my unanswered question

Yesterday I had the privilege of being a respondent on the “Exploring the Emerging Church” panel at Calvin’s Symposium on Worship.  The presenters were three emergent leaders:  Jason Clark, a Vineyard pastor in England; Peter Rollins, the leader of an emergent gathering (Ikon) in Ireland; and Kevin Corcoran, a philosophy professor at Calvin College.  These three are writing a book on Emergent together with Scot McKnight, who was unable to attend the symposium.  The respondents were me, Lori Wilson (an emergent leader in West Michigan), and James Smith, another philosophy professor at Calvin.

Personal highlights for me was finally meeting Jamie Smith, who is a leading scholar in postmodern and worldview issues, and Peter Rollins, who despite holding what nearly everyone on the panel said were extreme views, is an extremely likeable and charismatic person.  His fast talking, funny, Irish lilt had the room in the palm of his hand, and I could easily imagine myself spending an entire evening chatting him up over a can of Diet Coke. 

I liked Pete so much that once I even came to his defense (which shocked him and me).  I said that his apophatic theology, while wrong, is a common mistake made by others who so emphasize God’s transcendence that they leave revelation in doubt (see Cornelius Van Til’s unfortunate comments in his debate with Gordon Clark).

The job of the respondents was to ask any question we wanted, as long as we were prepared to answer the question ourselves after the panel took a shot.  I said that I wholeheartedly embraced emergent’s emphasis on community, friendship, and social ethics, but I wondered if beliefs also played a role in following Jesus.  I prefaced my question by saying that beliefs must be embodied in practice, so I wasn’t asking about beliefs by themselves, but I wondered whether there were any beliefs that were necessary to follow Jesus.  If so, what are they?  And if not, why not? 

Jason, Pete, and Kevin each took about 5 minutes to respond.  Each essentially repeated the preface to my question, saying that beliefs must be embodied in practice and could not be divided from practice, but none actually attempted to answer it.  Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch the panel took questions from the floor and discussed various aspects of emergent worship, and then, with only a half hour left in our session, a gentleman from the floor stood up and asked if I was satisfied with the earlier response to my question.  I admitted that I was not, and that while the afternoon’s discussion was interesting, it was merely window dressing unless my question was answered.  So I asked it again.

The panel wanted me to answer it, but I replied that the ground rules were that they go first.  They asked again, I deferred, and so they took another stab.  Jason said that his church recites the Apostles Creed.  I asked if any or all of it was essential for Christian belief, and he didn’t say.  Pete said that once we say that Christianity is about belief then we inevitably separate beliefs from practice.  So in the interest of uniting belief and practice, he would not say what Christians must believe.  This fit with his earlier comment that he “was not interested in what we believe but in how we believe what we believe.”

Kevin said that he didn’t like my question because it assumed that salvation is punctiliar and that people believe at a particular point in time.  Instead, he preferred to think of belief as a process.

Now it was my turn.  I agreed with Kevin that salvation is a journey, but that there is a moment in time when we pass from death to life, from darkness into light.  Scripture calls that moment regeneration, and according to John 3, the Holy Spirit uses truth to do that job.  I cited John 3:16, 18, and 36 to the effect that we must believe in the Son to be saved; Romans 10:13-15 that we can only be saved if we know and believe the gospel; and the conversion story of the Philippian jailer to show that the answer to the question “What must I do to be saved?” is “believe in the Lord Jesus” (Acts 16:30-31). 

So I said that at minimum we must believe that we are sinners and that the Lord Jesus saves us from our sin, as well as we should not reject such Christian staples as the Trinity, the deity and humanity of Jesus (see the Athanasian Creed), and we should also believe the biblical story of creation, fall, and redemption and Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and return.

The resurrection of Jesus was a recurring theme, for Pete said that “first and foremost” the resurrection is about what has transpired in his heart and only secondarily the historical question of whether Jesus arose from the dead.  So long as Pete is not “denying the resurrection” by “turning his back on the poor,” he isn’t interested in whether the tomb is empty.  When I shared this with my nine year old son at dinner, he said that Pete’s view can’t work, because how can the resurrection of Jesus change you if it didn’t really happen?  I gave him a high five. 

