What is the Gospel? A Response to Liberalism and the Emergent Church
After a difficult ministry experience, I spent about a year listening to Relevant Podcast, the Emergent Village, researching postmodernism, questioning institutional church, and calling myself “Emergent.”
Eventually, however, I began to see some flaws in Emergent, and I eventually realized that Emergent was not for me. Since then, I have been on a journey to understand the Emergent church (see posts on Emergent here). Things began to come clear for me when I heard Mark Driscoll divide the Emergent Church into four categories, with the latter category associated with “Liberalism” (more details here). I then began a year-long study to understand Liberalism, which is summed up (with many hyper-links to other posts) in the post What is (Christian) Liberalism? For the more academically minded, my findings are best represented in the research papers Modernity and the Roots of Christian Liberalism and J. Gresham Machen: The Man Who Wrote ‘Christianity and Liberalism’ 2010. I also put a lot of work into a review and critique of Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis and Brian MacLaren’s A New Kind of Christian. My thoughts on Modernity and Postmodernity are best summarized in the post “The Myth of Postmodernity.”
As you will see, when I introduce this sermon with the phrase “I have been working on this sermon, in a lot of ways, for over two and a half years,” I am not joking! This sermon represents my mature thoughts, after many agonizing months of study on these topics.
I must apologize for the fact that this is a VERY long sermon, into which I have tried to pack all that I learned in these long and difficult years. I would encourage you: take a break if you have to, but come back and complete this sermon. I poured my heart and soul into it, and I pray it will bring clarity and purpose to your own quest, as we seek after Jesus together!
Listen to my sermon here.
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