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The emerging church and the one project part 6

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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: theemergingoneproject@gmail.com

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The emerging church and the one project part 6

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  4. 4.     ―Bryan graduated from Southern College (now Southern Adventist University) in 1993. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in 1996. …‖ ―Bryan led an evangelistic initiative in Atlanta in 1996, the New Community Fellowship, aimed at reaching secular young adults with the Gospel. Bryan resigned from denominational employment in 2002 to pursue this evangelistic passion, and not without success.‖ ―Earlier this year [2007], however, Bryan and his wife, Nicole, came under increasing conviction to reconnect with the Seventhday Adventist Church. Months of candid dialog in various settings culminated in a clear vote of support from the Executive Committee of the Georgia-Cumberland conference October 24, offering Bryan renewed employment and this position.‖ ―Alex Bryan has been named the new associate pastor for the Collegedale, Tenn., Seventh-day Adventist Church. … Bryan will serve as Pastor for Mission and Ministry on the staff of the Collegedale Church, led by John Nixon, D. Min., Senior Pastor. He will begin responsibilities in early December, 2007.‖ 4
  5. 5.   ―‘I learned many things through this experience,‘ reflected Bryan. ‗Here are just two. First, I learned how to begin and enjoy authentic relationships with people outside the church, how to love them unconditionally, and how to have spiritually significant conversations with non-Christians. Second I learned to appreciate the unique gifts of Adventism (the seventh-day Sabbath, global community, the consistent grace of God) from unexpected vantage points.‘‖ ―‗I believe Seventh-day Adventists are uniquely positioned to address (the) three big issues of our times,‘ Bryan continued: ‗stress, uncertainty, and ugly gods. God‘s remedy for stress is Sabbatical life. God‘s remedy for uncertainty is the surety of heaven. God‘s remedy for ugly gods (visions of deities as terrorists, who torture people in hell forever, or blow up buildings, for example) is a picture of a graceful God, the desire of this and every age, Jesus Christ.‘‖ (http://www.gccsda.com/_static_content/ Communication/Communique/200711_Communique-web.pdf) 5
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  7. 7.     ―How do you reach the generation of rock music and movies, cyberspace and television? Alex Bryan thinks he might have an answer. In September 1995 Bryan, then a student at the Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, approached Gordon Bietz, president of the GeorgiaCumberland Conference, with his dream of starting a new kind of church— a church that grabbed people's attention. …‖ ―The town to be turned upside down is Atlanta—specifically, northeast Atlanta, where a high concentration of young, unchurched people live, work, and study. The new church, named the New Community, will target the secular people of Generation X. …‖ ―Bryan, the 26-year-old pastor, plans to incorporate multimedia, contemporary music, and dramatic arts to build a worship service that is very creative and authentic. ‗We will incorporate many different things with excellence,‘ he says. …‖ ―At the service Xers will be challenged spiritually without being smothered with religion. ‗The big thing is we've got to allow the language of our generation,‘ says Bryan, who credits many of his ideas to leadership seminars he attended at Willow Creek Community Church, a nondenominational church in northern Chicago.‖ (http://www.adventistarchives.org/ docs/RH/RH19970220-V174-08__C/index.djvu) 7
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  9. 9.   ―Granted, Alex, Victor, and Andy may all have quit piano lessons when they were kids, but they have not plans to quit this church. Oh, sure, they admit that being a young Adventist can be a rough ride, full of unexpected twists and turns. But the way they see it, the solution is hardly to abandon the roller coaster. Instead they‘re following the advice of Peter (the guy who knew all about religious struggles) and discovering that the best way to build momentum in the Adventist journey is to lean into the curves. …‖ ―Alex Bryan, 26, just received his M. Div. degree at Andrews University. He spends most of his time planning for the Atlanta project, a spiritual seeker-driven church soon to be planted in—you guessed it—Atlanta.‖ (Back cover, The Ride of Your Life: Being a Young Adventist is not for the Faint of Heart) 9
