Not too long ago a person identified as Drena (@vadess40 commented on a post entitled The Heretical Tsunami Coming to a Church Near You where an experience was shared of what took place in a local Mennonite Brethren church.
After receiving the comment from Drena, I took a look around the internet and discovered that Drena referred to herself as a young theologian taking an MA on a Twitter feed which has now been removed from public viewing for whatever reason. It is this discovery along with her comment that has prompted me to write this post.
The comment lends credence to the viewpoint that some christian educational institutions have deviated so far from christian orthodoxy that they are embracing the emergent movement. Rather than turning directly to the Bible to substantiate doctrine, christian educators are turning to historical church movements to educate and articulate christian doctrine as though they are foundational to the premise of the judeo-christian faith without considering that a movement or doctrine may not even stand up to Biblical scrutiny. As such the students coming out of these educational institutions are ill-equipped to argue true Bible based theology.
As Drena stated in a comment:
“mysticism has been a part of the Christian faith since at least the dawn of the monastic movement, and has continued on through centuries”.
She further stated:
“Some theologians, such as Tyron Inbody, that mysticism is a part of evangelical salvation theology in its stressing of having a personal experience/connection/relationship with God through Jesus”.
To get an idea of the source that Drena is relying on, I have included an excerpt from a book authored by Tyron Inbody entitled Faith of the Christian Church which is located page on 236.
“ there are other faiths, but the truth of other faiths is established by Christ and measured by him as the norm. Salvation outside the church is included within the efficaciousness of Christ’s work. Exclusivists’ hold to the ontological necessity for the work of Christ for salvation (no one can be saved without him), but question the epistemological necessity of it (awareness of his work in order to benefit from him). Saved non-Christians participate in the one salvation constituted by Jesus Christ. Saving grace is a universally effective power of Christ through the Holy Spirit who touches individuals through some mystical awareness, moral consciousness, or knowledge of the truth by following their own conscience or by following faithfully the practices of their own religion”.
“Also, perhaps you should understand the theology and history behind certain practices before immediately writing them off as heresy”
On the contrary, her argument shows that within christian educational institutions, church movements are indeed being elevated above scripture which she herself utilized as a tool to quantify her argument. Instead of turning to scripture (Old and New Testament), historical archaeology or historians of the day (of which there are many) to dismantle what I had to say, she simply turned to another theologian who apparently attributes mysticism to being part of “evangelical salvation theology”.
With that in mind, the bible is considered a primary source which is acknowledged by many secular historians. Many of the events in the Bible can be backed up by corroborating sources or archaeological evidence. Should not someone who calls him or herself a “young theologian” try to articulate an argument by utilizing the primary source which expounds on the very foundation of the christian faith which existed long, long before the monastic movement?
Does an inspiring theologian consider that the premise of the monastic movement might be erroneous or heretical? Should not the monastic movement be put to the test against scripture? Can the monastic movement be quantified or established by turning to the original primary source which is the Bible? Or should the texts of history and faith and sin and redemption be sidestepped?
In terms of education, it is incumbent upon everyone who goes to an educational institution to test and examine what they are being taught.
In terms of the emerging movement, it is just that, a movement. Be aware.
Original comment from Drena:
Actually mysticism has been a part of the Christian faith since at least the dawn of the monastic movement, and has continued on through centuries. Some theologians, such as Tyron Inbody, that mysticism is a part of evangelical salvation theology in its stressing of having a personal experience/connection/relationship with God through Jesus. Perhaps you should read more into the emerging church movement instead of jumping to conclusions based on one experience? Also, perhaps you should understand the theology and history behind certain practices before immediately writing them off as heresy”
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