Another surprise was Kevin’s self-described “controversial” belief that “Christians, Muslims, and Jews worship the same God.”  He said that while salvation comes exclusively through Jesus, “it sounds crazy” to him that “God would only make himself available to Christians.”

Back to my story.  Jamie jumped in and said that I was expressing a “Baptist, conversionist view” which was not the Reformed understanding of regeneration, in which God may regenerate unknowing infants.  He said that our Christian beliefs arise after regeneration rather than are the cause of it.

I didn’t reply then, but I had about a 10 minute conversation with Jamie immediately after our session ended.  I don’t think it’s right to divulge our private conversation over the web (not because of what was said, but just to respect his privacy), but for my part I agreed that regeneration precedes faith but that God normally uses truth to produce said regeneration and faith (and I have quotes from Luther and Calvin to that effect). 

Or if regeneration is problematic, I asked Jamie to consider conversion.  Faith in Christ requires that we first know something about him, for how can we trust what we don’t know?  [I checked Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics this morning, and he agrees that “logically speaking historical knowledge precedes faith” (4:97)].  Jamie had to run to another seminar, so we agreed to stay in touch and talk further about this. 

As I was leaving, Jason thanked me for my question and agreed that beliefs are important for following Christ.  Jason did strike me as the most evangelical of the three panelists, so I believe that he meant it, though I’m still perplexed that after two tries, my question remains unanswered.

24 Comments

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  1. hey there, just wanted to say thanks for some thoughts you offered a while back when you came to my class… they made their way to my latest post.
    thanks!

    oh and, that is some interesting conversation above… i also think that Rollins seems like a great guy and I think many of his questions and ideas have warrant, it does strike me as strange to try and live out beliefs that you don’t even know what they are. hmm…

  2. Mike:

    Glad you made it to Lansing and back OK. Are you doing the HALE PhD program at MSU? I heard it’s a requirement for all GRTS employees now.

    As I mentioned briefly yesterday, the panel’s unwillingness/inability to positively assent to any necessary beliefs, coupled with their denial of any certainty of knowledge, reminds me of a group of academics Augustine addressed in chapter 7 of his Enchiridion. This group of academics, who thought they had found a new way of knowledge, refused to assent to anything (including their own existence) for fear of being wrong. They considered all knowledge uncertain and ultimately negotiable. Augustine concluded that this epistemology “ought not to be regarded as a higher wisdom but actually a sort of dementia.” I know you like to draw connections between the Emerging movements “third way” and the liberalism Machen faced nearly a century ago, but apparently their new and innovative ideas are at least as old as Augustine!

    Oh, and in the interest of avoiding any further violent outbursts by you, I humbly withdraw my snarky comment about your singing. I now realize that you are a man of limitless talents and can succeed at any endeavor you undertake.

  3. What I have the most difficulty with is that darkness is posing as light. Can you imagine the fix the Philippian jailer would be in with his simple question (Acts 16:30, 31)?

    By the way, did you catch Lisa Miller’s latest Newsweek article?

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/181287

  4. “If there is a religion in the world which exalts the office of teaching, it is safe to say that it is the religion of Jesus Christ. It has been frequently remarked that in pagan religions the doctrinal element is at a minimum – the chief thing there is the performance of a ritual. But this is precisely where Christianity distinguishes itself from other religions – it does contain doctrine…definite, positive teaching; it claims to be the truth; it bases religion on knowledge…” James Orr “The Christian View of God and the World” pg.20 Eerdmans 1954

    Interesting post Mike. The brief quote above would no doubt be rejected by the panel you questioned. When I read the above named book it reminds me that the current discussion is very much a flavor of the same discussion that has been going on for years.

    I take great comfort from Jesus prayer in John 17:17 where He prays for His people “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” When the Lord of the church places such a high view on truth, shouldn’t his people be able and willing to answer simple questions such as you asked this panel?

  5. Pete needs to read Christianity and Liberalism. Machen takes a Machen-te to all that nonsense about Christianity primarily being true “in my heart.” Screw that. You ask me why I know he lives? THE TOMB WAS EMPTY AND THE WORLD CHANGED FOREVER! Oh, and Scripture is gloriously self-authenticating. The Dragon is bound, regardless of what’s going on “in my heart.”

    Your son is clearly smarter than those on the panel, BTW.

    But here’s another unanswered question: how could you possibly make a can of Diet Coke last all night?

