Here’s the game. Read the following quotes and give yourself a score on how many you disagree with (you are not saying you disagree with me, but rather with the quotes in question).
1. “The Bible is one f______ scary book.” – Tony Jones, national coordinator of the Emergent Villiage (www.tonyj.net). I encourage you to comment on Tony’s new blog and let him know what you think of his statement.
2. Steve Chalke and Brian McLaren have both suggested that the subsitutionary view of Christ’s atonement is like “cosmic child abuse.”
3. Rob Bell in Velvet Elvis, “I have been told that I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that Jesus believes in me.”
4. Steve Chalke in the Lost Message of Jesus: “God affirms the orginal goodness of mankind.”
5. Rob Bell in Velvet Elvis, “God has an incredibly high view of people.”
6. “The problem, I think, at least in the Christian tradition, is that grace always seems to have no meaning apart from sin. The two concepts are always linked. Its not that I think sin is a myth or that everyone is perfect; it’s just that I believe linking grace to sin detracts from its beauty and intensity.” Spencer Burke, Heretics Guide to Eternity. Hmm, that’s an interesting position in light of Titus 3:3-4, 1 Corinthians 6:10-11. and 1 Timothy 1:13-14.
7. “Because in the kingdom of God, fun and play are important things…because in the kingdom of God, dignity and pride are also important things.” Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus.
8. “Moses was what we might call a revolutionary political leader and liberator, a cross perhaps between George Washington and Nelson Mandela.” So, in light of Hebrews, Jesus is not a better mediator than Moses; rather, He is a better revolutionary – a better cross between Washington and Mandela?
9. “. . We are already in unless we want to be out. This is the real scandal of Jesus. His message eradicated the need for religion. It may come as a surprise, but Jesus has never been in the religion business. He’s in the business of grace, and grace tells us there is nothing we need to do to find relationship with the divine. The relationship is already there; we only need to nurture it. Of course, growing up, I had a much different concept of grace. I grew up in an environment where grace was described as ‘unmerited favor.’ The only problem was that getting this ‘unmerited favor’ still required doing something – namely, ‘asking Jesus in your heart’ or praying a prayer.” Spencer Burke, A Heretics Guide to Eternity.
10. Steve Chalke suggests that the following from a children’s VBS is not the gospel:
(1) God created me. (2) I am a sinner. (3) Jesus came to die for me. (4) Until I accept him as Lord and Savior I cannot receive the abundant life God has for me.
He then presents what he believes is the gospel:
(1) Jesus explained that God loves them unconditionally. (2) God longs for them to be part of his plan for creation. (3) Jesus teaches that no-one can keep them from this destiny except their own decision. (4) Jesus’ death and his resurrection form the dead prove that he was telling the truth so we can trust him.
How many did you disagree with out of 10? Here’s the scale; call me harsh if you must:
0-3/10: I’d bet my money that you are emergent/emerging. If you don’t like the label and consequently won’t fess up to it, you’re proving my point.
4-5/10: I’d call you a soft evangelical with very little biblical/theological discernment.
6-8/10: You probably like to think of yourself as balanced. After all, Jesus was balanced right?
9/10: You are a fundamentalist or a conservative evangelical, but you thought I was unfair with one of the quotes above. I can deal with that.
10/10: Congratulations; you agree with me. What does that make you?