Baptists having second thoughts about Emerging Church

“Conversely, the emerging church movement may provide hope for reformation to Baptists ignorant of the difference between modern truths and Truth incarnate.”

Lloyd Allen, 2nd Opinion: Emerging Church: Threat or Ally?, Baptist Standard


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Greg says:

    This appears to be the most succinct explanation of the emergent church I’ve seen in a while…thanks for posting!

  • jeremy says:

    fortunately there is some smart people making sense of this who isn’t playing the “guilt by association” card.

  • Matt Stone says:

    He, he, depends what you mean by Baptists. Us Aussie Baptists would say some of us have been on board all along.

  • Tsk says:

    Yeah but let’s not tell them . . . just yet.

  • David Emme says:

    As a non Emergent type who also happens to be a baptist, I was wandering if someone can help me understand how many came to the conclusion of modernism.
    Grant it, in the last century, Southern Baptists have finally adopted modernism, saw many churches leave the forld and now a resurgance of fundamentalism.
    What I fail to understand is how is fundamentalism based on modernism? Does anyone know the history of fundamentalism and what is the biggest reason why fundamentalism was started? I do, and when i see many say that fundamentalism is built upon modernism-this is furthest from the truth.
    When modernism integrated itself into Christianity-people stopped believing Gen 1-3 as literal since it could not be proven by rationalism and empericism-empiracle evidances.
    In other words, there is and was many beoliefs that was forsaken by modernists as they were seen as unprovable beliefs and therefore irrational for the “modern” man to believe. Most if not all fundamentalists saw this as an attack on faith and faith is faith-somethng that cannot be proven.
    So when I see Emegent pundits decry fundamnetalism as some what frightened of the great un known or uncertainty-the whole point of fundamentalism was to believe that what we cannot prove, but taught in the bible as a certainty in truth.
    In other words, we cannot prove the deity of Jesus Christ or his ressurection from the cross, but as the bible teaches it, we believe it. The certainty does not come from facts, but from faith-a child like faith.
    When I see many proclaiming that fundamentalism is a purely modernistic based paradigm, I often wander and can only conclude-1. You really do not know the histor of fundamentalism and how modernism had absolutely anything to do with fundamentlaism or 2. whomever says fundamentalism was built upon modernism is hiding the falsehood of this understanding and eventually would be seen as lying about fundamentalism.
    Go to any Independent FUNDAMENTAL Baptist church and express to the pastor or congregation that you see their fundamentalism as built upon modernism-I think you would walk away with a much different view.
    The whole point of fundamentalism being we believe the uncertain, what we cannot prove by the methodology or philosophy of man-this is the whole purpose God gives faith and modernism/rationalism is a type of anti-faith.
    I personally think, emergent theology has more in common with modernism than fundamentalism.
    Case in point, amillinealism now seen as bring the kingdom of God.
    Many modern liberals who do not believe Genesis 1-3 is literal truth, neither is the cross or what the bible teaches about sin since both Christ and sin are first seen in Genesis 3.
    So then if sin is nt what the bible teaches it, neither is salvation since we are saved by sin. What came out of this is amillinealism and a social gospel-that man is to be saved not from sin, but an oppressive society that does not give the same education or oppurtunities of economic favor as others-so how do we save man-bring in an equity in every instance by bringing the kingdom of God as heaven on earth.
    My queston is, how is this any different from an incarnational and missiological understanding?
    Really, when fundamentalism is seen as “outmodrnizing the modernist”, I see emergence as reintroducing modernism with a different name. Instead of the individual being that what determines truth-it has changed to the community determinitive of truth but no differance between what the individual and the community has determined as truth.
    When I read McLaren decry American and European colonialism and liberal modernists pushed a democratic President to colonize the Philippines so we could bring the ingdom of God by conqueing and forcing our ideas of Christianity upon them-it was not the fundamental churches that trafficed in this but liberalism in American Christianity.
    Beside all this, talking of economic justice and racial justice is not built on the bible but Marxism whch not only is a modernstic economic policy but also saught to marginalize and denegrate the oppressive Christianity. Except the opressive Christianity, it is the oppressive fundamentalism which chould be suppressed. Why? Because fundamentalism teaches us to live ur faith which means ues-we are narrow minded just as Christ as God is narrow minded when he first taught a narrow minded way in Matt 7 where we hear narrow is the way and narrow is the entance into salvation whee broad is the way of destruction and there be many who tread this broad path.
    As I think most fundamentlaists see it, the individual is saved and then brought into the community of Christ by faith. That in 1 John 2:19 teaching those who depart from the faith were never a part of it or they would have remained.
    These are just things I think of. When there is such a certainty what the bible teaches-this is not a certainty based on fact, but a certainty based on faith. In other words, we really believe what the bible teaches though we cannot prove it. To me certainty in what I cannot prove is the capstone of faith.

  • Tsk says:

    Thanks David. I assume you mean that Jesus is the capstone of our faith, rather than the certainty we can muster up.
    Please read my post on proper confidence and the place of certainty and get back to me with some response. Peace

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