Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"Paul" Line by Lie

I recently did a line by lie answer to a fellow on his blog. He seems like a likeable guy and I'm not sure if he is as sold on the Emergent as some or if he is just enamored with the fancy language of postmodernism and all the judgmentalism it seems to give permission for on the part of its adherents. Since, I have hope that he will still repent or hope that maybe he is a Christian gone astray, I will leave him anonymous and just use his first name. I will pray for his repentance.

Here is that Line by Lie.


I wish you well in your studies. I especially wish you spiritual prosperity and a repentant life in the Lord.

If you are new to the Emergent, then there are some things you may want to consider. I will simply answer some of what you have said. I am going to write this quickly as I am busy. The ride will be rough, but you need to consider some things about the Emergent.

PB: Postmodernism is not a fad. It's not simply the way immature or young people think.

ANSWER: This is true. It is not a fad. It is as old as unbelief. Satan is the first one to articulate the Emergent heresy. “Indeed has God said…” Pilate said, “What is truth.” Paul said, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

PB: It's a new culture;

ANSWER: Hey, you just said it is not a fad. Now you say it is a new culture. Decide. Christians are called to clear thinking. I wrote an article on this at don’, Called “A Theology of Truth…” It was posted in April.

PB: a worldview; a lens through which people (primarily in emerging generations, but also older people as well) think and process imformation.

ANSWER: This is a common Emergent line. It is gobble de gook and scientifically it gets an F in psychology. First of all, I don’t think through a lens. I perceive through a lens, actual or metaphorical. While perception effects thought, the processing of information is not changeable, generation to generation. It is the same for everybody. Information processing is broken into two fields, perceptual psychology and cognitive psychology. These two fields of psychology, along with neurological and behavioral, are the only aspects of psychology that are actually a science. Analytical and talk therapy are not science. They are a scam. But that’s another metanarrative.

This “process information” is a catch phrase in the Emergent. It is silly.

PB: Dan Kimball…

ANSWER: Dan Kimball, it should be noted, is not a believer in any but the most wildly (not biblical) inclusive definition. Jesus said that the mark that a sheep was His is that sheep’s predisposition to obey His voice. Mr. Kimball, on the other hand, scoffs at any one that looks to the Bible for answers. See this article:

In this article Kimball ridicules Christians following the propositional truths of the Bible thus: “Saying, ‘The Bible has all the answers,’ defines a rather odd relationship between a person and scripture.” So in his view Paul the apostle was a real dunce (odd in Herr Kimball’s rubric) when he wrote things like, “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Paul must have been a real stoop to the much more intelligent Kimball when he said, “Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”

Of course, Paul was not Emergent. He was just an apostle.

PB: Dan Kimball defines postmodernism as "an emerging and developing worldview and culture

ANSWER: I have already corrected this new-and-emerging idea from the Scripture, so let me give a witness from my own life. I am almost 50. Trust me. The idea of churchies (my term for the religiously disobedient) thinking they were smarter than their predecessors because they refused to make up their minds about anything was around when I was a kid. Case in point—Tony Campolo. So you don’t even have to go back to Scripture to find that the eshewal of truth is not knew.

PB: (still quoting Kimball) pursuing what is beyond modernity. It holds there is no single universal worldiew.

ANSWER: This is another common Emergent line. Now there is no single world view? Oh, I see. Before, oh let’s say April of 2001 (pick your own date if you wish) there was only one????Where have you been? Read any history ever in your life? What was World War II about? Were the Nazis fighting the democrats and the Communists because we all agreed, but were bored so we decided to have a fun war? How about the Cold War? Have you ever read the Bible? What does it say about other world views? Does it not command us to avoid them and to contend against them? I would have to assume that there were some to contend against.

PB: (still quoting Kimball) Therefore, truth is not absolut

ANSWER: This reasoning is self-denying. “Truth is not absolute,” is a statement of absolute “truth.” If it is not absolutely true, then some truth IS absolute. If, on the other hand, truth is not absolute, then the statement “Truth is not absolute,” is an absolutely true, meaning that some truth is absolute. Complete nonsense.

