Response To The General Superintendent Statement

Recently, several statements were released from the Board of General Superintendents.  It is yet not clear to me if one of them specifically speaks for all of them, or not, the one titled “The Emergent Church-From the General Superintendents.”  It is signed by Jesse Middendorf, but does not explicitly state that all the Generals are in accord with the statement, so I will not yet assume they all agree with it as written.  So I will address my comments to Dr. Middendorf. The first document, called WE BELIEVE, indicated approval by the entire Board, and is essentially a re-affirmation of the core belief statement of our denomination.  The Emerging Church document is what I want to focus on and share some thoughts and perhaps questions regarding its content, and what it means to us.

Dr. Middendorf, I would like to reach out to you and the other General Superintendents, and extend the hand of conversation, and of open dialogue, to sort out these issues and address the specific concerns many have.  Are you willing to do that?  I speak with this concern, not just from one person, but for pastors, evangelists, and laypeople all over the country, who are waiting for an unambiguous answer to the questions that still linger after this statement came out.
I am not an official spokesman, nor even any kind of official leader of Concerned Nazarenes.  Just one of many who are trying to have a voice.
Not all may be in 100% agreement with every word I say, but they join me in a unified concern at the direction that our beloved denomination has been going, because of emergent ideology and mystical practices.

I believe that most of what I say here speaks for those who have been disenfranchised from their churches of many years, who were stopped from speaking out and asking questions.  I cry out for many students in the universities who are being ostracized by professors who despise their stance on scriptural inerrancy.  I cry out for those groups of Nazarenes who have walked away from their churches, and started their own congregation, rather than stay and tolerate the very “aberrations” you allude to in this statement. I cry out for the Nazarene church that recently cut ties with our denomination and is now on their own, and the pastor who was recently fired for daring to speak against practices that are not even officially sanctioned by the church.  I’m just a small voice, but I speak for many, and continue to do so, for whoever will listen.

I pray that soon there will be an opportunity to get into direct, complete and open dialogue with you and the rest of the leadership, so that these matters and issues can be addressed, and the Nazarene people will know where you and all of our leaders stand on the troubling issues that you say are there, but have not yet told us what they are specifically.

Here is the statement, and to allow you to follow along easier, I highlight my comments in blue text as you read:

The Emergent Church – From the General Superintendents
(G.S. Statement in black, my comments in blue)

We appreciate your concerns regarding the conversations surrounding “the emergent church.” The issues related to this topic are many. Some are helpful and positive; others are problematic and deeply troubling.

I agree.  Unfortunately, this is a very general statement, and does not go into details.  What are the helpful and positive issues?  What are the problematic and deeply troubling ones?  I hope you can share this with us very soon, because many Nazarenes also see very problematic and troubling issues happening in our denomination.

“The emergent church” is really somewhat of a misnomer. While there are many attributions which imply that there is a single focus or movement called “the emergent church,” in reality, the conversations range all over the map. Some people believe that there is a monolithic kind of conspiratorial entity that is seeking to undermine the church with heresy and immoral license.

Actually, Dr. Middendorf, there are many Nazarenes who are deeply troubled by what we see as heretical or false teachings that has crept into our universities and churches.  We don’t claim there is an organized conspiracy, but we do believe that there is a like-minded philosophical agreement amongst the “emergents” that works just as effectively.  We hope that the specifics of our concerns can be addressed by the leadership very soon.  Those have been itemized many times by us, so I won’t repeat it here.  A good summary would be the Concerned Nazarenes statement.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who view the whole concept of an emerging church as a positive and hopeful expression of the church seeking to genuinely come to terms with ministry in a complex and rapidly-changing culture, while seeking to make Biblical truth relevant. These people depend heavily on the authority of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to radically change lives, communities, and nations. They are often radically engaged with the brokenness in society through active, compassionate ministries that work hard to bring renewal and conversion.

I would argue that Biblical truth is always relevant on its own anyway.  Also, the emergents who I and others have interacted with over the last several years, do not match up with the description of “depending heavily on the authority of the word of God.”  We see often acasual contempt of the scriptures;  a dismissal of folks like me, who according to emergents, are practicing bibliolatry, when we say God’s word is infallible; and the almost worshipful attitude towards books written by emergent leaders like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, and on devotional books by mystics and universalists like Henri Nouwen.  If these people that you describe in this way are out there, I have not encountered them yet.

Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) and some of our universities are engaged in the conversation in order to help correct some of the aberrations that are associated with some of the “emergent” churches.

You say there are aberrations.  I agree, but again, I would love to see specifics about what these aberrations are.  If you believe there are aberrations out there that can be dangerous to our spiritual lives, should you not tell us all, so that we can be aware of them?  And I am sorry to say this, but we are troubled by some of these aberrations coming right out of the seminary itself, and we have specified those issues many times.  Will there be some statements soon on the specifics of what you mean by these aberrations.

There are widely-read authors who readily identify themselves as “emergent church leaders.” While some of them are orthodox in their theology and views of Scripture, others embrace positions which we would view as far away from what is orthodox and acceptable.

Which leaders do you consider orthodox? And especially, can you tell us who these unorthodox leaders are?  Should we not know their names, so we can take care and not recommend their books, or watch out if they are coming into our universities?  Is Brian McLaren unorthodox?  How about Leonard Sweet?  Rob Bell?  Tony Campolo?  If they are far away from orthodoxy and unacceptable, should we not follow this biblical imperative?

Ephesians 5:6-11 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Yet even those authors and pastors who are not orthodox in their views of Scripture and its authority have an awareness of the need to make the church more engaged in society so as to bring about a radical change and improvement.

Does it matter whether they care about engaging the church in society, if their beliefs are unorthodox, which I assume means running contrary to our Nazarene doctrine and more importantly, runs contrary to scripture?  Should we not shun, according to scripture, those who are contrary to the word and are divisive by teaching another gospel?

We do not endorse those “emergent churches” or leaders who are not orthodox in their theology. The involvement of many of our young pastors and students in the conversation is an attempt to embrace the positive dimensions while clearly articulating an orthodox interpretation of Scripture and theology.

By most definitions of what is genuinely meant by “emergent,” John Wesley more than fits the description.

I’m sorry, this was the statement that most jumped out at me and I could not disagree with you more!  Here is a comment from someone else on a blog that speaks the same concerns I have with this:  I would love to listen to an encounter between Wesley and an emergent who sympathizes with, and glorifies, universalism, or maybe overhear Wesley’s response to an emergent’s heretical nonsense about varying theories of atonement and how the cross is false advertising for God…that ought to be a treat.”

So with all due respect John Wesley was not emergent in any way that reflects what today’s emergents think.

He was radically engaged in the social needs around him while clearly calling men and women to a radical commitment to Christ and to the fullness of the Spirit in cleansing and heart purity.

True, but John Wesley believed in scriptural inerrancy; the emergents laugh at that and treat the Bible as something that “contains” the word of God, denying its full and complete reliability.

That is the objective toward which Nazarenes, engaged in the conversations regarding the emergent church, are committed. It is a vital conversation, but one that also carries with it the risk of being misunderstood or being classified with positions which are not healthy or appropriate.

I’ve had the experience in the past year or so, to see that most emergents are engaged in a one way conversation that has little room and tolerance for those Nazarenes who reject their ideology and their disrespect for the supremacy of Christ and His infallible word.

We hope these thoughts are helpful to you. The issues are complex, and the rhetoric is sometimes shrill and angry. We are hopeful that we can be patient with what is a phase in a conversation that is already beginning to wind down in some areas even while it is just now being engaged in by others. Hopefully, we can move beyond the mischaracterizations and embrace what is legitimate while we readily and without hesitation reject the aberrations.

Again, not specific yet, with all due respect.  What are these mischaracterizations, and what is being mischaracterized?  What is legitimate that we can embrace?  What are specifically the aberrations that we should reject?  Are we to continue speculating as to what you mean?  Or will we get a more direct dialogue and discussion about what aligns with scripture, and what does not? That is what matters, is it not, with these issues, whatever they may be?

We pray for you as you work with your people through this issue. We are not at all embracing anything heretical, but we want to engage in conversations with our young Nazarenes who want a vibrant church that is committed to our theology and actively engaged in ministry to the lost and broken people around us.

Dr. Middendorf, I don’t know what you are embracing personally.  What I do know is that many Nazarenes are embracing heresy and false teachings, and we need to know if what they embrace is heresy to you, or is it orthodox?  Yes, we believe in a vibrant church also, but it must be committed to defending the gospel as given to us by Jesus and the apostles, and we believe that another gospel is being preached in many parts of our denomination now.