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  11. 11.     ―I believe excessive purity is often a dangerous tendency for Seventh-day Adventists. A desire for theological perfection, rigid adherence to Ellen White's writings, and a quest for ‗remnant‘ status frequently leave us vulnerable to religious intolerance in our own ranks. This is dangerous. In today's Adventist world there are at least four good reasons for us not to go down the road of the Puritans and those critics whom Jesus encountered.‖ ―First, an obsession with correctness creates an environment that scandalizes freethinkers in both classrooms and churches. …‖ ―Second, a purity-focused church fosters a climate for obsessed perfection-seekers like David Koresh and the Branch Davidians. If remnant status means that everything has to be just right, yet reality tells us that everything isn't just right, what are our options? …‖ ―Third, structurally we will shatter into numerous little cities on a hill if we don't allow latitude in many areas of church life. We must, for example, allow churches to enjoy latitude in the way they worship. For Adventism to hold together, styles will have to vary across ethnic and generational frontiers. …‖ (cont.) 11
  12. 12.    ―We live in an incredibly diverse world; our multigenerational, international church can survive only with solid Seventh-day Adventism taking many forms. In short, we don't all have to do it the same way.‖ ―Fourth, a Puritan mind-set risks allowing trivial issues to consume imperative issues. … While it's imperative that we remember our prophetic calling, that we remain both united and committed to the clear teachings of Scripture, the vast array of personal decisions and beliefs that stem from these teachings should be respected and encouraged. …‖ ―The reality of Planet Earth is that a lot of things are neutral. That's right. Neither sheep nor goat. Something may be less than perfect or not what we'd prefer, but hardly worthy of an all-out spiritual assault. Sometimes it's OK to relax, let live, chill out. We often lose opportunities to do ministry and build community when we each create our own 10,000 commandments in hopes of perfection. Such excessive purity is toxic for God's bride on the brink of a wedding.‖ (Alex Bryan, ―The Theology of Chilling Out,‖ Adventist Review, June 19, 1997, pp. 8-11) 12
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  14. 14.   ―Fourth, we must begin a redistribution of financial resources to the local church level. We have called upon the local church to support Adventist academies and colleges, administrative programs, publications, evangelistic initiatives, and a host of other worthy projects. We must now support the local church itself. Our ‗dangerous illusion,‘ which has misdirected emphasis on the parachurch over the church, is visualized most clearly in our system of financial allocation. …‖ ―If we wait 10 or 15 years to help the local church financially, it will be too late. As a Seventh-day Adventist family we must together discover ways to invest more money in local churches. We must , not allow a fear of Congregationalism to hinder this endeavor—for congregations are ultimately the church. A worldwide church that prioritizes its local church need not fear them. It will not see such congregations breaking away. Well-cared-for Adventist local churches will long to support Adventism. Ironically, the more we support local congregations, the less likely it is that Congregationalism will arise.‖ (Alex Bryan, ―The Local Church is the Church: Period,‖ Adventist Review, March 19, 1998, p. 10) 14
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  16. 16.   ―2. Adventists should continue gleaning from Willow Creek. Selective borrowing is an important part of our history. That a person or church has different beliefs doesn‘t mean they can‘t teach us something. As one religion professor put it, Willow Creek has its place in prophecy too. Granted, it‘s a different place. But we can learn from each other.‖ ―3. Gleaning from Willow Creek‘s message doesn‘t mean forfeiting our message. I join those disappointed to see some Willow Creek-influenced churches blushing at our distinctive beliefs, avoiding the word ―Adventist‖ in print and from the pulpit, begging separation from the world body, planning shortterm only. This behavior isn‘t necessary. I think of Mountain View church in Las Vegas; of the freshly planted New Community in Atlanta; of my home church, New Hope, in Laurel, Maryland; and of other churches mature enough to incorporate Willow Creek principles without giving up their Adventist identity.‖ (Andy Nash, ―On Willow Creek,‖ Adventist Review, Dec. 18, 1997, p. 6) 16
