Tuesday, June 30, 2009

just so's you'll know...

I just got finished looking through the list of Sojo's June postings...

And not one of them had to do with defending Sarah Palin's daughter against Letterman's sick joke. Not even in their mealy-mouthed double-speaking way.

Yeah, there's their view of justice of you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

oozing down the slippery slope

I don't know if they've done it before, but if not, the emergent mag site The Ooze has put out an article in favor of the postmodern redefinition of marriage, with the usual parade of whining nonsense contained in it.

Marriage for the Masses

It’s important that we begin to realize that not every marriage is be a cookie cutter and that we, as Christians (whether we believe that we hold all absolute truth or not) do not have the right to condemn a person based on their lifestyle choices.

But apparently we can condemn others for thinking differently, right? Especially if they believe in things like right and wrong, and base those beliefs on what the Bible teaches?

Let’s stop fighting for oppression.

Like I said, whining nonsense. Apparently, one if 'oppressive' if one doesn't give in to the sob stories liberals (and now emergents, assuming emergents are any different now) put out.

How is that, in any way, showing the love of the one who came to this earth to love all people, eat with the worst of us and buy us with tremendous sacrifice?

Yeah, Jesus wasn't really against the woman found in adultery doing what she was doing. He didn't tell her to stop doing that sin. He just wanted to have a cup of jo with her, and talk about how accepting he was of her lifestyle of cheating on her husband.

It is time to be about the ministry of reconciliation. We cannot demand that homosexuals live up to some “undisputed standard” when we fail to live up such standards.

We all know that we do not "live up to some "undisputed standard"" (whatever that is). We all know that we have sinned. We ask nothing of anyone that we have not done ourselves--repent and put your faith in Christ, and live no longer in sin.

Wait a bit longer, and soon the oozers will take the next steps. What will that be? Supporting groups like NAMBLA and their disgusting evil? Sojo has already had an article the clearly supported pre-marital sex.

Perhaps the final outcome of their attempts to do away with the secular/sacred divide is that there is nothing sacred in their eyes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

wishful thinking

You're right. I was referring to the fact that most Protestant seminaries fight with vigor the battles of yesterday, largely oblivious to the issues of today, hardly thinking of the issues of tomorrow. They still preoccupy themselves with fight the Protestant Reformation and the liberal-fundamentalist debates. (Somebody tell them those wars are over, OK?)...
Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christian, p. 145

This echoes a bit of something written earlier.

...And what about the United Campus Ministries group? Why weren't they invited? I know some of you are thinking, "Because they're too liberal, and we're all evangelical." Well, if I'm right, those distinctions are about to become inconsequential. So I'd imagine that when you plan a joint activity among your various groups in the future, you'd be wise to broaden the invitation...
pp. 40-41

It's a quite common tactic, actually. Heck, one may think that people like McLaren actually believe it. One can see it, for example, in the debates about Creation and Evolution--to the minds of those like McLaren, Evolution is the 'truth', so trying to say anything about Creation is essentially meaningless and a waste of time, we may as well roll over, call the first couple of chapters of Genesis a myth, and try to wring out some of kind of mythical, probably liberal and politically correct, meaning from it. Disbelieve the true God and believe the contradictory 'facts' of men who want us to discard God.

Or, there's the more modern ploy of global warming. Never mind how the facts disprove it, how it's all so obviously a leftist politcal ploy, how it's being used to take away our freedoms. We don't have time to debate it, or to seek the truth, or to find real answers. No, we have to dive head-first into whatever the nincompoops in government put into their legislation, and we have to do yesterday, because we have to tell ourselves we're doing something, even if it's hacking off our own noses and shooting ourselves in the feet.

It's a tactic designed to silence debate, to 'move beyond' what they think we should move beyond. It's a tactic designed to make those who have not surrendered those debates to seem of no consequence.

Now, what has to be asked, is, is the liberal/fundamentalist (or, if I may, conservative) debate really ended? Is there no reason to fight the same battles those during the Protestant Reformation fought?

It's rather amusing, I think, that liberals will say such things, even as they are the ones who themselves are fighting the battles. They will attack, then besmirch those who defend.

So, for example, people like Borg and Crossan can tell us that the Gospels are mostly stories made up by the early church, with barely a smidgen of the real life of Jesus in them. They can tell us that there were no real miracles, that Jesus' body was never buried but was eaten by wild dogs, that there was no resurrection. They can tell us that we should look for truth about Jesus in aberrant Gnostic gospels filled with nonsense.

