He is still obsessed with semi pelagianism... and it seems his preferential "man-loving" label...
"man-loving semi-pelagian new evangelicals embracing the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church" ~ Ken Silva
So I wonder if Ken will ever come out of the closet with the "man loving" obsession he has? = )
The best (? saddest) part is that last paragraph where Ken loses it completely...
"And a word to these man-loving semi-pelagian new evangelicals embracing the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church like Rob Bell and Erwin McManus. Rephrasing what was mused elsewhere, when you start yakking on about being "culturally relevant," "missional," and "embrace mystery" etc. it’s like our brain converts anything you say after that into “blah, blah, blah … explore the human spirit, social reformer, rabbis say blah, blah, blah”, and our mind wanders to "why we don’t take you seriously." "
And without the Love, Mercy, and Grace of God everyone is condemned by the Great Ken Silva as he writes people off with a Seinfeldian "blah, blah, blah”.
It seems that to be a "man loving semi pelagian" is worse than ignoring the commandments of our Lord, to love Him and to love one another.
The most interesting part of this exchange is this... Ken actually in a rare occasion gives answers... something he has never done with or for me. I guess just stating to me that I am not "saved" was enough for Ken.
Yet, here is Kens answers and I will add my thoughts in bold.
The noted Christian philosopher and apologist Dr. Francis Schaeffer used to say: "Honest questions deserve honest answers." I believe this as well and so I will respond from a position of no offense taken and no intention of causing any. Setting this upfront due to the limitations of the written language.
You say: "Yes Ken, you and I do seem to be proclaiming very different understandings of the gospel." You may believe me when I say that I do appreciate your candor and respect your sincerity. I now will respond in kind.
You say: "You seem to be following the gospel of John MacArthur (and John Calvin?) while I do my best (though imperfectly) to follow the gospel Jesus proclaimed..." This looks to me as if in your mind there is a divide between "the gospel" of MacArthur and "the gospel" Jesus proclaimed.
But the truth is, I follow no man. The MacArthur reference is simply a current illustrative example of men who proclaim that Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is what is meant by the doctrines of grace. These were proclaimed by the ancient Church long before there ever was a Calvin.
Iggy: Ken has a huge double standard he is expressing here… “But the truth is, I follow no man.” Yet, all emergents are following Tony Jones, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell and in some way Rick Warren would be tossed in by Ken. So the “truth” is that Ken can state “I follow no man” and then state “while I do my best (though imperfectly) to follow the gospel Jesus proclaimed” as if in some contrast all emergents do not do this also!
You point out: "But I wouldn't describe our views as complete 'opposites'." Ah, but they are. I say God alone chooses whom He will save according to His will and grace and nothing whatsoever to do with anything any human being ever does. You say, at least on some level, man cooperates with God. Monergism vs. synergism. Opposites.
Then you say: "I don't deny the central aspects of the gospel you proclaim. I believe in the divinity of Christ, his death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, and that we can be saved because of his sacrifice. I believe in Heaven and Hell and think that some people do end up in both."
I am purposely trying to be as non-offensive as I know how (really, I am *smile*) but I hope you realize that even Satan himself "believes", and even knows, these things are in fact true. You see, this would actually prove nothing.
Iggy: One of the criticisms of Kenites are that emergents are throwing out the great reformers… in fact there is some very colorful language in how they state this… but I digress. Yet, Ken can wipe clean 1400 years of history and ignore it as he overlooks much that happened before and even after the reformation. Notice also that Ken makes judgmental swipe at Mike’s salvation by stating that “even the devils believe” but in all actuality does not even attempt to answer the question. Ken has stated that he is “obeying God” and that he listens to Gods voice, “I felt led” is a common phrase Ken uses… and in that negates that he is an autobot that just does what God makes him do. Yet, he states that here that “I [Ken] say God alone chooses whom He will save according to His will and grace and nothing whatsoever to do with anything any human being ever does.” No one negates that but as I showed even Ken “at least on some level, man cooperates with God.” Or how can he say that “he felt led” as he does… (if you need references just go to Ken’s Apprising Ministries website put the phrase in his search engine and then search the phrase in all the missives that come up… and see how much as some level Ken “cooperates with God”. One note also is that many of the “leaders” in emergent are Calvinist… so I guess Ken is stating that Calvinists emergents are also semi pelagian… it only shows to the extent of Ken’s ignorance of what emerging is about.