  17. 17.  ―Alex Bryan‘s Background: [He] created a ‗Sunday service‘ church and left Seventh-day Adventist employment. Alex Bryan began his ministry at the New Community Fellowship in Atlanta in 1996 under the blessing of conference administration. However, the methods used to reach secular young adults resulted in the creation of a ‗Sunday service‘ and, as the conference administration was considering his termination, Alex Bryan resigned his denominational employment in 2002 and remained independent for the next five years. The resulting Sunday observing church still meets . … The church meets Sunday from 10:30 AM to 12:05 PM. The current pastor is Alex‘s brother, David Bryan. … In 2004, meetings at this church occurred on both Saturdays and Sundays; today the web site shows only Sunday services. ‖ (http://cafesda.blogspot.com/) 17
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  19. 19.   ―Pastor Alex Bryan, a fellow graduate of Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, was repeatedly featured in the Adventist Review. His congregation, ‗The New Community,‘ broke away over tithe and doctrinal issues. For awhile its website hung on the net claiming it was a Protestant Church, although some of us had difficulty seeing what it might be protesting. But it is gone off the web, not even a Google-cache left to show it existed. …‖ ―In Atlanta, Georgia, The New Community was also presented as evidence of ‗other churches mature enough to incorporate Willow Creek principles without giving up their Adventist identity‘ (Ibid). However, the facts are that Alex Bryan's ‗New Community‘ church in Atlanta has since left the denomination and faded out of existence.‖ (http://www.greatcontroversy.org/reportandreview/offshootpt1.php) 19
  20. 20.  ―Information came to us recently that former Seventh-day Adventist pastor Alex Bryan‘s Church, which had apparently disappeared, still exists. Its internet home is here: http://www.thenewcommunitychurch.com/. What does this church stand for today?‖   ―We are an independent, interdenominational, evangelical church. ‗Independent‘ means we are our own organization, not legally connected to any other church. ‗Interdenominational‘ means we welcome people of all faith traditions. ‗Evangelical‘ means we emphasize the gospel of forgiveness and life transformation through personal faith in Jesus Christ, and we affirm orthodox Bible doctrines. See our ‗Statement of Faith‘ for further details‖ (http://www.thenewcommunitychurch.com/phpBB2/faq.php#23, accessed September 24, 2004. 3:42 PDT). ― ―Meetings at this church occur, according to its website, on both Saturdays and Sundays. Will the path of The New Community be repeated in the current or future offshoot movements? Only time will tell.‖ (http://www.greatcontroversy.org/reportandreview/offshootpt7.php) 20
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  23. 23.     ―Who are we? The New Community Church is an interdenominational congregation. This means our doors are wide open to people from all backgrounds and denominations. We celebrate the contributions of everyone who embraces this community as their spiritual family. We are part of the Willow Creek Association of churches.‖ ―What do we believe? The sole basis for our belief is the bible. We embrace the story of the Holy Scriptures as God‘s relational interaction with people over the course of history.‖ ―What is our Sunday morning experience like? We gather on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.‖ (http://thenewcommunitychurch.com/about-us/) ―On Saturday, October 27, about 100 of us gathered for a night of pumpkin carving, hot chili, a huge kids‘ jump house, GA-FL football, live bluegrass music, S‘mores over an open fire, dozens of pies and a pretty amazing Happy Birthday bluegrass clogging dance (you had to be there!). On Sunday morning, October 28, we concluded our teaching series that has dug deep into Paul‘s letter, written from a prison cell in Rome, to the people of Philippi (now preserved in the New Testament book of Philippians). And then late Sunday night we gathered at a nearby Taco Mac for a World Series/Sunday Night Football gathering and laughed and cheered and told stories and finally went home around midnight!‖ (http://thenewcommunitychurch.com/news/) 23