And then, when people refute their arguments with the truth, they will say that there is no debate, it's futile to continue trying to defnd the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, and "Somebody tell them those wars are over, OK?"

Well, they're not. Or they would be, if poeple like McLaren would surrender their vain imaginations. As it is, they would rather hold to them then not, wanting the respect of men more than of God.

Monday, June 22, 2009

ackbar called it

..."Let me ask you a question, Daniel. Where is teh foundation for the home of this spider?" I replied, "Well, I guess it doesn't exactly have one. But it does have anchor points--like where the web attachesto that leaf and that branch and that branch there..."

"Ok," Neo said, "I think you can see where I'm going. What if faith isn't best compared to a building, but rather to a spiderweb? Instead of one foundation, it has several anchor points. Those points might be spiritual experiences, exemplary people and institutions whom one has come to trust, that sort of thing." "But where does the Bible fit in?" I asked.

"Well," Neo replied, "it could be seen as one of the anchor points. Or perhaps every passage in the Bible that has affected your life could be seen as an anchor point. Or perhaps the Bible isn't only in the anchor point. Perhaps it is part of every thread of the web."

I wasn't satisfied. "But I think you're stretching things, Neo. I mean, why just pick a spiderweb as your model for faith? That seems kind of arbitrary, doesn't it?"

"No more than a building with a foundation, really. When you think about it, a spiderweb has some real advantages over a building. It's flexible. It can be repaired when it's damaged. It functions as both a home and a tool for catching food...
Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christian, pp. 54-55

For one thing, the idea of the Church as a building is not arbitrary, but biblical. We have the passage where Jesus tells Peter that upon the rock of the confession of Jesus as the Christ, He will build His Church. There is also the passage where we are told the church is built on "the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone".

And what could the Apostles and the Prophets be for us today, but the Scriptures (with apologies to Peter Wagner and the other pretenders).

But, what is a spider's web? Is it really a home?

I've seen spider's webs, and will not deny that there is something like beauty in them, though best appreciated from a distance. I can remember seeing one foggy morning, large webs visible with beads of water on them, stretched between the lines on overhead power and telephone cables, one after the other, dozens of them. I've also seen smaller one one porches and in trees and other places.

But what is a spider's web?

To my observation, spider's don't really seem to live on their webs; rather, the web seems to be place they work, or to use a better word, hunt. In that sense, it may be seen as an office.

But I think a better way of seeing the web is as a trap.

McLaren does make mention of it, in the above excerpt, where he says it's "a tool for catching food". But if one looks at it as a trap, one can see that a trap is a very different thing from a home or a building.

For example, if one thinks of metal leg traps, one can note that one of those doesn't have a foundation, but it does have an anchor point. Or one of those snares that catch legs and hang the creature by them, those have no foundation but an anchor point much like the web does.

I suppose one could think of traps that do have foundations, just as one could think of houses that don't have foundations like we think of (houses in trees, maybe). But I think a spider's web has more in common with a trap, than with a house or building.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

looks like i wasn't the first...

...to notice the "Bible idolatry" argument some like the emergents are starting to use.

And, thankfully, some better able to form arguments against it have done so.

A Thought on Bibliolatry

The Psalmist is a Bibliolater?

From the second link...

Those who use it often draw a false dichotomy saying we should follow Jesus or God but not be enslaved to a book. A simple response could be: which Jesus? Whose God? How do I know them. To say we should follow Jesus and not the Bible or Jesus more than the Bible is a radical dichotomy of the worst sort. Jesus teaches us that all of the Scriptures point to Him. Jesus Himself uses the Bible authoritatively--i.e. in a way that those leveling the charge of bibliolatry consider idolatrous. In fact, the Bible is the only infallible marker to Jesus Christ. It is a covenant treaty that is given to God's people...almost like a marriage certificate. It is a treaty from our Great Kind announcing to us that He is reconciling Himself to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. In short, we have no kingdom charter without the text of Scripture... no way of being sure if the kingdom of God has indeed dawned in the Son

This link is found in the second link above.

Is Bibliolatry Possible?