I personally cannot think that to a man as articulate as Kimball the nonsense of such a statement has not occurred. He has either decided to suppress the truth in unrighteousness or he has decided to purposely lie to others to sell books and so forth. If, on the other hand, he cannot understand something so simple as the folly of the the-absolute-truth-is-there-is-no-absolute-truth crowd, then he is mentally not up to teaching anyone. I think he is simply lying for the convenience of power and money or so that he himself does not have to obey the truth or both. I do not believe he is stupid.

PB: and many of the qualities embraced by modernism no longer hold the value or influence they once did. It can still be defined as we like; since it is still forming and developing."

ANSWER: Good move. Keeps all his loopholes open.

PB: Thanks a lot, Dan! So we can define it how we want? It's true that postmodernism is hard to define, and I won't seek to create my own definition (yet). For a good, concise explanation on three understandings of postmodernism, see an article entitled "The Three Postmodernisms: A short explanation" by Brian McLaren.

ANSWER: It must be noted that while quoting McLaren for a definition or things concerning the Emergent is legit, he, too, is a heretic. Recently he has denied eternal hell, approved of homosexuality, and denied the substitutionary atonement.

PB: However, I will make a few comments about my understanding, and the way in which the church must (not might, must) respond to postmodernity.

ANSWER: Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Was God wrong? Was Paul wrong? I respectfully have to say I don’t think that any of us has a better idea, and my uncle worked at Ford.

PB: Relativism is a reality.

ANSWER: No, it’s a denial of reality.

PB: However, it is not that postmoderns think there is no truth! ANSWER: Right, they have simply lied to themselves and others. That is the dishonesty. Whenever they face a truth that is bothersome, they will do xies by saying, “There is not absolute truth,” as if it was an absolute truth. This is intensely dishonest.

PB: They are simply tired to the way Christians (and others?) militantly preach our views without any regard for other beliefs, and the lack of listening ears that Christians have to others. It's a reaction to our modern approach that Christianity is the only true religion

ANSWER: Christianity is the only true religion. Do you deny this? If so, you are not a Christian in the biblical sense of one that has left even father and mother, brother and sister to follow Him. Repent.

PB: and that there is no reason to even hear what others have to say.

ANSWER: There is no reason to listen to heresy, other than politeness or to study the heresy to warn others of it and its proponents. Jude said, “Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.” John said, “…guard yourselves from idols.” Paul said, “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.”

Of course, none of those fellows were Emergent. They were just apostles.

PB: Postmoderns are still seeking the truth;

ANSWER: Then why do they deny its very existence? Decide on a line and stick with it.

PB: their reaction to modernism has just been extreme enough to send them to the other end of the spectrum.

ANSWER: First, modernism is not the same as Christianity and modernism did not introduce the idea of absolute truth. God did that way back when He said, “There will be light.” Guess what? There was real light, not relative light. Absolutely.Of course, God was not Emergent. He was just God.

Second, they decide their reaction, no one else. James said, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” We are not allowed to blame others for our own sin.

Third, if you are surprised by the hatred of the world, then you are ignorant of the Scripture. Paul said, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” That’s a promise you don’t hear quoted too often.

Fourth, if you are looking (as many churchies are) to avoid persecution, you are an embarrassment to Christ. He said, “"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Notice, that He mentions shame of His teachings as a reason for His shame of you.Of course, Jesus was not Emergent. He was just…………God.

PB: Postmodernity is not something that people will simply grow out of. It is a worldview; it is their culture, something that has been ingrained in them from birth. Furthermore, we cannot (and are not called to) "convert" them to modern ways of thinking.

ANSWER: Now, Paul, I agree with all that, except the idea that converting them to Christianity is converting them to something modern. Jude said, “I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” That is a connection to 2000 years ago and further. Nothing modern about that.

PB: We need to speak the truth to them,

ANSWER: I agree. That would be the Gospel. Absolutely.

PB: but in ways that they understand.

ANSWER: All the ones I know speak English. The ones that repent do so because they understand and obey. The ones that get angry do so because they understand and hate God for His demands.

PB: Mark Oestreicher describes in The Emerging Church four phases he went through in his thinking about postmodernism:1. We've got to do something to fight this postmodern thinking in young people.

ANSWER: No, we don’t. We are commissioned to give them the Gospel. We cannot convert them. We are called to gospelize them and God will do the converting of His chosen and the hardening of those He is preparing for destruction. Paul said, “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy…So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires…What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?...And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”

That’s not Emergent. That’s Romans.