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  25. 25.    ―Five years ago Alex Bryan thought his days as an Adventist pastor were finished. Bryan had resigned in 2002 following disagreements with his employer, the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, over how to most effectively reach unbelievers in the Atlanta area. …‖ ―But on December 1 [2007], following months of dialogue, Bryan returned to employment in the same conference. Bryan said he felt an increasing conviction to minister again within the Adventist Church—and cited his renewed appreciation for Adventist doctrines, such as Sabbath rest and the rejection of eternal torment in hell. Bryan said he also missed the global community of Adventism. ‗I‘m excited to once again serve my spiritual family of origin,‘ said Bryan. …‖ ―Following the decision of the Conference Executive Committee to employ Bryan, the Church Board voted by a 16-14 margin to affirm the decision. ‗I understand the nervousness some felt,‘ said Bryan. ‗I hope to rebuild these relationships in the days to come.‘ During the deliberations, said Senior Pastor John Nixon, the biblical story of John Mark was considered. As told in Acts 15, John Mark had at one point separated from Paul and Barnabas. Later, however, John Mark rejoined the ministry.‖ (―Atlanta Pastor Reconciles With Georgia-Cumberland Conference,‖ Adventist Today, Jan. Feb., 2008, p. 8) 25
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  27. 27.    ―This week I'm attending the Willow Creek Leadership Summit via satellite in Atlanta. My parents, brother, and a few friends have made this an annual appointment each August for several years now. While it is true that countless church leadership and pastoral seminars are out there (you could probably attend one after the next all year long), the Summit is about my favorite. …‖ ―As I think about the heavy challenges facing the Christian church in the days ahead (we are looking at 17.5% church attendance in USA each weekend and heading lower every year) in is important to remember that Jesus believes in his church, he trusts his church, he empowers his church. My own denomination faces a daunting reality: 62 is the mean age of a church member while 36 is the mean age of an American citizen. …‖ ―Whatever the many challenges and opportunities of postmodernism, post-fundamentalism, post-colonialism, and posttraditionalism, the church can be THE agent of change, the agent of love, the agent of healing. The church can be, if it acts in the Way of Jesus, a roaring success against evil in this world.‖ (http://breakfastfires.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-09-25T15:24:00-04:00&maxresults=7&start=7&by-date=false) 27
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  29. 29.    ‖Dear Max, … Regarding my Atlanta history: The experience there had nothing to do with theology, but rather evangelistic strategy. The Georgia-Cumberland Conference established our church as a creative approach to evangelism towards Adventist young adults who had left the church and also non-churched young adults. Our strategy included implementation of a Sunday evangelistic meeting. The church found this idea from Testimonies to the Church, Volume 9, page 233, where Ellen G. White suggest Sunday for evangelistic purposes.‖ ―The evangelism did not work out as we had hoped, and I have since discouraged this approach. While I remain passionate about evangelism, I have learned that greater caution and wisdom in methodology is critical for success.‖ ―Throughout my tenure in Atlanta, our church remained committed to Seventh-day Adventist theology, while part of the sisterhood of churches we faithfully returned tithe through denominational channels, and we maintained our Sabbath services and all that implies. Both doctrinally and culturally we remained Seventh-day Adventists. I have never taught or practiced Sunday-keeping—any assertion to this is false.‖ (cont.) 29
  30. 30.   ―Max, I‘m uncomfortable both personally and as a pastor at pointing towards events that affirm my nearly 20 years of global ministry and leadership in the Seventh--‐day Adventist Church. This is not in my nature. However, perhaps this will be of use as you respond to those that question my credibility within mainstream Adventism.‖ “AFTER my Atlanta experience:  Georgia--‐Cumberland Conference called me back into full--time ministry on the campus of Southern Adventist University, in the largest church in their conference (fully aware of my Atlanta experience).  Bob Folkenberg and the Upper Columbia Conference called me to full--‐time ministry at WWUC, the largest church in the NPUC (fully aware of my Atlanta experience).‖ (http://spiritualformationsda.files. wordpress.com/ 2009/05/alex-bryans-response-to-concerns.pdf) 30
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  32. 32.  ―ALEX BRYAN is senior pastor of the Walla Walla University Church, where he also serves as adjunct professor in the schools of religion and business at Walla Walla University. Previously, he pastored churches in Tennessee and Georgia. He studied at Southern Adventist University (B.A. History, Religion), Andrews University (M.Div.), and George Fox University (D.Min.). The largest portion of his ministry (11 years) was spent planting and pastoring a church in Atlanta – a congregational mission to reach young adults disinclined to participate in traditional church settings.‖ (http://the1project.org/assets/documents/top_gathering_book_ chicago_2013.pdf; p. 28) 32