A fine theologian of whom I asked the question thinks that bibliolatry is possible and that the scribes and Pharisees were guilty of it. Now we must guard against laying all the intellectual sins ever conceived at the feet of the poor scribes and Pharisees. They have quite enough sobering problems. But were they bibliolaters to boot? Well, they did highly honor the words of Scripture. Whatever else you say about scribes and Pharisees, they knew the Book. Look, for instance, at those of whom Herod inquired regarding the Messiah's birthplace. "Bethlehem of Judea!" they snapped off, "For so it has been written by the prophet, 'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah...'" Let me ask you. How well do you know Micah's prophecy?

But it is a tragic fact that the scribes and Pharisees, though knowing the words of the Book, knew not its Author. "You know neither me nor my Father," pronounced Jesus. Perhaps it is bibliolatry to know the Book but not its Publisher. To know dead precepts, but not the living God. "Thou shalt love the Bible thy Book with all thine heart, soul, and strength. But God is expendable." However, let me ask you this: How did Jesus answer the bibliolatrous folk of his day?

Jesus answered wrong users of the Book with the Book. Is bibliolatry possible then? Not easily, but yes, I suppose bibliolatry may possibly occur in some extreme cases. Yet is it bibliolatry to hold to a high view of Scripture or to attribute infallibility or other divine attributes to God's Word? How about substituting God's actions with the Bible's record of his acts? "The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith. . . ."

No, what some may call bibliolatry is not always- indeed, is rarely such. Let us truly love the Lord our God with all our hearts and worship him only. But "to reverently esteem" the Book, "the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole...is to give all glory to God." 3 Even to love God's Word has good precedent in our Lord Jesus himself: "Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day long...I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law...But these things were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life."

I now call on those who posted on this blog, and accuse me of bibliolatry even if they did not use that name, to respond to these things I've posted here. Put up or shut up.

Monday, June 15, 2009

phar i see

Finally, he (Neo) spoke up. He seemed to have been having his own internal conversation: "Besides, the whole notion of authority as so many people conceive if is thoroughly modern." Now, I must have looked even more confused, because Neo gently hit me on the shoulder, smiled, and winked. "Relax, Dan, I'm only saying what the Bible says. That oft-quoted passage in Second Timothy doesn't say, 'All Scripture is inspired by God and is authoritative.' It says that Scripture is inspired and useful--useful to teach, rebuke, correct, instruct us to live justly, and equip us for our mission as people of God. That's a very different job description than we moderns want to give it. We want it to be God's encyclopedia, God's rule book, God's answer book, God's scientific text, God's easy-step instruction book, God's little book of morals for all occasions. The only people in Jesus' day who would have had anything close to these expectations of the Bible would have been the scribes and Pharisees. Right?
Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christian, p. 52

Delve into the world of emergent enough, and you'll find that they love to play the Pharisee card--all those who question them in the wrong ways (question as in seriously challenge), who disagree with them, who stand by what the Bible says, and don't approve the things they (emergents) want us to approve of, almost invariable get the Pharisee label stuck on us by them.

You can see it in the above, pretty easily. Those of us who accept the word of the living and true God about how He created the world over the words of men who can't even agree among themselves over how the process of evolution took place, are labelled those who want the Bible to be "God's scientific text". Those of us who look to the Bible for moral guidance and standards are labelled those who want the Bible to be "God's little book of morals for all occasions".

And, of course, we are shelved right down there with the Pharisees.

But was that the Pharisees' mistake? Were they wrong?

I've had some experience with being around Christians who were legalistic.In my youth, I heard plenty about the evils of rock music, tv, movies, smoking, long hair on boys and pants on girls. But I still call them Christians because, even while legalistic, they would say that living their way was not the thing that saved a person, but only faith in Christ. Whatever their faults, they didn't go that far.

In Romans, Paul deals with the problems his people had with the way God had opened for their salvation. "They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge". Their problem was that they had tried to use the law to "establish their own righteousness", and "did not submit to God's righteousness". Salvation is by grace, not by works.

In one of Jesus' stories, he contrasts the prayer of a Pharisee with that of a tax collector. The Pharisee's prayer was full of pride in his own goodness and good works, while the tax collector could only pray for God's mercy. It's plain from the story that Jesus approved of the tax collector and not of the Pharisee.

The Pharisees' problem, I think it may safely be said, was that they tried to make themselves right with God through their own works, they tried to earn eternal life, and at least one result was a pride that could only be considered noxious.