Jesse C. Middendorf
General Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene

Thank you for this statement, Dr. Middendorf.  It is a start, but please hear me when I say, it is simply not enough for many Nazarenes who are hurting today, or worried about the future of their children  when they send them to college someday.  I pray that the next statement will take a stand on the specific issues that we have addressed so many times, but are yet to hear an answer.

Manny Silva

“The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Psalm 119:160

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24 responses to “Response To The General Superintendent Statement

  1. This was a statement made by Jesse Middendorf with I (assume) Jerry Porter standing by clapping heartily.
    Thats fine I understand why Jesse would not want to name names because that would put his own son Jon (who endorses the Emergent church and its teachings) under scrutiny for heresy. And that’s just my opinion there.
    I however do not see this as a blanket endorsement by all the General Superintendents.
    It is not.
    I believe it is just Jesse Middendorf’s opinion and statement.
    Now Jesse is using his rank and title here and that’s fine, everyone can come to there own conclusion on that.
    I really don’t think this statement helps anything I see it as just church politics.
    As Manny has pointed out and for everyone there is nothing concrete here.
    Relativism at its finest here.
    But I understand (I think) why Jesse did this.
    What one person thinks is orthodox here someone else who reads the Bible finds out its not.
    We see this with poor guys like Rich who I really feel sorry for.
    Just bad fruit from a corrupt school system thats out of control.
    I hate when people just do the dance for the sake of some sense of false unity.
    Its only an illusion.
    The church is divided over these issues and the church is looking for strong leadership to make a stand on something.
    Jesse can’t call out names because it could potentially hurt his son Jon.
    At least that’s my opinion.
    And thats a real bad place to be in.
    We can see that with Charles Stanley and his own son Andy.
    As well as Chuck Smith and Chuck Smith Jr at Calvary Chapel.
    We for sure should pray for both Jesse and Jon that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes to the blindness that has covered them.
    Sincerely in Christ
    Tim

  2. Since Tim mentioned me (and poor guys like me!) in his comment, maybe I should chime in.

    First, I agree with you, Manny, that this letter/statement doesn’t get into the specifics. I, too, look forward to seeing the specifics dealt with by the Board of General Superintendents.

    Second, I was saddened to read the paragraph in which you said:

    ‘Also, the emergents who I and others have interacted with over the last several years, do not match up with the description of “depending heavily on the authority of the word of God.” We see often acasual contempt of the scriptures; a dismissal of folks like me, who according to emergents, are practicing bibliolatry, when we say God’s word is infallible; and the almost worshipful attitude towards books written by emergent leaders like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, and on devotional books by mystics and universalists like Henri Nouwen. If these people that you describe in this way are out there, I have not encountered them yet.’

    I would like to think that I am such a person, and you’ve certainly encountered me!

    1. I do “depend heavily on the authority of the Word of God,” both for my own life and for my preaching to others.

    2. I don’t show any contempt for Scripture, casual or otherwise.

    3. I don’t think I’ve been dismissive of you or any other Concerned Nazarene. I have attempted to converse graciously and respectfully at all times. If at some point I have failed, and you feel I have been dismissive of you, I sincerely apologize and hope you’ll forgive me.

    4. While I disagree with your assessments of Bell, McLaren, and Nouwen, I don’t have an “almost worshipful attitude” toward these men or their words. Their books don’t have a special place on my bookshelves or in my heart.

    I would understand if you were to say, “These people that you describe in this way are few and far between,” but to say that you haven’t encountered them… well, it leaves me scratching my head.

  3. I disagree about this being just a statement from Dr. Middendorf and not from the BGS. Historically, individual general superintendents do not address an issue–if it is signed by a GS you can be reasonably sure that all of them are in the loop regarding the issue and the response and are in agreement.

  4. Manny and Tim,
    Just to clarify, A letter like the one above cannot come out identifying itself as “From the General Superintendents” unless is has the approval of all.

  5. Manny,

    I counted 10 we’s and 2 our’s, that’s enough to go around the G.S. table twice.

    It is wishful thinking that these guys are going to put out anything to help you out. Their undertones about your internet ability to have a voice is very prominent, even on their own blog postings in which nobody pays any attention.