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  34. 34.    ―While the Global South and East are exploding, we in the West, including America, are imploding. … I don‘t suspect many Christians (and Adventists) understand just how quickly and decisively we are headed in this direction. …‖ ―In the meantime, however, the Christian Church is losing its market share. The societal thirst for spiritual meaning is intense. But somehow, even though we hold the Water of Life, we are not able to quench our generation‘s thirst. Culture‘s spiritual sex drive is high. Sadly, bookings for the heavenly wedding chapel—those pledging to join the bride of Christ and marry the God Groom— are low. The baptismal tank is running dry.‖ ―Adventism is geriatric. We are not the hospital maternity ward, but hospice. We are graying local churches headed for the grave. If advertising in denominational publications is any indication, planned Adventist retirement communities are now big business. Meanwhile, the young seem not to be our business. Has anybody noticed the age demographic of camp meeting? How about the predominant patrons of the Adventist Book Center? Who subscribes to denominational magazines? Who tunes in to 3ABN? With all due respect, old people.‖ (cont.) 34
  35. 35.   ―‘White Adventist Americans are one generation away from near disappearance, and African-American Adventists are probably two generations away.‘ The demographic demise of the Adventist Church in America is hard to overstate. Seventh-day Adventism, birthed on this continent some 160 years ago, by young people, has now lost its young. Unless our heading changes, we are traveling down an ever shorter road into a sunset of our own making.‖ ―Local Churches are Losing It: Friends of mine faced an unnerving dilemma a year ago. Having just moved to a major (million-plus) American city, they were trying to choose a church. The final choice came down to: (a) a congregation with a preferable (Adventist) statement of theological beliefs that met for worship on Sabbath (but other than that was pretty dead) or (b) a church with a vibrant worship environment, culturally connected atmosphere, enthusiastic missional energy, deep relational health, thoroughly grace-centered pulpit, and an overall and potent sense of Holy Spirit-bathed ministry. The only significant problems with this church were a less appealing theology (not Adventist) and no public gatherings on Sabbath. My friends chose the Seventh-day Adventist congregation. But it hasn‘t been easy. The fellowship is old. Philosophy of ministry is harsh. Relationships are shallow and cold. Sense of purpose is kaput. The church believes truth but ‗hath not the spirit.‘‖ (cont.) 35
  36. 36.   ―What Should We Do? First, we need a crate load of candor. …I long for a division, union, or local conference leader to speak with such candor. We claim 1.1 million Adventist members in America. But that de facto number may be more like 600,000- 700,000. I long for the Adventist Review to speak honestly about the dire situation we find ourselves in, as well as the present successes and future hopes. I long for the General Conference Session in 2010 to be more than cheers, pom-poms, one-liners. ...‖ ―What if a Georgia Dome acceptance sermon, 18 months from now [2010 GC] , by the newly elected North American Division president, started like this:   My fellow Adventists, I want to begin with a confession. We have chased the children from the lap of Jesus. And so, for the next five years, we must pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to the task of revolutionizing our schools, our churches, our organizational structure, and, most of all, our spirituality. …‖ ―Second, we must re-claim the local church as the church. Nearly 11 years ago (in the spring of 1998), I wrote an article for Adventist Review titled, ―The Local Church Is the Church. Period‖ about what I perceived to be the plight of local congregations in Adventist America. I wrote that in comparison to Adventist hospitals, colleges, and conference offices, local congregations are dangerously under-resourced. I suggested that the health of the entire Advent Movement in North America rested on the health of local churches. I still believe this to be true.‖ (cont.) 36