One thing that I think their problem wasn't was in taking the Scriptures seriously--if anything, they should have taken them even more seriously then they did. Their problem wasn't in thinking there was an Adam, a Noah, and a Moses, but in thinking that simply because they could trace their ancestry back to Moses, then they were ok (something that even a cursory reading of the OT should have made plain wasn't true).

And so, I can only smile and shake my head at what I consider a false and misleading little misdirection of McLaren's part here. Sorry, but the Pharisee label doesn't fit.

(oh, and note to neo--if the pharisees were so all-fired modern, then obvious it shoots down your argument about authority as we think of it being thoroughly modern, right?)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

jones is so right, and so wrong

Why It Matters that Jesus REALLY Rose

One of the strangest things about Tony Jones is that, at least in the emergent circles he runs in, he seems to be the most "right", in more ways than one. But then, he's also the one who's most publicly come out in support of the wrong, especially in regards to so-called sexual lifestyles.

In the blog entry linked to above, he makes one of the better arguments for the reality of Jesus' life and death and resurrection.

While the Jesus Seminar infamously rejected the miracles as mythological fables, I think it's important that Jesus healed real people of real maladies. The inauguration of a new age would be rather impotant if Jesus wasn't able to heal an actual, physical, historical woman who had suffered from non-stop mentrual flow for years, thus disqualifying her from Temple worship. Yes, she was real, and her blood was real, and her healing really meant that she could join with God's people and experience temple worship.

Why is that important? Because I'm a real person. Because the people to whom I have ministered in Jesus' name are real persons. We're not hypotheses, fables, or legends. And we need real healing, all of us. While our realities may be largely socially constructed, we have real DNA, real physical, material properties.

Thus, since the resurrection of Jesus is his defeat of death, evil, and grief, it's important to me that it really happened. Without a resurrected Jesus, Christianity is impotent. (Exhibit A: liberal Christianity) And I don't mean a Jesus who was "resurrected" in the Disciples' hearts, and in my heart. I mean a real resurrection in the space-time continuum by a physical being known as Jesus of Nazareth, as 99.99% of Christians for the last two milennia have believed.

Despite the pomo-creep into his thinking here, it's actually pretty good. He mentions nothing about the Bible's own accounts of the resurrection and how important it is, as Paul wrote "If Christ is not raised, our hope is in vain, we are still in our sins, and are of all people most miserable". Still, kudos to the good try for Jones.

But literally bookending this statement of his, he tries to tie himself in knots.

And I understand where they're coming from, because I don't feel the same way about the historic facticity of Adam and Eve, the Tower of Babel, Jonah living in the belly of a fish, or Job's family and cattle being wiped out by God...

So, here's my pledge: I'm going to keep theologizing about ways to affirm historic, orthodox Christianity while undermining the historic Christian perspectives on social issues like slavery, the role of women, and homosexual rights.

It would be amusing, if it weren't so sad.

Jones has bought into the liberal definition of love, which isn't love at all--call it permissiveness, relativism, tolerance, but never call it by the noble name of love. Should he ever see that the most unloving thing he can do is to encourage people in their sinful lifestyles, he will have made a great step forward. Other men may say he is unloving if he should do so, but that is not important.

Monday, June 8, 2009


First, a couple of things, recent comments people have left on this blog. This first from a few weeks ago.

I would say the verse from roman's you quoted was describing a time before the Bible was together - the hearing there was not hearing the Bible.

And, if you are some how suggesting that faith starts with the Bible, then I might suggest that your faith is really in the Bible and I implore you to put your faith in God.

And this recent one, from this past weekend.

oh good grief, Jazzact. You never change.

Simple question for you: Is *scripture* the *source* of your salvation? If you answer yes you are an idolater. If you answer no than you are in agreement with Blake on this more than you care to admit.

It was in thinking about how to respond to this last one that I remembered the first, and it was in think of that that I noticed that there seems to be some parallels in their thinking--the implication and accusation that I (and likely by extension, all like me) have faith in the Bible rather than in God.

Which leads me to wonder if this is emergent's new tack, to accuse those who believe in the inspiration, infallibility, and authority of the Bible of having faith in the Bible rather than in God.

I don't know if anyone else has encountered this, or how they have responded, but if this is as new to you as it was to me, here's the deal--it's an absolutely asenine argument, not worthy of these people's supposed intelligence to be making, and they should know better.