    Additional comments on the post:

    “We appreciate your concerns regarding the conversations surrounding “the emergent church.”

    Yeah, Right!

    “complex and rapidly-changing culture,”

    Justification!

    “while seeking to make Biblical truth relevant. These people depend heavily on the authority of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to radically change lives, communities, and nations.”

    “heavily” “radically” “power” “authority”

    There’s the emergent endorsement!

    “Some are helpful and positive; others are problematic and deeply troubling.”

    Fake, Jab! Manny and the crowd is a problem and very troubling.

    “Some people believe that there is a monolithic kind of conspiratorial”

    This is a double slam and I’d rather not interpret on a public forum.

    “a conversation that is already beginning to wind down in some areas even while it is just now being engaged in by others.”

    Manny, this statement says to you, that they are way ahead of you and you will never catch up, a tactic to get you to quit.

    “The involvement of many of our young pastors and students in the conversation is an attempt to embrace the positive dimensions while clearly articulating an orthodox interpretation of Scripture and theology.”

    Interpretation:

    We have many others who represent a new way of doing business and are not interested in debating this any farther. Doctrines of Devils should have been interpreted as “positive dimensions” in the new bibles which we now have most of our students embracing. While they completely have lost their ability to tell somebody what the bible says or stand for traditional moral values. Neo-orthodox rocks!

    This post is nothing more than permission for emergents to go full steam ahead and be the Wesley’s of today! and they will take care of and label the trouble makers.

    Ps
    aberrations = Doctrinal garbage

    God help TCON!

  6. GS Jesse C. Middendorf,

    Observations

    1. “The “emergent church” is really somewhat of a misnomer.

    Webster’s On-line dictionary:

    misnomer: 1 : the misnaming of a person in a legal instrument
    2 a : a use of a wrong or inappropriate name b : a wrong name or inappropriate designation

    What name would you give this?

    2. While there are many attributions which imply that there is a single focus or movement called “the emergent church,” in reality, the conversations range all over the map.

    The church’s leadership should take a leadership role in with clear Biblical diagnosis’s and solutions.

    3. By most definitions of what is genuinely meant by “emergent,” John Wesley more than fits the description.

    If “emergent” is a misnomer, that what is genuinely meant by “emergent”?

    John Wesley on false Prophets via http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/sermons/032.htm

    What, if “the Prophets prophesy deceits?” if they “cause the people to err from the way?”

    What shall be done if they point out, as the way to eternal life, what is in truth the way to eternal death; and exhort others to walk, as they do themselves, in the broad, not the narrow way?”

    I. 1. We are, First, to inquire who these false prophets are. And this it is needful to do the more diligently, because these very men have so laboured to “wrest this scripture to their own,” though not only their own, “destruction.”

    In order, therefore, to cut off all dispute, I shall raise no dust, (as the manner of some is,) neither use any loose, rhetorical exclamations, to deceive the hearts of the simple; but speak rough, plain truths, such as none can deny, who has either understanding or modesty left, and such truths as have the closest connexion with the whole tenor of the preceding discourse: Whereas too many have interpreted these words without any regard to all that went before; as if they bore no manner of relation to the sermon in the close of which they stand.

    2. By prophets here (as in many other passages of Scripture, particularly in the New Testament) are meant, not those who foretell things to come, but those who speak in the name of God; those men who profess to be sent of God, to teach others the way to heaven.

    3. Every broad way is infallibly a false one. Therefore this is one plain, sure rule, “They who teach men to walk in a broad way, a way that many walk in, are false prophets.”

    Again: The true way to heaven is a narrow way. Therefore this is another plain, sure rule, “They who do not teach men to walk in a narrow way, to be singular, are false prophets.”

    I think this is what John Wesley would have said about the things in the church today.

  7. At this point, I do not really wish to submit my own opinion on this post. However, I do have a question:

    Do we believe that the Holy Spirit is active in leading our denomination?

    I cannot help but believe that the Church is Christ’s Church and He will not let it fail. He promises Peter that the Gates of Hell will not overcome His Church.

    Hence, I believe that the Holy Spirit is THE guiding force in all of our General Assemblies, elections, and theological conversations. This being said, I believe that God puts the individuals in leadership that He would like to be there. (Romans 13 says that there are no governing authorities put in place outside of God’s will). So, I believe that our Board of General Superintendents have been put in place by God
    Himself to serve our denomination and Christ’s Church.