  37. 37.    ―A majority of pastors say they often feel lonely and isolated in their local church leadership. Promotions in professional Adventist ministry are almost always viewed as calls to one of the Adventist mega-centers. And so, local congregations are left starving for both material and visionary leadership. …‖ ―We need to decentralize with our best and brightest. I pray the Holy Spirit would storm the castle of our grandest academies and universities, hospitals and conference offices, plundering the personnel and taking prisoner those who could rock the world of American Babylon. We also need, in this local church revolution, a major transfer of funds from the many layers of governance back into local settings. …‖ “Third, we need to lower the spiritual driving age. I believe our Adventist colleges and universities (of which I am currently a pastoral part) must play a significant role in the redemption and renewal of Adventism. Simply put, we need young, 20-something graduates who are prepared, upon graduation, to flood local congregations with energy, spirituality, relational passion, and missional skill.‖ (Alex Bryant, ―The End of American Adventism?‖ Adventist Today, Winter 2009, pp. 7-10) 37
  38. 38.  ―In July 2010, five simple Jesus followers (Alex Bryan, Japhet De Oliveira, Sam Leonor, Tim Gillespie and Terry Swenson) got together … in Denver. … After two days of prayer, fasting, communion and reflection we looked across the room at each other and acknowledged again that Jesus was number one. …‖ (Japhet De Oliveira, ―The One Project: Our Purpose and Mission,‖ http://the1project.org/ assets/documents/the-one-project.pdf)   ―Look, it happened one day in Denver, that we got together, broke and hurting people—people that a lot of people looked at and said; Oh their great, their fine, life is good. But we are hurting and burnt out, and dreaming dreams that we don‘t want to think about anymore, because you just want to put them in a box and hide them cause it hurts to treasure them anymore. And we came together as friends and we really just wanted to escape for a while. …‖ ―And I was so broken and hungry, that I said guys, we‘ve got to open up. … And then it happened. And we said, It happened. And we walked away and said can it get bigger? Can the circle expand? Could it be that we could tear down the walls? I don‘t want to fight the battle anymore! I‘m through! I am tired of seeing members and beautiful people, leaders like you, who crash and burn and die. I‘m tired of seeing honey but it turns to ashes in my mouth. It‘s about Jesus. If people want to march over here, ‗well, we‘re the church,‘ okay fine, but I‘m going to follow Jesus.‖ (Terry Swenson, ―Jesus in our Experience,‖ talk given Feb. 8, 2011, Atlanta One Project; http://the1project.org/media/listen.html) 38
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  40. 40.  ―Bryan graduated from Southern College (now Southern Adventist University) in 1993. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in 1996, and is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at George Fox University in Portland, OR.‖ (http://www.gccsda.com/_static_content/ Communication/Communique/2007-11_Communique-web.pdf)  ―Bryan graduated from Southern Adventist University in 1993 with degrees in history and religion. He then earned his Master‘s of Divinity from Andrews University in 1996, and his doctoral degree in ministry from George Fox University in 2009. Currently he is pastoring at the Southern Adventist University Church, where he has served for nearly 2 years.‖ (http://www.wallawalla.edu/about-wwu/news/article/view/university -church-welcomes-new-pastor/) 40
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  42. 42.  ―Alex Bryan is the Senior Pastor of the Walla Walla University Church. He was formerly the pastor of an interdenominational church in Atlanta, Georgia. His work has included frequent contributions to the Adventist Review, blogging for Adventist Today as well as speaking (Adventist colleges, camp meetings, progressive local church environments), church planting, and creative leadership for mission to emerging cultures. Alex received a masters of divinity degree from Andrews University, and is currently in the midst of a doctor of ministry program at George Fox University, where he is studying ‗Leadership in the Emerging Culture‘ with Dr. Leonard Sweet.‖ (http://www.slideshare.net/ EmergingOmega/spiritually-experiencing-god-part-2)  ―Dear Max, … The assertion that my doctoral degree is in ‗emergent church spiritual formation‘ is false. My degree is in church leadership, not spiritual practice.‖ (http://spiritualformationsda. files.wordpress.com/2009/05/alex-bryans-response-to-concerns.pdf) 42