Now, one will say he is talking about salvation… yet, then to use the standard of Ken’s gospel one would judge his fruit and see if he is not cooperating with God, he is not producing his OWN good fruit and thus is not saved. At least that is how I have had it explained and used against me… by people who do not even know me.
Next you go on to say: "IMHO the evangelical gospel is not wrong, just incomplete,..." Being that you are one who believes in synergism you would be able to say this. I, however, left evangelicalism because of its semi-pelagianism and undercutting of God's total sovereignty.
The following is really an all too common misconception concerning the beliefs of those of us who believe the doctrines of grace: "because in addition to all those things I also believe in the present reality of the kingdom of God..." So do we.
iggy: I recommend that Ken listen to John’s statements at The Way of the Master where John states rather clearly that the difference is that their Kingdom is “only spiritual” while most other traditions see the Kingdom as present now, spiritual, and to come in it’s fullness. Listen Now Download it here. (It starts at the 22:44 mark.)
(A side line here point on this notice how they take a small portion of what Brian actually states and twists it to mean something totally other than what Brian states? John then states we are not to give justice here on earth! Note they state that Kingdom is not now here..." The Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom and we populate it by witnessing to people and preaching the Gospel." This then negates the Resurrection of Jesus as being the first fruits of the Kingdom.)
But here's where we part company: "and that Christ's gospel was less focused on where we go in the afterlife (did you know that Jesus only preaches on the Resurrection once?) and much more on calling people to live in his kingdom way here and now." We are to do all we can to help our fellow man and be good stewards of this world.
Personally I even think we've not done such a good job. That aside, the Bible is quite clear that this "here and now" will be destroyed by fire. God is not recreating THIS heavens and earth; He is preparing (or has prepared) a new heaven and a new earth.
This is why according to Scripture you are wrong when you speculate: "God is not just concerned with forgiving the sins of individual people, he wants to reconcile the whole world (cf. Romans 8:19-21)."
Iggy: Ken misses some interesting nuances. In the New Creation we who are resurrected are not destroyed though the perishable is clothed with imperishable. The New Creation is like that it too is resurrected and purified and made new. What Ken is doing is misunderstanding that we are stating that this world is to be as IT IS in the new creation and that is far from the truth…. Yet, we live here now and we must learn to take care and be good stewards with this planet and its resources. In a sense this earth will be like us, in that it will be purified from corruption and be redeemed at the revealing of the Sons of God. Again, Ken shows a real lack of understanding and is rather trapped in his fundamentalist view of the future of earth in the New Creation. IN his version if the though be carried out. We will not exist and will be annihilated even as those redeemed, and then be completely recreated… the Bible does not state that about mankind, it does not state that about the New Heavens and New Earth.
Ken seems then to negate that God wants to reconcile the whole world… so he does not believe scripture when it states in Romans 8: 19 -24;
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Ken is denying that there is more happening in salvation than just getting our own butts into heaven and out of hell… and then says of Mike that God is “just” concerned about getting us saved.
And here is an extension of your earlier misconception: "Social gospel vs. evangelical gospel is not an 'either/or', it's a 'both/and'." The evangelical gospel has actually become your emerging repainted social gospel ala Walter Rauschenbusch. We are not saying that there is no social aspect to Christ's gospel. We are saying it is secondary to Christ's mandate follow His example to seek and save those who are lost.