    Hebrews 13 (among many verses in the epistles) tells us that we should follow, love, care for, and pray for our leaders. When the General Board, or even a single General Superintendent, makes a statement about something, I listen. It’s not that I agree with every word stated by the generals. But I do believe that those who lead our denomation have been placed their by God Himself, which means that I should trust that they are seeking God and being lead by God.

    Perhaps some of the words of Jesse should cause us all to re-think our own stances on many issues.

    -Keith

  8. Keith’s question implies that we shouldn’t question our leadership or the direction the denomination is headed because he believes the Holy Spirit could be behind it.

    So where is the line?
    If something doesn’t line up biblically, then, by all means, people shouldn’t sit by myopically and think that the Holy Spirit is honored in any way when God’s Word is compromised.

    Is the Holy Spirit leading the ECLA as the leadership recently approved a resolution to allow gays and lesbians in same sex relationships to be ordained?
    Does this example count?

    http://www.christianpost.com/article/20090822/elca-opens-ordination-to-noncelibate-homosexuals/

    Is the Holy Spirit leading the leadership in the Anglican denomination when the Anglican Primate of Ireland said that the church needed to reassess its interpretation of scriptural passages prohibiting and condemning homosexual activity?
    Surely this represents Christ’s church too?

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=170884

    When we begin to monkey around with God’s Word, and question, re-interpret, and introduce false teachings, (such as Open Theism), and allow authors who do not hold to orthodox doctrines into our universities and pulpits, (such as Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Rob Bell, etc.), then I think we most assuredly say with confidence, the Holy Spirit is NOT in it.

    Did Paul publicly correct Peter when Peter began to stray? Was the Holy Spirit in Peter’s behavior when he began to compromise?

    Being in a leadership position does not exempt someone from accountability.

  9. If you think Middendorf is radical, then you should check out this paper by the CotN’s most conservative theologian concerning the wrongheadedness of the CotN’s position on homosexuality.

    http://masbury.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/homosexuality-a-theologically-conservative-and-inclusive-view/

    In this paper, Grider referred to “we Wesleyans” which means, technically, he was referring to the “coasts side” of the CotN. But, then he also referred to Charles Grandison Finney and the Oberlin wing of the Holiness Movement which means he was also speaking to the ‘Cumberland Presbyterian’ or the fundamentalist side of the CotN, the side of the church from which this website evolved.

    My prediction: The 1908 merger was a mistake and you guys will eventually have to split the “Holiness Church of Christ” back out of the merger and join the Baptists, or really, I think you may have evolved to where you can take the “Holiness” out and join the Church of Christ.

    Think about it. This is J.Kenneth Grider. If he can write a paper like this, then you really have no theologians in this church. Seriously, it’s not like there are fundamentalists theologians in the Universities and Seminary who have been muzzled. There are no fundamentalist theologians and the theologians that hold the positions of leadership are not going to change. The only question these theologians have is can you succeed and if so, how big the schism.

    This is no different than the television schism in ’54. Bottom line. You are either going to buy a television, or split. Do you own a television?

  10. Why is John Wesley cited as a source of authority? That makes everything relative. One may as well say Brian McClaren is an authoritative source. If there aren’t some specific credal grounds laid out as to what is authority and what is not, an institution is lost from the get-go.

    Furthermore, what do you think the board means by orthodox?

  11. Good questions, Andy. Wesley certainly has respect because of what he has contributed, but even he and what he says must be ultimately viewed in the light of scripture.

    As far as orthodox, in my next post, I should ask the Generals to give us their definition- since that word was used a few times in their statement.
    I dare not venture to guess what they mean by that word- itc ould vary from one to the other.

  12. After reading Steve Sumner’s reply, it was strange that my pastor preached on the evils of “Neo-orthodoxy” and how it was corrupting the Body of Christ (present day Church).

    It is sad that the COTN leadership seems to be entrenched in this form of liberal theology.

  13. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    I agree that scripture should be the test for ideas and talking points.

    Dr. Middendorf, “Hopefully, we can move beyond the mischaracterizations and embrace what is legitimate while we readily and without hesitation reject the aberrations.”

    A definition should be included so our key vocabulary words are defined.