I have faith in God's Word because I have faith in God. I don't make some kind of stupid distinction which says "I believe in God, so I can not believe what He has said". We tell people what the Bible says so that they know what God said, so they have in Him that is more than a mere vague assent to a new-agey warm fuzzy.

I don't play the "Bible is a man-made construct" because it isn't--it is the divinely inspired Word of God.

2 Peter 1
"19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

To my mind, I see no reason to answer the accusations in the above quotes from (I suppose) emergent commentors here; rather, they and emergents as a whole should answer to how they play fast-and-loose with Scripture, trying to make it fit their own pre-conceived notions and either discarding or openly opposing it's moral teachings.

happy b-day

Since Dilbert is an occasional source of inspiration and insight here, it's only fair to shout-out Scott Adams' self-cameo in the strip, and to hope his birthday is a good one.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

the continuing

I really didn't read this until a few minutes ago, though I'm not unfamiliar with Tickle and her attempts to say the sola scriptura is ending. I think this does lend a perspective to what I pointed out in the last post about McLaren's words about scripture. Emphases mine.

What Happens After Sola Scriptura?

So, admitting the immanent end of Sola Scriptura is not a categorical rejection of Scripture as much; rather, it is a coming to terms with our own limitations and finitude as human beings and adopting a certain humility about our readings. I seriously doubt whether the Bible is infallible since it was written by pre-modern men (yes, they were men). But that doesn’t mean I don’t think the Bible is authoritative or instructional. It merely means that I believe our ability as humans to fully understand the Bible is severely limited. The history of hermeneutics is indicative of this. We can very quickly identify points today where we believe our theological ancestors were absolutely wrong in their interpretation of Scripture (slavery, subjugation of women, etc.). I’m sure 50-100 years from now our grandchildren will say the same about us. We know things today that we didn’t know in the past and we don’t know things now that we will in the future. That deeply affects out readings. We are fallible, broken people. We need to hold our hemeneutical lenses loosely.

But how do we avoid simply throwing out the baby with the bathwater? Here is what I propose: let’s use a new word, a word that still retains a deep sense of respect and affection for the Scriptures and the history of God’s salvific action in history with God’s people. A word that doesn’t allow the spirit of the Reformation (and the Enlightenment) to crust over into static dogma. I like the word prima. Prima Scriptura. Scripture is without a doubt our primary authority and primary source for theological reflection, but is not and cannot be our sole source. We are more complex than that. Scripture is our prime witness to God’s interaction with God’s people, beckoning them/us to join in God’s divine endeavor of restoration and renewal. It seems to me that opting for a phrase such as this preserves our identity as Christians whose story and history is told in the Bible, but at the same admits our limitations, approaching divine revelation with deep humility, and understanding that we get it wrong all the time so we mustn’t hold our readings so tightly because they are fallible. What better way to remain open and attentive to the movement and dynamism of the Spirit? A Spirit that no matter how limited and broken we have become, meets us exactly where we are pushes us — and our readings of Scripture — toward continual transformation and revision.

Let us celebrate the end of Sola Scriptura. But let’s not stop there. Let’s provide a healthy alternative, something that still places its trust in the Holy Writ as the primary source for revelation and yet is still open to continual revision and divine redaction. Let us embrace Prima Scriptura.

Why is this person trying to downplay the role Scripture to mere a role (though a primary one), instead of the source for us? Why is he unwilling to say that Scripture is infallible? A bit of diggin on his own site, which he links to on the EV blog above, probably shows why.

“Thoughts on Homosexuality.”

I am confident that 50, maybe 75 years from now we will have resolved the “gay issue”
as some call it. We will have reached a consensus and moved on. It will be a non-issue,
instead we as a church will likely be splintering over another hot button issue. In fact, I
imagine my grandchildren and great-children will look back on my generation with the
same sort of wide-eyed amazement and disbelief that I feel when I look back on my
ancestors who participated in slavery, denied women the right to vote, and promoted
white supremacy. They will wonder why in the world it took us so long to shake free
from our oppressive self-imposed myopia of denying the reality that God uses all persons
even those of different sexual orientations. They will wonder, like many have since
Constantine officiated the wedding of the church and the nation-state, why the church,
who should always be the first to decry injustice and oppression, once again remained
silently and paralytically complacent with the diseased status quo.

