I think some of the article below is a bit extreme. Nevertheless,
Who Knows Anything Anyway?
Another Note: The author highly recommends reading Why We Are Not Emergent by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck.
Today, I was reading a book called Blue Like Jazz by a guy named Don Miller. About 100 pages into the book I came across this quote: “I don’t believe I will ever walk away from God for intellectual reasons. Who knows anything anyway?” After hearing the author admit th
athe didn’t know anything I tossed his book in the trash and lit a cigar. Then I s atdown to write this column.
I wish I could say th
atDon Miller is just another author getting wealthy peddling a w atered-down version of Christianity th atappeals to people who want a little religion but have no desire to change their behavior. But Don Miller isn’t an isol ated case. He’s part of the so-called movement th Emergent Church atis making significant inroads among young Americans.
Rob Bell, from
Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a good example of wh atpasses for a leader in the movement. He assumes the position of a pastor, one I’ve always assumed is supposed to lead people to God, without any real idea of where he’s going. He says the following in one of his best-selling “Christian” books: Emergent Church
“Our words aren’t absolutes. Only God is absolute, and God has no intention of sharing this absoluteness with anything, especially words people have come up with to talk about him.”
Heartening, isn’t it? According to Miller, we can’t know anything. According to
, we can’t know anything about God because he won’t tell us with things like words. Go ahead and toss your Bible in the trash along with Blue like Jazz. It’s just a bunch of words from a bunch of people. Bell
Brian McLaren, one of the best-selling authors and leaders of the
movement, doesn’t seem to have many answers either. He once st Emergent Church ated “I am no doubt wrong on many things. I am very likely wrong in my personal opinions on homosexuality.”
at’s weird. The guys pride themselves on being open-minded. But one of their leaders clings to one of his views even after he decides it is “very likely wrong.” Th Emergent Church atused to be called stubborn, or narrow-minded. Now it’s hip.
I’m not sure how many of these hip
leaders have read M Emergent Church atthew 14:31 where Jesus asks Peter “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” My guess is th atmost of these guys like to doubt because being unsure of all things atall times guarantees they will never have to stand up for anything or risk offending anyone.
Of course, most people enjoy having some kind of destin
ation, not to mention some idea of where they are right now. But not Rob Bell’s wife Kristen who said this: “I grew up thinking we’ve figured out the Bible, th atwe knew wh atit means. Now I have no idea wh atmost of it means. And yet I feel like life is big again …”
At times, the leaders of the
seem to want to do anything to postpone making a moral judgment. Brian McLaren once said, “Frankly, many of us don’t know wh Emergent Church atwe should think about homosexuality. We’ve heard all sides, but no position has yet won our confidence so th atwe can say ‘it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us’ … Perhaps we need a five-year mor atorium on making pronouncements … Then in five years, if we have clarity, we’ll speak; if not, we’ll set another five years for ongoing reflection.”
Personally, I hope Brian McLaren does decide to shut up for
atleast five years. Th atway, he won’t say anything as stupid as the following commentary on God’s decision to send Jesus to die on the Cross: “Th atjust sounds like one more injustice in the cosmic equ ation. It sounds like divine child abuse. You know?”
It’s edgy. It’s provoc
ative. It sells books. And it’s blasphemy. It’s the kind of blasphemy th atcan land a soul in hell.
But, if you’ll pardon the rhyme, Rob Bell doesn’t really believe in hell. He says “When people use the word hell, wh
atdo they mean? They mean a place, an event, a situ ation absent of how God desires things to be. Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, de ath, and slaughter – they are all hell on earth. Wh at’s disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about hell here and now.”
is cool, isn’t it? No hell, no de Emergent Church ath, and no resurrection. Just really good coffee and really good dialogue with guys who really aren’t sure they know anything or ever can.
Actually, Brian McLaren does know something. He knows how to ridicule people who aren’t convergent with the Emergent: “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life, and if you don’t love God back and cooper
ate with God’s plans in exactly the prescribed way, God will torture you with unimaginable abuse, forever – th atsort of thing.”
Above all, Don Miller and his friends in the
want us to understand th Emergent Church atChristianity is not about rules. It’s about a rel ationship. We don’t really know wh atthe rules are and there’s no way God would want to share his “absoluteness” with “words” th atcould be used to form “propositions” which could result in “doctrine.”
This Sunday I’ve decided to take a friend to the local
. I plan to steal from the offering pl Emergent Church ate, rape the pastor’s wife, and then kill anyone who gets in my way. Then, I’ll remind the congreg ation th atChristianity is not about rules. It’s about a rel ationship with God. And one has nothing to do with the other.
About The Author
Mike Adams is a criminology professor
atthe and author of Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts "Womyn" On Campus. Universityof North Carolina Wilmington