Thursday, March 26, 2009
Attended a lecture at Calvin Seminary tonight: Kevin DeYoung, of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, co-authored a book entitled “Why I am not Emergent but should be.” I was hoping to hear some good scholarly thoughts. That didn't happen. Instead, I ended up interrupting his closing remarks. When hearing something like “Doug Pagitt is a heretic and doesn’t know Jesus” hit my cerebellum, my very audible response was “Excuse me.” The ensuing battle was honest to the Jesus that I know… A few of the issues of tonight were not ‘what is wrong with emergent.’ No. (pause please) I’ve lived in this reformed world for my entire life. I'm a graduate of Christian day school, Calvin College, and Calvin Seminary. I’ve also found the ways of Jesus strikingly profound among those who call themselves ‘emergent.’ Kevin has a desire for his message to be heard, but let’s be entirely honest. Kevin is also a neo-conservative reformed guy. And his message is not so much about emergent. Emergent has simply become a good platform for him to spout some lousy theology and tell us about how preaching will be the saving grace of the church. Tonight I got angry. I probably embarrassed a few friends who were present. If you are my friend and love Jesus, I would have also spoken up for you. While I was angry, I have no doubt that I honored God for a few minutes as well. While Kevin speaks so highly of the cross being central to salvation, I struck by words that were not honoring nor even honest throughout the night. Just for a primer: “Shane Claiborne doesn’t understand reconciliation.” Yea. Put that into your mind for three seconds. Need I say more? If you happen to not know Shane Claiborne: he is living in perhaps the most dangerous and impoverished section of one of our nation’s cities. He lives and breathes and speaks the gospel every moment that he is awake. With closing remarks that informed several hundred people that this friend of mine doesn’t know Jesus, I had heard enough. I know Doug. I know his amazing wife as a friend as well. I’ve met several of his great kids. I also know his theology may challenge and push me and others. But that gives us no right to claim that he is outside of God’s grace. Only God has that right. I also know that Doug is honest and has integrity. Tonight I heard from someone who lacks both. But never will I question if he is saved. That is always and only God's place. More later about what’s wrong with Kevin’s theology… a primer… no mention tonight of the kingdom of God as current reality?
Posted by Randy Buist at 11:31 PM