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Phil Hodge

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Tim. 4.3

Ken Zitsch

Chris:

I follow your ministry and resonate deeply with what you teach. I belong to a small denomination that is adopting the teachings of the Leadership Network (LN). The movement that I see in this direction is heartrending because I know that the direction our denomination is heading is absolutely fatal for the continued existence of the denomination. I bring this up because the "guru" that has been employed specifically to provide guidance from the LN is Reggie McNeal. He is amiable as well as personable, with just the right amount of self-deprecation. He mixes just the right amount of truth with a whole boatload of error. I would appreciate it if you could give some of your thoughts with regard to this fellow, if you are in any way familiar with him. You have said that the Leadership Network is completely and jointly culpable for the emergents. What I hear McNeill teaching (as well as others like him) is nothing more than a slight variation of that. I would appreciate your insights.

Paula

Is this where we are supposed to put our guesses on the Christological Heresies for Dan Southerland? Is it Nestorianism?

Adam Skinner

I’d like to preface this comment by stating that I didn’t listen to the whole 1.5hr podcast, but rather just the first 30 minutes. I do have some input based on that section, however:

1) Cell groups in the church

You didn’t elaborate on your objections to cell groups, and I didn’t find anything by searching the articles on your site. You said that you’d heard stories of wrong instruction there. I can believe that. This is the same objection the Catholics had to the protestants: no authoritative voice, no monolithic doctrine, but every believer coming to their own conclusions. Not only was this the objection to the protestant movement, but also the “common people” reading the bible for themselves.

Just as a cell group is not totally protected against exposure to false doctrine, neither is the local church. You can hear it preached every Sunday. In fact, I challenge you to find me a pastor whom I agree with 100%. Even R.C. Sproul, whom I consider a mentor of sorts (though he doesn’t know who I am!), takes positions that I disagree with or cannot affirm. The onus is on the believer, with a Berean spirit, searching the word and attempting to reconcile the teaching they hear with scripture. Not everyone is well-equipped to do this, and teachers are held to a higher standard.

You contrast the “pastor/teacher” teaching and ministering to everyone under his care with small “cell” groups. I don’t believe that the building and pastor centric church is the church modeled by the early Christians. A simple search of “church house” yields Rom 16:5, 1Co 16:19, Col 4:15, and Phm 1:2 as examples of the “church in [their] house”: churches being associated with people in their houses. Small groups of Christians being the church. Our mandate is not to get together one day a week to listen to a lecture and sing songs: our mandate is found in Heb 10:24-25 ESV “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, […] but encouraging one another […]”. The mandate is getting intimate with other believers in a small group and to “instruct one another” (Rom 15:14).

2) Bad theology

I believe your statement on “bad theology” was in the context of the “seeker sensitive church” movement. You’d mentioned “preaching another gospel” (which I would supplement with 2Ti 4:3-4). I agree with you that the seeker sensitive movement is wrongheaded, but this does not necessitate “bad theology” insofar as we consider it preaching another gospel. Remember: In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. If these guys are in fact preaching another gospel then their converts are not Christian at all, since they differ from Christian beliefs in essential matters; however, most of the time (and I think your criticisms are more geared to) this is non-essentials; while they may be wrong in terms of objective truth, it’s no matter to divide us. And regardless of our differences, let us speak the truth in love.

3) Fishing with nets

I think your analogy went off at this point, in an effort to make a reference to “lures” that people will fish with. Christians are not spear-fishers: we do not forcibly convert others. We are not net-fishers, where no man can escape the glorious truth of the gospel and whomever is caught in the net of our words will convert because they cannot escape.

We cast our line, draw it in and cast it again. Sometimes a fish will bite; it is not us who causes the fish to bite - we have no control over the fish. It’s God who causes the fish to bite. Our job is simply to cast the line by speaking the unadorned truth of of our need to a saviour because of our sin, and the coming judgment of God; of the redemption the blood of Christ has purchased for us; of the changed life that comes about as we walk in obedience to Christ, in faith.

Jonathan

But, fishing in Jesus' day was accomplished by nets, not bait/lures. Viz. Peter, "Lord we have fished (i.e. we cast our nets over and over again) all night long and caught nothing. But at your word....")

What is being done by the emergents is bait and switch self-help legalism, not the Gospel.

John

okay, maybe it's just me but i don't see a menu button on the player.

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