Friday, October 26, 2007

doug pagitt - ouch

Doug Pagitt of Solomon's Porch and Emergent Church fame is interviewed by Todd Friel. I think Pagitt helps me want to avoid framing questions as Friel did but outside of that, Pagitt ultimately failed to demonstrate true faith. In the end, I think he came up far short on providing a proper Biblical understanding.

I don't know if he really represents all those that like the tag emergents; I suspect not. But as I've noted before, I'd distance myself (metaphorically speaking) from this brand of theology.

To be clear, not all emergents see themselves as Pagitt describes and I find it sad wrong the all out assault some of the reformed view make on emergents. I think we would do well to stop categorizing people as broadly as we do and to focus on theological critique rather than groups or personalities.

Here's a statement of faith from one emergent church in the Cincinnati area that at least on paper seem quite ok regarding theology.

We confess our affirmation of the Apostle's, Nicene, and Chalcedonian Creeds, which we believe to reflect Christian orthodoxy and the clear teaching of Holy Scripture.

1. We believe in one living and true God, the Creator and Lord of the heavens and the earth. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, equal in power and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

2. We believe that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man, yet one Messiah, the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

3. We believe that Jesus Christ came down from heaven, was incarnated by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life in perfect obedience to the Father, and was crucified for our sins. He suffered, died, and was buried, and He rose bodily from the dead on the third day. As the God-man, Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for His people. At His first coming, Jesus inaugurated the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God .

4. We believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower for ministry every believer in Jesus Christ. He is an abiding Helper, Teacher and Guide. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all the Biblical gifts of the Spirit.

5. We believe that along with all men and women, we are sinners by nature and choice and we are under condemnation. We are accounted righteous before God only by the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through faith in Him alone, and not by our own works or deserving.

6. We believe that we have been born again by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit now lives in us, producing faith, holiness, love and power.

7. We believe in the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both the Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety, without error, in all that they affirm, and as the only infallible rule for our faith and practice.

8. We believe that the church is intended by God to be a worshiping community of believers, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His law, exercising the gifts, privileges and discipline invested in the church by His Word and His Holy Spirit, and seeking to extend the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.

9. We believe Christ committed two ordinances to the church: water baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe water baptism is available to all Christian believers following a clear profession of Christian faith. We believe that the Lord's Supper is open to all believers. Through the working of the Holy Spirit, the Lord's Supper nourishes our souls. It brings to our remembrance the sacrifice of Christ for our sins, our communion with Christ and the church and our obligation to persevere in faith and holiness to the end of our lives.

10. We believe in the personal, visible, appearing of Christ to earth and the consummation of His Kingdom; in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment and eternal blessing of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked. [Statement of Faith – detailed version in PDF format.]

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