    One more thing, you should come up to Lansing in February for this http://www.calvin-500.org/ It’s at University Reformed (where Kevin DeYoung of Why We’re Not Emergent is pastor and Ted Kluck attends). I’ll buy you lunch! Thai even…

    And all of you other commenters should come as well. I’d like to hang with you (and see Joel again).

  6. Mike,

    I appreciate your reference here:

    “(see Cornelius Van Til’s unfortunate comments in his debate with Gordon Clark).”

    We need to be careful how we express the transcendence of God so that we make clear that knowledge is not only possible, but essential to our “salvation”. If we suggest that our knowledge and God’s knowledge never coincide at any point, then it’s not a leap to suggest that doctrine is not all that important–how can it be if we’re unable in any way to know as God knows?

    God is “incomprehensible” in some sense, but He’s declared to us that we must believe Him (and how can we unless He has declared something to believe?). He hasn’t left us without testimony about Himself and He expects us to believe His Word. And how can we believe His Word unless we have the capacity to “know” His Word?

    GGM

  7. God is “incomprehensible” in some sense, but He’s declared to us that we must believe Him (and how can we unless He has declared something to believe?).

    In other words, he’s…fully concealed and fully revealed. YES! BARTH!

  8. “YES! BARTH!”

    Not quite…”some” does not equal “fully”–even a Van Tillian should appreciate the difference!🙂

  9. I’m attending the Calvin at 500 Conference in Feb. Driving up from Ann Arbor. Maybe the snow will be done by then. Maybe? Please!

  10. [blockquote]Not quite…”some” does not equal “fully”–even a Van Tillian should appreciate the difference! :-)[/blockquote]
    But remember–Barth wasn’t saying that there’s nothing more to God than what is revealed in Christ, just that there’s nothing other. Christ is the exact representation of God’s being (or, I rather prefer the KJV, “express image of his person”–catches the charax color a little better).

  11. So where were our friends from Calvin Seminary at this? I imagine Bolt and Bierma would support you 100%…Bolt just contributed to “Reforming or Conforming?”

    I’m surprised about your and Jamie’s discussion. Robert Reymond (a favorite GRTS Reformed text) clearly outlines election-external call-regeneration-faith-justification-sanctification as the ordo salutus. Where’s the disagreement?

  12. Hey there

    Just wanted to pop my head in and say that it was a pleasure to meet you and engage with you at the Symposium. Thanks for your kind words above. I hope some day we can chat further… although I may order a Guinness🙂

  13. I hate to beat a dead horse, but here again, I think it comes down to the whole conversation conversation that I’ve mentioned a few times already.

    It seems as though there are quite a few people out there who want a part of the conversation (i.e., what we do) to be THE conversation.

    This is, in my estimation, one of the most common errors in conversation; that is, the failure to understand which part of the conversation you’re having, and to acknowledge it as just that…a part of the conversation (and one step further, to identify which part it is and situate it within the greater whole).

    I too would have been frustrated with Pete’s second response (even though he sounds like a great guy), but I wonder if the reason that Pete, and many others, are hesitant to talk about belief is that they’re used to people not abiding by the basic rules of conversation (mentioned above)…and this adds another level to the conversation, and an ironic one at that. We’re frustrated by the response, and the refusal to see a part of the conversation in the context of the whole, but their response is conditioned by a general failure of people to engage in conversation (i.e., by the rules). So we’re frustrated that they won’t hold the two in tension, and perhaps the reason that they won’t is because they’re afraid that if they attempt to do so, we’ll make belief the whole conversation (as we’ve, and I’m using this in a general sense, done so at least some of the time…if not a bit more regularly)…it’s a form of tu quoque, really.

    Now, obviously you make a strong both/and argument in your book, and we have no disagrement. I just find it interesting that many conflicts seem to be just as much the result of poor conversation (or conditioning…years of poor conversation coming to bear on the current one) as the actual points of the argument. Maybe we need to have a conversation about conversation before we actually have a conversation. I find myself doing this pretty regularly, as is evidenced by this post (is it the third or fourth time I’ve brought this up?). Thoughts?

  14. c.brewer

    I get your point but is it really all that unfair to ask that both sides in the conversation participate fully? What I mean is that it appears like the individuals mentioned in Mike’s post only wanted to converse about practice and not belief. i.e. “Pete said that once we say that Christianity is about belief then we inevitably separate beliefs from practice. So in the interest of uniting belief and practice, he would not say what Christians must believe.”