PB: (Still quoting MO) 2. Wait a second; postmodernism isn't all that bad, but it's still a generational thing.

ANSWER: The denial of truth is evil. And it is generational in that it has happened in every generation.

PB: (still quoting MO) 3. Wait another second; there seem to be sixty-year-olds who are more postmodern in their thinking than some thirty-year-olds. Maybe it's not a generational thing.

ANSWER: Exactly! The denial of absolute truth started in my life the first time I smacked my brother right in sight of my dad and then lied to him, hoping that my denial of truth would have to be agreed with by someone that knew better. Unfortunately, he was not Emergent and he was not kinder to my hinder.

PB: (still quoting MO) 4. Hey! This whole postmodern thing -- it's me.

ANSWER: Then repent and obey the truth.

PB: (still quoting MO) We have to accept that people are postmodern. It's not something that we can change, nor is it something that we can ignore. May we accept that people think this way, and seek to reach them, just as we do on mission fields all over the world.

ANSWER: Yes, and no. Yes, they are in sin. That’s the truth and I accept it. No, we are not to leave them in sin. We are to evangelize them.

PB: (still quoting MO) 3. While we must accept postmoderns for who they are,

ANSWER: No, we are to accept no one for who they are. God does not do so. That would be to leave them unconverted, in their sin, and on the way to hell. If we love them we will call them to repent. We will not sooth them in their unbelief. Proverbs says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Kiss them on the way to hell, in love, of course.

PB: (still quoting MO) we still have one important thing in common. All people, no matter when they live(d) or what their culture they are from. Whether we are modern or postmodern (or post-postmodern?), our basic needs and desires are the same. We all want to love and be loved; we all desire to be accepted, trusted, and loved by a group of people; we all want purpose in our lives; and we all want spiritual fulfillment, a connection with God, and to fill the void inside of us that only God can fill.

ANSWER: In biblical terms that means we are all self-centered. What MO has described is selfishness. Love me. Assure me. Connect me to God without repentance. Christ said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

PB: (still quoting MO) This is our hope for the church -- that postmoderns, like all others in human history, are seeking the truth, the truth that Christians have to offer. We have exactly what postmoderns are looking for (even though we rarely act like it!),

ANSWER: This continues the unbiblical view of human nature rife in the modern church. Namely, that man is looking for the truth. That is a lie. Paul said we already know and are trying to deny it, Romans One. Christ said, “No man is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me take him.”

Of course, Jesus was not Emergent. He was just the Way, the Truth, and the Life. …..oh wait. I just remembered. There is not absolute truth. How stupid of me. My bad.

PB: (still quotiong MO) we just need to translate this truth into languages that they understand.

ANSWER: Wycliffe, and New Tribe Missions. I have given to both of them. Great organizations they are. Living in MT, all the Native
languages need someone to translate into some languages out here. If you come here to translate after seminary, I will help you raise funds. There is Crow, Cheyenne, and others.

PB: I'd love to hear your definitions of postmodernism, because clearly I (nor anyone?) has it down yet.

ANSWER: Actually Paul had it down just great. He called it “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.” But then he wasn’t Emergent. He was…well you know.

Hoping you repent in the love and TRUTH of Christ, Who is absolutely the only way to God,Phil.



Blogger ScottB said...

Hi Phil. Interesting article. By the way, I'm not Dan Kimball. I'm the author of the post you dismissed about scripture and questions. You know, it's probably helpful to read things well enough to at least know who the author is and what their arguments are trying to say before trashing them publically. I can tell by what you've said here that you didn't read the post carefully, if at all, or if you did, you missed my point entirely. Anyway, I'd welcome you to reread the post in its entirety and offer some substantive interaction with it - at the moment you've really done neither.

Blessings -

9:38 AM  
Blogger Phil Perkins said...

Thanks you very much for the heads up. I hadn't read that particular article and accidentally placed Kimball's name on in my mind when writing. I will post a formal apology to DK for mis quoting this evening when I have time.

I will do an analysis of it this weekend and properly attribute.

I also apologize to you for omitting you.

Really sorry,
Phil Perkins

10:07 AM  
Blogger Phil Perkins said...

Correction--working too fast again. I hadn't read the article LATELY.

Phil Perkins

10:10 AM  

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