Iggy: here is the extension alright! I know of not one emergent that sees that Walter Rauschenbusch taught the idea of “social gospel” in a full fleshed out way. In fact, it seems that even if WR got part of it right, he is all wrong… so Ken cannot see that God’s heart is and was always about social reform… or in others words, how we treat other people. Ken again negates the bibles teachings on this in exchange for his “doctrines”.
Isihah 58: 5 -8
“Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”
You say: "At any rate, you can rest assured that I'm very practiced in considering other points of view and entertaining the possibility that I could be wrong." Mike, I have no reason to doubt your word here. And I don't.
You ask: "How do you think I ended up in the emerging church? I was once very much like you - a Calvinist Baptist minister who thought that his way was the only possible right one." Sincerely and with gentleness; I will say that in my mind you would have just described an apostate.
Iggy: “Sincerely and with gentleness; I will say that in my mind you would have just described an apostate.” With that Ken has called Luther and all the Great Reformers apostates… it is in true Ken style logic… or rather illogical style. Ken here is also admitting he cannot see things from others views. This is also a symptom of what is called “borderline personality disorder”… or the inability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Next you say: "But it was by listening to other points of view, and especially by coming back to the Bible without my Calvinist theological lenses that I began to see things differently." My response is that I personally was saved in an Arminian and Charismatic church. I began believing in synergism.
Long story short; I have zero formal theological training and have never studied Calvinism. My testimony is that by simple private study of the texts of the Bible, God the Holy Spirit led me to believe His monergism and in the doctrines of grace. It was only after this that I went and began my studies of theology.
Iggy: This is similar to my own testimony, yet Ken seems to think that only what he has read and come to believe is right… this is a logical fallacy as without some other tools one can come out with some bad theology as evident in Ken.
Then you point out: "I will take the time to entertain the possibility that your way may still be right and that I may in the wrong." Mike, I think we know this is really not seriously very likely. That's fine, you've made your stand. I disagree with you, but please know that I do respect your defense of it.
Iggy: Ken is now omniscient and can read minds and hearts of other men? LOL!
And finally you ask: "But I wonder, can you say the same? Will you actually, seriously and honestly consider whether you may be wrong in your theology and people in the emerging church may actually have some truth to teach you?" Honestly, absolutely no. I have also made my stand.
In 1994, well before their even was an emerging church, I was still Arminian in theology and planted Rock Springs Mission Church. I was doing the "emerging thing" even before you. Attempting to be "relevant" and "missional" with hair down the middle of my back and my secular rock band coming out of the church. Played in bars, hung out with sinners...well, you know.
Doesn't work in producing real converts to Christianity, because while the sympathy to the plights of our fellow man is obviously sincere, in the end the version of the gospel - the one you currently espouse - is deficient. Through my studies I began to see the reason why; and this was long before I looked into the Reformers: Salvation is through the grace of God alone; by the faith alone given to us by God, in Christ alone.
Two very radically different views of the Christian faith. Only one could be right, there is no middle ground here. There isn't supposed to be.
Mike, I do appreciate your willingness to dialogue. So as an offering of good will, and out of respect, I have tried to be thorough enough to do justice to your well thought-out response.
Knowing we are both very busy I envision this to be the last I'm going to say here. And I also say shalom.
Iggy: This last part shows again Ken has no grasp of emerging. He claims to have tried it but bore no fruit… hmmm maybe that was the problem Ken it was ALL YOU.
I see that even when we as emergents agree we are taken done some dark corridor of Ken’s mind and proven wrong no matter how bad the logical leaps and twistings of what is actually true.
I have in my life changed often as I read and discovered the truths in Scripture. I still do not see myself as having arrived as one such as Ken.
I do not want one to think I am doing all this out of vengeance or anger; in fact I love Ken… for some strange reason God has placed him on my heart to pray for. I ask that you take a moment to do so also. This is not a battle of flesh and blood and Ken is not my enemy. He is a man, though a bit confused about the great Grace and freedom of our Lord… loves Jesus.