One of my favorite passages in the New Testament is Galatians 3:28 where Paul conveys
this message most explicitly, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or
free, there is no longer male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Because I
believe that Christianity is inherently contextual–indeed, that is the very essence of the
incarnation–and because I believe it is the task of the church and of the Christian to
interpret and re-interpret the scriptures within their contemporary worlds, I can’t help but
wonder how Paul might write that verse were he here today. Perhaps it might be
something like this, “There is no longer graced or ungraced, there is no longer gay or
straight, there is no long heterosexual or homosexual; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I could go on and talk about Jesus’ life and his welcoming the unwelcomed, accepting the
unaccepted, and loving the unloved, enabling the disenfranchised, but I won’t. We know
the story. At least I think we do. Perhaps we know the story, we just don’t believe it.
Perhaps we need to be converted to the true essence of the gospel, to our high and noble
calling to re-imagine the world, acknowledging that all persons, regardless of sexual
orientation, are invited to respond to grace and to participate in God’s work in/with/to the
world nurturing this alternative reality called the kingdom of God.

Amazing, isn't it, how for these emergents, it all comes back to sex.

There is an agenda behind their attempts to diminish Scripture--Scripture simply doesn't support their positions, so they must find ways to work around it while saying they're not abandoning it.

taking His Word for it

..."Over here you have the conservatives, who look at the Bible the same way medieval Catholics looked at the church and pope: infallible, inerrant, absolutely authoritative. Then over here you have the liberals, who see the Bible more or less as a collection of artifacts, reflections of the religious life of the Jewish and early Christian people--inspiring, perhaps even inspired in places, but not authoritative..."

He (Neo) continued "What if the real issue is not the authority of the text down on this line but rather the authority of God, moving mysteriously up here on a higher level, a foot above the ground? What if the issue isn't a book we can misinterpret with amazing creativity but rather the will of God, the intent of God, the desire of God, the wisdom of God--maybe we should say the kingdom of God?"
Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christian, pp 50-51

There is a subtlety here that I've had a hard time seeing through, but I think I'm starting to understand it now.

I can't remember where, but I've heard or read of some emergent who has said the we conservative have made the Bible into a "paper Pope", which seems to be what McLaren is saying in that first paragraph, when he says conservatives view the Bible as Catholics used to view the Pope.

But that argument refutes nothing. If anything, it's like taking a forgery of an art work and using it to disprove the existence of the real piece of art. Mankind taking the words of a mere man as being as authoritative and infallible as the Word of God only shows mankind's errors, not that the Bible is not to be viewed as infallible, inerrent, and absolutely authoritative.

The subtlety comes in in the next paragraph, where McLaren through his character Neo tries to separate the will of God from the Word of God, or maybe a more accurate way of saying that is he's separating what one thinks is the will of God from what one thinks of the Word of God.

He begins by trying to separate the question of the authority of the Word of God from the question of the authority of God. The problem becomes, though, that once he's done that, how does he intend to know the authority of God in regards to what God's will is? If God is authoritative, then why is the Word He gave us less authoritative? If God's Word isn't authoritative, then how are to know for certain what the will of God is?

One can see how this works out in the ideas of liberals such as Borg and Crossan and Spong--the Bible to them is largely a work of mythical fiction, with little real history buried in the obviously fantasy accounts of miracles and angels and all that stuff. We can know little if anything of the real Jesus from the Bible, and obviously the accounts of his death and resurrection are mostly if not totally made up by sincerely but ignorant followers who wrote them many years after the fact, and perhaps there is Paul who may have seen the early church as a way to make a name for himself or what not. While the Bible is of course respected and revered (in the same way a wife-beating husband may claim to love his wife), there is no compulsion to follow it's obviously barbaric dictates by those who have progressed beyond such things.

And so, the Word of God is merely...there. If anything, they seem to take far more time trying to explain it way than anything else. And in the end, one can see that their ethics and morality and almost completely contrary to anything in the Bible.

That is the door McLaren opens with this idea, back in 2001. And does anyone care to deny that emergents have walked through that door, and are becoming more like the liberals referenced above?

This attempt to artificially separate the authority of the Word of God from the authority of God is not good, and in the end doesn't make sense. Imagine, for example, a king issuing a decree. The words of the king in the decree have authority, because the king has authority. It would not do to say that while the king yes has authority, the words of the king are really not so authoritative.

And if that could be said of merely human king, how much more for the One who is King of all Kings? To say that He has authority, but to say that His Word does not, is a tricky bit of sophistry that will not work, but will only undermine the idea of God's authority.