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The emerging church and the one project part 3


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The Emerging Church and The One Project? is a series of PowerPoint presentations asking the question if there is in fact a connection between the two. The purpose of the presentations are not to lambast those who want to lift Jesus up, but rather to allow leaders of the One Project to tell us in their own words (and the words of those promoting the project) what their goals and aspirations really are, and how these goals have been enacted in their past experiences.
Presentation 1 of 10 is a summary of the Emerging Church as defined on Wikipedia. This is a summary of the 17 page article found there which is taken from many leading proponents of the Emerging Church here in America.
Presentations 2 through 4 deal with Leonard Sweet, a leader in the Emerging Church movement and a professor at George Fox University, and many of the nearly 50 books he has authored which express his various viewpoints.
Presentations 5 through 9 deal with the five main leaders of The One Project, four of which graduated with or started DMin degrees from George Fox University under the mentorship of Leonard Sweet. In each presentation an objective look is taken at material in print telling of each leaders work and ministry up to 2012. The question will naturally follow; is this the direction we should be leading our young people in the Adventist Church?
Presentation 10 deals with the One Project gathering in Seattle, February of 2012, looking at the claims of the Project “Jesus. All” and comparing this to what really took place at the gathering. Yes, there was some good points made, and we need to lift Jesus up, but…. We also take a look at a little of the evidence suggesting The One Project is a response to GYC.
For a fully interactive edition of all 10 presentations with video clips, contact:

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The emerging church and the one project part 3

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  3. 3.  “Their recorded discussion is titled The Tides of Change and was packaged as part of an ongoing series called „Choice Voices for Church Leadership.‟ … According to information on the tape set, this presentation was about ministry on the emerging „new frontier.‟”  “Challenging pastors to make changes in their ministry to meet the emerging postmodern culture and the changing times, Sweet and Rick Warren present themselves not only as pastors but also as modern-day change agents. In their conversation together, Sweet enthusiastically remarked to Warren: „I think this is part of this New Spirituality that we are seeing birthed around us.‟” 3
  4. 4.  “„New Spirituality‟ is the term that most New Age leaders are now using instead of „New Age Spirituality.‟ … Emerging church figures like Sweet, Brian McLaren, and others are also employing the term „New Spirituality.‟ They use it to describe the „new‟ Christianity they are practicing as „New Christians‟ and „New Light leaders.‟”  “What has become clear over the last decade is that the „New Spirituality‟–with its bottom line belief that God is „in‟ everything–is, in reality, the foundational New Age „hub‟ for the coming New World Religion. This panentheistic New Age/New Spirituality teaching that God is „in‟ everything will be the „common ground‟ melting pot belief that the coming New World Religion will ultimately rest upon.”  (Warren Smith Blog, 4
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  7. 7.  “This witty, yet substantive primer explores the basic concepts and vernacular of postmodern ministry. This „postmodern ministry-for- dummies‟ will help „immigrants‟ learn to speak PSL (postmodern as a second language), so they can better live, minister, and make a difference in the emerging postmodern context.”  ( 7
  8. 8.  “I cannot find a single redeeming feature to this tragicomical book. The authors are earnest, but they are completely clueless about the philosophical concepts they are trying to summarize and employ.” (By Timothy McGrew "Philosopher" (Kalamazoo, MI)  ( reviews/0310243564/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneS tar&showViewpoints=0) 8
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  10. 10.  “The gospel presents a life-changing NUTS wisdom that conflicts with normal ways of making sense of the world. There is the World According to Normal. There is the World According to NUTS . . . where NUTS is an acronym for Never Underestimate the Spirit. The wisdom of Jesus is a NUTS wisdom. ---From the book All people are different, but some are more different than others. Christians are meant to be the most different of all. Yet we often 'normalize' God. We judge what is a successful Christian and a successful church by the world according to Normal, not the world according to NUTS, the wisdom of Jesus.”  ( ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1347782062&sr=1-20) 10
  11. 11.  “I think: This book is a complete waist [sic] of time and money. The price of $.95 is a statement of it's value. Every page is work to read and understand. The content is all over the place like ADHD had a hand in this. … If you are trying to understand more about Christianity and our relationship with God - THIS IS NOT THE PLACE TO FIND IT! We read this book as a Sunday school project and chose to abandon it as a bad idea. I don't normally go off on things like this. (Bad ideas get thrown in the trash) But this is so extreme I just had to.” (By E. McManus (Chattanooga, TN)  ( reviews/0310232244/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterBy=add OneStar&showViewpoints=0) 11