    Emotions become intense as words, theology and Nazarene history appears to be rewritten and distorted. When Bible believers are called Fundamentalist Jihadists and John Wesley is lumped with unbiblical practices, then emotions soar.

    Isaiah 1:18
    “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

    John 17:17
    Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

    Christians who have been saved with the blood of Jesus and sanctified by Jesus’ truth should be able to reason together using God’s word. Is this a leap of faith to assume this?

  14. I am certain this comment will never see the light of day, so I’ll copy it and post it over on naznet as well. As the pastor in question in regards to “The Shack”, I simply said I would be more than happy to give my opinions on the book. I just asked you to state who it was that said ” ‘The Shack’ is better than the Bible”, since you made this accusation in your post. I personally do not believe it is true, and since you are someone who claims to value the truth, it is your duty to either name the Nazarene leader who said this, or admit that no one did and it’s either gossip or cut from whole cloth.

  15. David,
    Well, your comment has seen the light of day. First of all, I NEVER said that ANY Nazarene leader said “The Shack’ is better than the Bible”. Could you please tell me where you got that from what I wrote?

    And could you please give your biblical justification about why The Shack is a good book for Christians? If not, that’s fine. I won’t play games like this however, having to justify to you on such a small thing that you brought up. It is true what I said, but it is not even germane to the question about The Shack’s merits. You won’t justify the merits of this book biblically, will you?

  16. These comments on “The Shack” seem to have landed on the wrong post, somehow…

    Manny, in your “Questionnaire, Part 2″ post, you said the following:

    “Christian pastors and leaders, including Nazarenes, have recommended this book as a great missional book, or inspirational book. One pastor described it as being better than several years in seminary. Some have said it is better than the Bible, or that it has changed their lives more than anything else.”

    While you didn’t directly say that it was Nazarenes who made the last two comments, the implication of the first sentence is that Nazarene pastors & leaders are saying these types of things.

    As for me, it’s been too long since I read that book for me to give specific responses to it. My general response is that it was an interesting, thought-provoking book that forces us to re-examine some of our commonly-held images of God that might not line up with what Scripture really says. That’s not to say The Shack gets it right (you’ve pointed out some areas where it didn’t), but it does confront some of the images we have of God that are equally bad and unbiblical. If it drives people back to the Bible to see what it really says about God, then that’s at least one positive thing about it.

    BTW, I said over on NazNet that if any pastor actually said that The Shack is “better than the Bible” or “better than several years in seminary,” they should be flogged mercilessly. Those are simply ridiculous statements.

  17. Rich,
    I continue to await a biblical defense of The Shack. Sorry you can’t do it, perhaps you should go through it again and see how you anyone can defend a blasphemous, heresy filled novel like that!

    I’ve pointed out “some” areas? That’s not enough for you to form an opinion, assuming those things Dr. Youssef and others have pointed out, are right? Where’s the discernment?

    Is this the defense? “You can’t throw out the baby with the bathwater??”

  18. Did I say I couldn’t form an opinion on it? No, I said it’s been too long since I read it to respond to the specific issues you’ve raised. There are some helpful things about the book, and there are some unhelpful things about it. I agreed with you that The Shack doesn’t get it all right. I’m not trying to defend it.

  19. I understand. But look at the specifics pointed on on this book- is that not enough to see that it is blatantly anti-scriptural?

    Something like this, with so much poison in it, needs to be rejected and condemned by discerning Christians- especially for the sake of those who are new Christians. Even if it for some reason has some good value in it, there is too, too much heresy in it for it to be a good book for Christians- other than for them to warn others about.

    The Trinity did not die on the cross- that is heresy!

  20. Ok Manny, since nobody will give you a biblical position for using and endorsing books such as the Shack I thought I would help out. Here are two separate verses that I think would justify the use of this material.

    Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression. . .

    And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven. . .

    Amos 4:4,5

  21. The Shack does attempt to teach doctrine.
    But the whole con of this book is that it goes through around around 80 pages to toss and turn your emotions and then get you emotionally involved and invested in the charcter.
    Then it starts to introduce doctrine even though its under the guise of fiction.
    Here are a couple reviews of this book for your consideration

    http://www.carm.org/more-stuff/features/shack

    http://www.challies.com/articles/the-shack-by-william-p-young

    Tim

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