    What if one party to the conversation wants more and tries to introduce it and only gets blown off like Pete appeared to do here? How can it be called “conversation” when one party wants to define all the rules and anything outside of that is ruled out of line? Reticence about the basis of practice seemes to breed contempt for belief.

  15. Layman

    We are in complete agreement here. While you have to know which part of the conversation you’re having, and commit to having it (without trying to always talk about something else, and therefore never really having that part), you have to have each part.

    I think Mike is trying to do that.

    All I was saying is, first of all, that the panel didn’t seem to know which part they were having, or maybe that it was only a part (thus their unwillingness to have any part other than the behavior part, and even more, as if it were the only conversation), and second of all, and this was more of a question up for discussion…are they unwilling, not only because of their failure to understand how conversation should work, but also, and perhaps to a lesser extent, because they’re used to people only having one part of the conversation, and so if they’re only going to have one part, they’re going to have the behavior, which is in their estimation the neglected, part? I’m not saying this is right, only that it is interesting given the ironic nature already discussed. And that begs the question…are we following the “rules of engagement”? Perhaps if we followed Mike’s example more often, peoplpe would be more willing to have the conversation. And yes I realize that this is giving them the benefit of the doubt, but I suppose we should always start with how we might change/grow/improve before asking others to do the same.

    Wow…that was a lot of qualifications and commas!

  16. I am increasingly skeptical that ‘conversation’ is the best paradigm or description for what I think we’re talking about. In other words, if we start with the New Testament’s perspective on humans having received words from God (kerygma and ‘teaching’) about the ways/doings of God, the dominant ideas seem to be one of heralds or ambassadors faithfully and authoritatively communicating a particular message (news, good news) that is saving when believed. And beyond this, there is a tradition of teaching that is to be successively and authentically delivered/handed on that will guide the doing (praxis) and serving (mission) of the disciples (believers/obeyers) of Christ.

    In the current conversation, there seems to be this virtually never-ending quest to even figure out what the ‘message/tradition’ is (or might be). The apostles and the early church seemed to be confident that they knew what that message was, and that their task was to declare, explain, defend, extend and embody it.

    I recognize that there were times when the early church (as it was ’emerging’) had to clarify its understanding of the Message (e.g., Acts 15), but this to them was a do-able project, apparently accomplished in a few days at most, before the proclamation with explanation resumed.

    Will the emergent ‘conversation’ ever turn into authoritative (yet still humble) ‘proclamation’?

    Doug

  17. Doug

    “The apostles and the early church seemed to be confident that they knew what that message was, and that their task was to declare, explain, defend, extend and embody it.”

    I fully agree with your statement here. If there is a “conversation” it is in the area of your last point “…embody it”. (praxis) What does this mean? Does it not seem apparent that many emergents seem to want a praxis without “kerygma and ‘teaching’”? How sustainable is that? It looks more like planned obsolecence to me.

  18. Layman,

    From what I can tell from your last post, we’re saying the same thing (sorry if something I said in my original post led you to think otherwise).

    I’m firmly committed to the both/and perspective reflected in Mike’s book (“Don’t Stop Believing”). And along with the question I posed in a previous comment thread (what theologian in the history of Christendom ever claimed that we know God fully/perfectly?) I now add, ‘who in evangelicalism is trying to make a case for belief only, with no praxis/embodiment/mission etc.?’

    Is it just me, or does it kinda seem like the Emergent Village is largely populated with evangelical ‘straw men’?
    🙂

    Doug

  19. Hi Mike,

    As one member of the panel at Thursday’s Worship Symposium I was hoping I might address your question again. For it seems to me that your question did get answered by each of the panelists but not in such a way as you are prepared to accept.

    Before I address your question (and a couple of the comments you make in this post) let me first say how much I appreciated your presence on the panel and the hospitality you showed to each of us. It was a delight to share the table with you.

    Okay, the question is whether there were/are any beliefs that were/are necessary to follow Jesus. If so, what are they? And if not, why not?

    My resistance to the question as it was posed on Thursday is that there are assumptions built into the question that I have serious reservations about and I felt I had little time to unpack those reservations. Here I have both the time and the space for unpacking. So, first my answer and then some explanation. My answer is, no; there are no beliefs necessary to follow Jesus.