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  13. 13.  “What should the church look like today? What should be the focus of its message? How should I present that message? We live in as pivotal and defining an age as the Great Depression or the Sixties--a period whose definition, say some cultural observers, includes a waning of the church's influence. The result? A society measurably less religious but decidedly more spiritual. Less influenced by authority than by experience. More attuned to images than to words. How does the church adapt to such a culture? Or should it, in fact, eschew adapting for maintaining a course it has followed these last two millennia?”  ( Perspectives/dp/0310254876/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=134803 2449&sr=1-1&keywords=the+church+in+emerging+culture) 13
  14. 14.  “Brian McLaren … talks way too much. The man had to put his two cents on everything, and recap everyone. It didn't seem like a even handed presentation of 5 views with McLaren giving the last word in every chapter.”  “Useful to see contrasts. Too much of McLaren. Would like to seen more „orthodox‟ participants in line of Horton. “  ( reviews/0310254876/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_3?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addThreeStar&sho wViewpoints=0) 14
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  17. 17.  “George Fox Journal: What is the emergent church? Len Sweet: It probably would mean something different to everyone you would ask, but from my perspective, the „emergent church‟ is an ongoing conversation about how new times call for new churches, and that the mortar-happy church of the last half of the 20th century is ill-poised to face the promises and perils of the future. In fact, attempting to define the „emergent church‟ betrays the essence of the movement because the emergent consciousness questions the notion that there is such a thing. Rather, there are only individual emerging churches that are missional in orientation that grow out of the indigenous soils in which they are planted. In other words, no two emerging churches are alike.” 17
  18. 18.  “George Fox Journal: Are there some common practices in emerging churches? Len Sweet: Pews are now antiques. Since the focus of emerging churches is on community, their worship space is flexible. Some have tables and chairs. Others have a more living room look and feel. But emerging churches are proving to be very surprising. For example, hymns are now back. And the church‟s liturgy and Eucharist are being rediscovered in creative and compelling ways. A lot of emerging churches are very „smells and bells‟ in their worship. Whatever the diversity of spiritual practices, the key words for emerging churches are incarnational, missional, and relational.”  ( 18
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  20. 20.  “You can learn to pay attention like never before, to identify where God is already in business right in your neighborhood. The doors are open and the coffee is brewing. God is serving the refreshing antidote to the unsatisfying, arms-length spiritual life---and he won't even make you stand in line. Let Leonard Sweet shows you how the passion that Starbucks has for creating an irresistible experience can connect you with God's stirring introduction to the experience of faith.”  ( 20
  21. 21.  “Most books have both good and bad points in them. But every so often, I run across a book that has practically no redeeming value. This was one of those books. Bluntly, it was one of the worst books I've read in a while. … It is ridiculous and offensive (not to mention just plain wrong) to imagine God saying, „Wow, Starbucks has a great thing going there. Let's try that.‟ (By the way, the Epilogue is entitled „Jehovah Java.‟)” (By Nathan Markley (Lawrence, KS)  ( reviews/1578566495/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar& showViewpoints=0) 21
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  23. 23.  “Should believers follow Christianity ... or Christ? Should we point others to core values ... or the cross? Charging that today‟s church has mistakenly framed conversion as a change of direction rather than a change in connection, Sweet and Viola offer a corrective „manifesto‟ featuring 10 crucial ways to restore the supremacy of Jesus himself.”  ( sovereignty-christ/leonard-sweet/9780849946011/pd/946011?product_ redirect=1&Ntt=946011&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP) 23
  24. 24.  “The Christian church is falling apart and in desperate need of a revival. According to Professor Sweet and bestselling author Viola, what is lacking is a groundbreaking revelation of Christ that boggles the mind and enraptures the heart. … [T]his insistent, impassioned essay condemns as pharisaic those preachers who forgo a Christ- centered theology in favor of a cute, singular slogan or mission. The authors urge churches to focus on the man who embodies the entire religion.” cont. 24
  25. 25.  “To do so, readers must learn the subtle distinction between following Christ and realizing Christ already lives within them. Some may find this message controversial, even pantheistic. Yet the biblical passages show the message is rooted in Scripture. The authors provide a lot to digest, but quotations from poets and philosophers break up the text and help readers grasp abstract concepts. Though most applicable to pastors and seminarians, all Christian readers will discover a new perspective and deeper purpose.”  ( Sovereignty/dp/0849946018/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1347790411&sr= 8-1) 25
