Chuck Swindoll on the emerging church

Chuck Swindoll.jpgI just left a comment on Chuck Swindoll’s blog. Dang! I didn’t know he even had a blog until now. Its called Insight for Living, like his ministry. The man is a LEGEND and I have read so many of his books its ridiculous. He was also my pastor in the 80’s and my wife I were married in his church, First Evangelical Free Church, more commonly referred to as the Pizza Hut because of the roof. Ken Bemis, the pastor that brought Chuck to Fullerton, was the guy who counselled and married us. Lovely guy! My wife was supported out of Chuck’s church as an overseas worker but that was a long time ago.

This is how we looked back then.

wedding1987b.jpg

But I digress into sentimentality. Here is Chuck wrapping up his blog post.

“Let me urge you who are considering adopting the emerging church philosophy, or the “seeker church” strategies, to take a good look at what you are trying to do—and why. Be sure to look at it biblically. Be certain you can support any change you plan to implement from the Scriptures. Don’t look to Mars Hill in Acts 17 while ignoring the essentials of Acts 2:42. Instead of searching for justification in the Bible, search and pray for direction from the biblical text. When you find it . . . follow it.

I would say the same thing to any church—including my own.”

—Chuck

My comment on Chuck’s blog:

“thanks Chuck for good advice on emerging church. well written. . . .

i would add that for many of us in this world, whether we have dropped the label or not, the example of Acts 17 is helpful but not as powerful as the example of the incarnation and the command by our Lord “As the Father has sent me, so I send you”. How did Jesus incarnate his life and message? This is the key.

Hey – when i went to visit Chuck at Dallas Theological Seminary, he was out of the office. [AS IF he would remember me!!!!] But i did notice this funny poster on the wall with Chuck in his black motorbike leathers and the phrase “THE SERMINATOR” in caps. Funny. Does anyone have a copy that they can upload on the web?

Anyway, I hope Chuck will get around to reading Sam Metcalf’s excellent post “Backlash to the Emerging Church.” Sam writes:

“The emerging church movement as a whole reflects a variety of theological perspectives, some of which I would agree with and some that would give me pause. But overall, I personally believe this is a movement of God which stands squarely in the flow of the great, historical renewal movements of the past 2000 years.

What God is undoubtedly doing is raising up, on the cultural fringes, a new generation of people who are faithfully and wholeheartedly followers of Jesus and true to the bible, but they are committed to living that faith out in an increasingly secular, postmodern world. From my experience, what I believe is most unsettling to the traditional Christian establishment is not primarily the theological nuances and questions that emanate from emerging churches, but forms and ecclesiological expressions that are outside the acceptable box. While some would attack the emerging church on theological grounds, my suspicion is the real backlash is primarily cultural. In many respects, the emerging church movement is profoundly biblical.”

Sam was part of Chuck’s church plant in Brea (North Community) that Debbie and I hooked up with. And so many good things have stemmed from those times, both in USA, Australia and Europe. WOW! If Chuck Swindoll had not given his thumbs up to that church plant in Brea, the emerging church would probably not look the same. Must write a post on it one day.

Related: Hugh Halter is speaking at Exponential. He is also related to the same CRM trajectory. Punch him if you see him and tell him he owes the TSK a beer!

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

5 Comments

  • Yes, I think the second paragraph of Sam’s quotation is the essence of the tension between traditional and emerging. The establishment in my view is not so much upholding the gospel as the prevailing mode of ekklesia. The emerging mode places more emphasis on compassion and an outward thrust into the needy corners of culture, which are everywhere. As you have said, this pulls an ecclesiology that is rooted in the Gospels of Jesus. And yet the dominating church culture remains something rooted in Christendom, waiting for people to return on Sunday. Jesus comes to mind, evoking Isaiah: “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” Mark 7:6-8

  • I am an editor for Christian.com which is a social network dedicated to the christian community. As I look through your web site I feel a collaboration is at hand. I would be inclined to acknowledge your website offering it to our users as I’m sure our Pentecostal audience would benefit from what your site has to offer. I look forward to your thoughts or questions regarding the matter.
    Vicky Silvers
    vicky.silvers@gmail.com

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