    Now the explanation and the reservations. The privileging of belief, especially of the sort you mention here in the post, e.g., belief THAT we are sinners and THAT the Lord Jesus saves us from our sin, as well as THAT God is a Trinity of persons, THAT Jesus was both human and divine, etc, represents an overly intellectualized and overly cognitive view of belief. It seems abundantly clear to me that someone could possess all of the BELIEFS THAT that you mention and fail to be a Christian. After all, even the demons believe in that sense. God, I take it, is not interested in belief of this sort. God is interested, one might say, in the total reorientation and rearrangement of our lives, our loves, our desires our entire way of being in the world.

    Second, nearly all of the beliefs on your list were ones that the first followers of Jesus never held. Jesus called them, “Come, follow me.” And some did. And those that did did so without believing THAT Jesus saves us from sin, THAT God is a Trinity, THAT Jesus was both human and divine, etc. They didn’t believe those things BEFORE answering the call and, in the case of the first disciples anyway, it’s not likely that they ever believed those things since those “beliefs” weren’t even codified until hundreds of year AFTER people were already following Jesus.

    Third, and following on this point, I told the story on Thursday about the guy who told Pascal that he really wanted to become a Christian and and that Pascal’s response was not to tell him what to believe; rather, he told him to “go to Mass and take the Eucharist.” The point Pascal was making was that engaging in Christian practices can and sometimes does lead to belief. If the question is, does belief lead to following Jesus or does following Jesus lead to belief, I think we should say that beliefs of the sort you refer to DO NOT always lead to following Jesus and that following Jesus sometimes does lead to belief.

    I suppose the main point is that all of the beliefs you cite were the result of the retroactive reflections of those whose lives had FIRST been transformed by an encounter with the risen Christ that radically transformed their lives. The radically altered life produced the beliefs; the beliefs did not produce the radically altered life.

    Now, you say in your post that all of the things we discussed at the Symposium and with which you agreed in large measure were “merely window dressing unless my question was answered.” I suppose one might consider them window dressing only if one has a highly intellectualized and overly cognitive view of faith. Absent that view what we were discussing was the very substance of faith.

    You also say in your post that you agree with me that salvation is a journey, but you want to insist that there is a moment in time when we pass from death to life, from darkness into light. I don’t deny that. What I deny is that that momentous, life-altering event is the result of belief. Rather, I would suggest that beliefs of the sort you cite are the result of that momentous, life-altering event.

    Cheers,
    Kevin

  20. Kevin,

    It appears to me that two things are being confused here; faith as the active laying a hold of and relying on the person of Jesus, or if you will, coming to Christ, and faith as the understanding of who Christ is and what it means to come to him. I’ m not aware of anyone who has ever said that you have to have a perfect understanding of the meaning and purpose of the person and life of Christ (the faith) before you can come to him (faith). Faith in Scriptures has the meaning of both the things to be believed, as well as the relying on and trusting in. Once again it is not “either/or”, but “both/and”. To move towards Jesus as emergents describe it still demands that one have some rudimentary comprehinsion of some basic “Jesus facts”.

    Having come to Christ, or if you will, having started the journey, the question remains what is there about this Jesus and his life that makes my coming to him so important and meaningful? What is there about this Jesus that I should want to come to him, or to use other words, “to move towards him”? Am I to leave that question unasked? Yet as soon as I ask it and seek answers, I run into “Jesus facts” (the faith); things about him that that make “moving towards him” (faith) meaningful. And I might also add, coming to that understanding of “Jesus facts” is a vital component of “the journey” of “moving towards Jesus”.

    I find myself scratching my head when I sense that for whatever reasons, our emergent friends will not or can not articulate “Jesus facts”. I’m left with the question of who is this Jesus you talk about? Why should I want to “move towards him? If there are no “Jesus facts” to explain who and why, then why spend my time even thinking about it?
    I’m sorry to have to tell you that as I listen to “emergent speak”, I don’t hear to many cogent answers to those questions.

    Peace…

  21. Bill,

    I think someone has in fact said (or at least has come very close to saying) that you have to have an understanding of the meaning and purpose of the person and life of Christ in order to be a Christ follower. At least what Mike says in this post sounds an awful lot like that.