  26. 26.  “In the incarnation, the beating heart of the universe became a human heart.13 …  “„Breath on Me, Breath of God‟ is more than a metaphor and a hymn. It‟s a testimony of the risen Christ who breathes in you and me. Christ dwells in us. Why don‟t we also let Him breathe through us by our lives as an offering to Him? Singer/song-writer Maria McKee has a song called „Breathe‟ in which she does exactly that: she presents an offering of herself to Christ: I will let you breathe through me I will let you be with me… My heart beats your blood; your breath fills my lungs. 15” (Jesus Manifesto, p. 64) 26
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  28. 28. “BREATHE” MARIA MCKEE “BREATHE ON ME, BREATH OF GOD”  “At first I was scared when I opened up my head and the motor that was running was the mind of you, I was scared when I looked at my reflection and the shine I saw were the eyes of you….  Whenever I'm alone and you're lost out there I can feel you breathe cause our lungs we share, When I'm alone anytime, anywhere, I can feel your heart beat, 'cause our blood we share.”  “Breathe on me, breath of God, Fill me with life anew, That I may love what Thou dost love, And do what Thou wouldst do.  Breathe on me, breath of God, Until my heart is pure, Until with Thee I will one will, to do and to endure.  Breathe on me, breath of God, till I am wholly Thine, Until this earthly part of me glows with Thy fire divine.  Breathe on me, breath of God, so shall I constant be, And live with Thee the perfect life Of Thine eternity.” 28
  29. 29.  “There are good reasons to be concerned about contemporary Christianity. But must the answer always be „a fresh alternative -- a third way‟ (pg. xiii)? In the case of Jesus Manifesto, authors Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola construct a „third way‟ that bears little resemblance to the „narrow road‟ (Matt. 7:13-14) which Jesus Himself preached.”  “[T]he authors begin with a series of sweeping, but predictable, generalizations about the grim state of affairs: „The world likes Jesus; they just don't like the church. But increasingly, the church likes the church, yet it doesn't like Jesus‟ (pg. xvi), … This kind of „bash the church‟ rhetoric is at the heart of the postmodern, post-evangelical movement, and propels much of what Sweet and Viola unpack. Apparently, for many "emergent" Christians, problems with the church are a license to reconfigure the gospel. And, ultimately, Jesus Manifesto seems determined to do just that.” 29
  30. 30.  “Along the way, the authors teeter between sublimity and absurdity. On the one hand, Sweet and Viola do a terrific job pulling everything back to Christ, showing how Scripture and biblical history center around the Son of God and all our causes and convictions should be subordinate to Him. Their language is exultant, their praise effusive. But the closer we examine the Christ they acclaim, the less He seems like the biblical one.”  “The „hard sayings‟ of Christ about hell, damnation, and judgment are nowhere to be found in this book (unless intimated toward religious elites). As such, the Jesus of Jesus Manifesto is the friend of sinners NOT the „judge of the living and the dead‟ (Acts 10:42). The Jesus of Jesus Manifesto comes to bring unity NOT „division‟ (Lk. 12:49-57). The Jesus of Jesus Manifesto carries an olive branch NOT a „sword‟ (Matt. 10:34). The Jesus of Jesus Manifesto ushers souls to heaven NOT „eternal punishment‟ (Matthew 25:32,46).” 30
  31. 31.  “It is this ecumenical evasiveness that spoils Jesus Manifesto. The Bible teaches that the Good Shepherd will one day return with „the armies of heaven... to strike the nations‟ (Rev. 19: 11-16), that the cross of Christ „offends‟ people (Gal. 5:11) and its message is „foolishness to those who are perishing‟ (I Cor. 1:18). Sadly, it is this „offense‟ that Sweet and Viola jettison in favor of uncritical inclusion.”  “One of the ways Jesus Manifesto attempts this is by downplaying „doctrine.‟ The authors write, „The apostles' message throughout Acts is not the plan of salvation. It's not a theology or a set of doctrines either. It is a person – Christ‟ (pg. 12), and „According to Scripture, Jesus Christ (and not a doctrine about Him) is the truth‟ (pg. 80).” 31
  32. 32.  “Can theology get in the way of relationship with Christ? Absolutely! Is Jesus more than a doctrinal system? Of course! But the assumption that a doctrine or „theological system‟ ALWAYS impedes a relationship with Christ is untenable. On the contrary, good theology fires a right relationship with Jesus. In fact, how does one even „grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ‟ (II Pet. 3:18) without embracing a series of biblical prepositions about Him?”  “Scripture is filled with exhortations about believing correctly. In fact, it was those same apostles (the ones who [supposedly] did not preach „a theology or a set of doctrines‟) who cautioned against „false Christ‟s (II Cor. 11:3,4; 13-15) and admonished about a time when men „will not endure sound doctrine‟ (II Tim. 4:3). The apostle Peter warned about „false teachers‟ who „secretly introduce destructive heresies‟ (II Pet. 2:1).”  ( product-reviews/0849946018/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_two?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addTwo Star&showViewpoints=0) 32
  33. 33.  “Sweet‟s and Viola‟s manifesto starts with a purge. The authors go right to the heart of the matter of the supremacy of Jesus Christ by calling us to re-examine what is meant by Acts 2:42′s mention of „the apostles‟ doctrine,‟ noting all the debris that modern churches tend to teach has nothing to do with that doctrine, which is Christ Himself. We get sidetracked into eschatology, how to live by faith, spiritual warfare, evangelism, holiness, Bible memorization, and on and on. That list of diversions features a large number of sacred cows the authors eventually gore and then ask readers to purge. No Christian is left unchallenged.” ( 33