Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Learning about the Reformation: Are Emergents Modern Quakers?

I am reading (parts of) an awesome book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Reformation & Protestantism. This is not a confession of idiocy. As a homeschooler we pride ourselves on knowing history, especially that pertaining to the Church. I heard of most of these people and events as a student in world history class, but this book is a much fuller treatment. I think the intervening studies of ecclesiology (you know, that prompting Changing Church) between high school and now has enabled me to grasp where the reformers stood, and what denominational traditions descended from whom.

Here is what I learned this morning:
  • Martin Luther fired up the reformation. He was mainly mad about abuses in the Catholic church, especially concerning indulgences. He affirmed salvation by faith alone, and sola Scriptura. However, Luther was not anti-Catholic, and retained many of the worship forms rejected by mainstream protestantism today.
  • John Calvin is remarkably human. Some present day denominations might consider this heresy, but I think I can see where he was coming from. Though I thought presbyterians were very Calvinist, the presbyterian style of church was actually begun by someone else:
  • John Knox, who established the Auld Kirk, Church of Scotland. I have been in a church run essentially on his model. The impact he had on Scotland, which I have always admired for their theology and conservatism, is huge.
  • Anabaptists were the 2-time baptizers not because they thought you had to be baptized twice, but because they didn't count the infant baptism almost everyone had experienced. They varied on other beliefs, but were traditionally more withdrawn from "outsiders", politics, and wars.

This last thing I learned so far is big. Quakers are strikingly reminiscent of the Emergent church movement today. From Idiot's Guide to the Reformation & Protestantism: "The foundational belief of the Quakers is that God gives the individual divine revelation. Each and every person may receive the word of God internally, and each should endeavor to receive that word and heed it... The Quakers rejected the formal creeds and regarded each worshiper of God as a vessel of divine revelation." Listen to a debate between, we'll say he's probably closest to a Calvinist, and an Emergent leader done by Way of the Master Radio.

I checked this book out from the library to reference for another post I will hopefully publish today. Stay tuned.

To God be all glory.

10 comments:

kschaub said...

Pagitt definitely is WAY out there, especially now that he is actually saying what he thinks . . . good Reformation Day post, Lisa.

I actually commented a little about Pagitt's interview with Friel on the new post @ elect Exiles . . . I think it's the second comment. Could help build a conversation in your comment thread about what's going on in the contemporary church both 'orthodox' and 'emerging.'

I better get back to work.

Lisa of Longbourn said...

I was wondering when exactly you wrote and worked if you keep commenting everywhere.

In my experience most of the way-out-there teachers in "Christianity" "went out from us," (1 John 2:19). They started out sounding like mainstream Christian teachers, then their Bible interpretation slipped, then their practice. All of a sudden you have thousands of Christians watching the TV program, buying the book, attending the church, and oblivious to the false teaching that they're accepting without question. But I believe that even before they "went out," there were subversive aspects to their message. Too much focus on self, WAY too little on God.

I have been terribly anxious, expecting at any moment to hear that Rick Warren has gone out from among us. His books and teachings and works just have that feel. And the emergent church all along has been worrisome.

Plugging New Attitude here http://www.newattitude.org/index_2008.php. They are addressing the emergent trend to the generation that is embracing it. Humble Orthodoxy is what they call the biblical alternative. Keep the orthodox doctrines. Live them. And be humble about it. I really want to go to the conference next spring.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

kschaub said...

Ha, good observation skills . . . I have a very dull 8 to 5 job, but it is mostly done on the computer, so I'm able to keep up with the blogosphere, especially commenting on my blog without detracting too much from my job. That makes things fun. I usually write at night, and I've been doing it a while, so I have stuff already written yet posted.

You're experience about the 'way-out-there' teachers going 'out from us' is very true about the emerging leaders (usually). Many were even from fundamentalist, conservative churches.

I would rather hope the wayward drifting teachers would come back to us (reformation?) than go out and out and out.

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Which is why we speak, hoping to bring them to repentance.

Have you heard of any doing so? I read somewhere that Willow Creek was realizing their seeker-sensitive model wasn't working on the making disciples level, and they're reconfiguring. Anything else?
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

kschaub said...

I'm not sure what Willow Creek is doing is actually repentance . . . they're bringing Brian McLaren to speak soon at another one of their conferences. Even when they know what they're doing isn't cutting it, they don't want to turn back?

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Bummer. And I was trying to be positive.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

kschaub said...

I would like to believe they were, but there are just a lot of things that suggest it is half-repentance, sort of. What would that ever lead to? Either go the whole way, or you're going to turn right back the way you were going, or worse maybe?

Those guys are high-profile though. I'm sure they're many others who are honest about their teaching/preaching/etc. shortfalls and irresponsibility, and repent by God's grace and for his glory. Three years ago, I didn't love God's Word and teaching it near as much as I loved just making people have fun at my church's attractions. :)

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Bummer. And I was trying to be positive.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Just read this article about Willow Creek: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/BobBurney/2007/10/30/a_shocking_%e2%80%9cconfession%e2%80%9d_from_willow_creek_community_church
Bob Burney makes the same points as were covered here: research showed Willow Creek's seeker sensitive approach wasn't making disciples (at least that is their goal!), so they are starting over trying to start from scratch and invent a well-researched ok-with-the-Bible method. Yeah, I see the problem with that. They need to scrap all of man's ideas and read their own Bibles.

Psalms 94:11-12, "The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;"

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

kschaub said...

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2007/10/still-not-clear-on-concept.html

Here is another article about the Willow Creek thing . . . well, it is only partly about it.

Have a great weekend . . . I'm off to a conference in Dallas tomorrow . . . regional Ligonier conference (Cross of Christ) with R.C. Sproul and Steve Lawsome.