story, don’t explain principles’).” Quoting D.A. Carson, Storms explains that there is an emphasis “on affections and feelings over against rational, linear thought; on experience over truth; on inclusion rather than exclusion; on the corporate over the individualistic, etc. Tolerance is the principal virtue, as nothing is more indicative of the mentality of modernism than telling someone they are wrong (either intellectually, doctrinally, or morally).”
Given the diversity of the movement, “penetrating criticisms that apply to one part of it are sometimes inappropriate to some other part,”. In other words, the Emerging Church (EC) is difficult to pin down. Carson, while writing his book, wrote that he had “not found it easy to portray it fairly,”. Mark Dever notes that, “By its very nature it doesn’t appreciate definition.”
Emergent versus Traditional Seeker – David Wells, Desiring God 2006 National Conference
Five Streams of the Emerging Church – Scot McKnight, CT (19 Jan 2007)
Emerging Confusion – Charles Colson with Anne Morse, CT (1 Jun 2006)
Article: The Emerging Church – Don Carson (adapted from his Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church), July/August Vol. 14 No. 4 2005
Interview with Don Carson on the Emerging Church movement – Kim Lawton, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly (8 Jul 2005)
DA Carson and the Emergent Movement (5 parts) – Scot McKnight, JesusCreed.org (16 Apr 2005)
Discussion on Reclaiming the Center: Confronting Evangelical Accommodation in Postmodern Times – Justin Taylor, Between Two Worlds (22 Feb 2005)
Definition of “Emerging Church” – Wikipedia.org
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
A High View of Scripture
As already indicated, it is difficult to assign D. A. Carson a distinct place in the field of evangelical theology. He himself has great admiration and respect for the fathers of the evangelical movement in the United States, Kenneth Kantzer and Carl Henry. Indeed, he had the privilege of interviewing these two men for the video series Know Your Roots in 1991. His own scholarly career has been characterized by a significant degree of independence from other scholars’ views, a bedrock commitment to the authority of Scripture, and use of all the resources available to the modern scholar to interpret it. Carson considers a high view of the Scripture’s integrity a nonnegotiable for his own work.
At the same time, Carson is not a fundamentalist in the sense of interpreting Scripture fideistically and literalistically. He uses intelligent, detailed biblical study as the basis for theological construction and application. This general procedure was already visible in his dissertation on God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. It has been refined over the years and was further elaborated upon in his lecture on biblical theology at the 1993 meeting of the Institute for Biblical Research.
While Carson is committed to biblical theology, he does not therefore eschew systematic theology. Moreover, he is highly concerned about the contextualization of the Christian faith in the pluralistic Western world of today as well as in cross-cultural contexts.
Commitment and Ministry to the Church
For all his erudition, D. A. Carson insists that scholarship and personal faith must not be kept separate. Rather, a deep personal evangelical faith should undergird a person’s effort to search the Scriptures as diligently and penetratingly as possible. Especially commendable is Carson’s strong commitment to serve the needs of the evangelical church today. Indeed, Carson is a symbol for many that competent biblical scholarship and evangelical orthodoxy can go together. Pastors and other committed Christians can turn to his commentaries and biblical studies for help when interpreting difficult passages or confronting controversial issues.
Focus on the Gospel
What is not always understood but is nonetheless crucial for a true appraisal is that Carson, for all his scholarly writings, is first of all a minister of the gospel, not an academician. He is a gospel-centered man, not a theoretician. It appears that academia has not mastered him—he has mastered academia. Why then is Carson so deeply involved in scholarship? Doubtless he recognizes his God-given gifts and desires to be faithful to his calling. Also, Carson believes that people are built up by faithful exposition of the Scriptures and the defense of gospel. Well aware that too often liberals have held sway in the defining moments of discussion, he recognizes that the task of the evangelical is not exhausted by the assertion of truth but that it is also imperative to refute error.
Perhaps one of Carson’s greatest strengths is his ability to appreciate the merits of opposing views and to incorporate the best of both into a balanced mediating position. For example, on the issue of charismata, Carson is not a cessationist, arguing that 1 Corinthians 13 appears to preclude such a position. On the issue of divine sovereignty and human responsibility, Carson holds to “compatibilism”; on the issue of Christian assurance, Carson seeks to balance carefully the believer’s security with the biblical injunctions for perseverance in the Christian faith.
Don (D. A.) Carson (b. 1946) – Reformed evangelical at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His theology is similar to that of Wayne Grudem except on charismatic issues, where his view may be described as “open but cautious.” Carson’s tendency is to strive for balance and amicability in disputes but is uncompromising on the essentials of the faith. He is a complementarian but supports gender-neutral Bible translations. Carson also helped produce the NLT. He has written books on free will and predestination from a generally compatibilist and Calvinist perspective.
Calvary Baptist Church – Ottawa
Faith Baptist Church – Drummondville
Montclair Church – Hull
Richmond Baptist Church – Toronto
Biography of D. A. Carson (Kostenberger)
D. A. Carson (Wikipedia)
D. A. Carson (Theopedia)
D. A. Carson Biography (Sola por Gracia)
Donald A. Carson, PhD (TEDS Faculty)
Reflections on Salvation and Justification in the NT
“Silent in the Churches”: On the Role of Women in 1 Cor 14:33b-36
Why is the Doctrine of Penal Substitution Again Coming Under Attack?