    I consider myself a friend of emergent, and insofar as I understand you, I think what I said is in basic agreement. No one on the panel would deny any of what you refer to as “Jesus facts.” As I said at the conference, I have staked my life on the claim that God was in Christ reconciling the world to God’s self. And in terms of emergents’ unwillingness or inability to state what you refer to as “Jesus facts,” I am both willing and able to state that I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen and all the rest of the content of the Apostle’s Creed. The issue (or one of the issues) is not whether emerging types deny or are unwilling or unable to say that they believe in “Jesus facts;” the question is where to place them, their role and relevance in the Christian’s life. The question is whether being a Christian is fundamentally and primarily about beliefs in such facts. Maybe the way to put it is this: Do beliefs in “Jesus facts” bring about Christian transformation or does Christian transformation bring about belief in “Jesus facts?”

    At the most basic level it seems clear to me that God is most interested in the total reorganization and reconfiguration of human life, of reorienting the human will, human heart, human desires and loves. God is interested in our moral and existential transformation. This of course is in no way incompatible with concrete Christian beliefs of the sort you’re interested in. But the goal is transformed lives, not belief in “Jesus facts.”

    I’d go even further, in fact, and say that one cannot have a life-transformational encounter with the risen Christ if historically and factually Jesus the Christ was not raised. So at the level of ontic reality, the facts come first, i.e., they’re first in the order of being–no resurrection of Jesus means no transformational encounter with a resurrrected Jesus. But at the level of lived experience, encounter with the living Christ comes first and belief in the relevant “facts” often comes after.

    The questions you pose are not necessarily to go unasked. But participants in emerging take them to be of the sort to discuss over a beer, and then only occasionally. They are much more interested in their becoming Christians and in confronting all the deceptions and features of human existence that stand in the way of complete transformation. They want to see themselves and the world change. That’s of first existential priority. And I’m with them.

    Is that a coherent if not cogent answer to your questions? You may not agree with with everything I’ve said, but that’s a different matter.

  22. Dear Kevin C.,

    How does your view square with a passage like 1 Cor. 15:1-4ff. where Paul says that persons are “saved” in connection with their believing/receiving “good news” and a “message” with a specific content, including certain ‘Jesus facts’ – that he died (event) for our sins (theological belief regarding that event), and was buried, and raised on the third day?

    Paul specifically says, “by this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to [=believe, cp.v.11] the message that I proclaimed to you.”

    Or what about 1 John 4 where John insists that whether or not one believes a “Jesus fact” (that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh) determines whether or not one is “from/of God” and whether or not one is animated, so to speak by the Spirit of God or the spirit of antichrist? (vv.1-3ff.)

    Maybe most striking of all is the case of Cornelius in Acts 10 and 11. He is described as “a devout man who feared God…and gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly…” (10:2). According to your categories it seems to me that he would qualify as a person well down the road of ‘transformation.’

    Nevertheless, the account concerning him turns on his need of hearing from Peter a “message by which you…will be saved” (11:14) Whatever else might be said of Cornelius, he is not “saved” until he hears and “believes” the gospel message (filled with Jesus facts) from the proclamation of Peter. (Cp. Rom.10:14-15)

    So many more passages could be added, including Paul’s paradigmatic statement in Rom.1:16 that the “gospel” (good news about the person and work of Christ, a specific message with a specific content, e.g., 1:3) is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”

    I cannot see how your view fits with the exegesis of specific passages like these.

    Cordially,
    Doug Phillips

  23. How many people over the centuries have lost their lives because of a clear and unwavering belief in “Jesus facts”?

  24. Kevin,

    I’m not sure you understood my statement correctly. Do we need to have some rudimentary knowledge about Jesus in order to believe in him? Yes… Do we have to have complete knowledge of Jesus and the meaning of his life to believe in him? No… It is my sense that traditional evangelicalism at large is being accused by emergents of affirming the second statement when we are really affirming the first statement. I will be among the first to admit that historically evangelicalism at large has emphasised faith as facts over faith as a way of living, but at the same time neither can we emphasise faith living to the point we minimize faith facts. My whole point is that it is “both/and”.

    I do appreciate your own personal affirmation of the basic truths of Scripture as they are reflected in the Apostolic Creed.

    Peace…

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