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  44. 44.    ―Anticipate change. Proactive leadership in Google Culture with Len Sweet.‖ ―The Leadership in Emerging Culture Doctor of Ministry (DMin) tracks explore the character and shape of effective Christian leadership in the emerging culture. The … program with Dr. Leonard (Len) Sweet prepares an advance guard of Jesus semioticians, leaders adept at seeing signs of Jesus‘ work in the world. These followers of Jesus are not afraid of the future but are excited about its possibilities and promises, while aware of its perils and pitfalls.‖ ―The approach is an ancient-future one of MRI (Missional, Relational, Incarnational) discipleship, using an EPIC (Experiential, Participatory, Image-Rich, Connective) interface. Students explore how to transition the church from its current default of APC (Attractional, Propositional, Colonial) to MRI, and play with a variety of EPIC interfaces.‖ (cont.) 44
  45. 45.   Advances ―Students participate in three face-to-face 'advance' experiences in Portland, OR, Oxford, UK, and Orcas Island, WA. They meet for a research course, visit in-person with their advisor, and join Leonard Sweet for a number of learning sessions. Learn more....‖ Online and Hybrid ―The delivery system for the track utilizes a hybrid delivery model. Students participate in several conferences, receive personal mentoring from Dr. Sweet and select faculty advisors, engage in ongoing online interactivity with cohort members and professors, and engage in reading, reflection, research, and writing. Students meet weekly with Len Sweet for synchronous chats in SpotOn3D at an island online learning community called ‗Mag Mell‘.‖ (http://www.georgefox.edu/seminary/programs/dmin-sfs/index.html) 45
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  48. 48.  ―Tuesday, February 3, 2009, Timely Material. … 2. Leonard Sweet gave three powerful ‗meditations‘ on mission and contemporary challenges to the church. These sermons were given at my home church last weekend --on the campus of Southern Adventist University. They are entitled: A Theology of Football; The Perfect Storm; and The Music of Life. Access them with the links above.‖ (breakfastfires.blogspot.com/2009_02_03_archive.com) 48
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  50. 50.    ―The omnipresence of coffee at our social appointments intrigues the cultural critic Leonard Sweet. Coffee, he argues, is a ‗conversational drink‘ and the more we drink the more we talk with one another! In fact, coffee invites us to draw others to the table. We somehow know that the ‗experience [of coffee] is enhanced far beyond the ordinary simply by sharing it with someone else.‘54 Could it be that food and drink in general (and coffee, in particular) is God‘s mysterious elixir, luring us to hear and be heard by one another? Could it be that food‘s purpose is both fueling the body and The Body? Frederick Buechner thinks so, writing, ‗to eat is to acknowledge our dependence—both on food and on each other.‘‖55 ―Sweet is direct: ‗Starbucks knows that conversations need ―third places‖ in which to thrive.‘ And Starbucks is thriving with six thousand U.S. locations and four thousand internationally.69 …‖ ―The nutritional value of the food and the quality of conversational experience are not important factors in choosing a fast food meal. The pressing dilemma, according to Ritzer, is, ‗how much time it will take‖ to get the food on the table and into the stomach. 72 And so, even as Starbucks (and other quality companies) have made an effort to brew good coffee, in an attractive environment, and even in a place where the barista knows you by name, we must ask: What is the conversational quality of these places? Are people connecting food and fellowship? Are they, as Oldenburg envisions, places of laughter, healing, and joy?73‖ 50
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  52. 52.  ―My sonnets are not generally finished till I see them again after forgetting them.‖ So wrote Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1854. The following doctoral students helped me see this manuscript afresh after forgetting it: Sarah Baldwin, Michael Berry, William Alexander (Alex) Bryan, … I feel honored to be studying with each and every one of them and wish more criticism came my way with such admirable amenity. … Leonard Sweet, Thanksgiving Eve, 2007‖ (Leonard Sweet, 11: Indispensible Relationships You Can’t Be Without, p. 11: http://www.google.com/search?q=11%3A+Indispensable+Relationships+You+Can%27 t+Be+Without&btnG=Search+Books&tbm=bks&tbo=1) 52
  53. 53.    ―Dear Max, … I am absolutely opposed to any form of Eastern mysticism, mantras, centering prayer, or other non-biblical forms of spiritual exercises. At no time have I taught or practiced non-biblical spiritual practice. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.‖ ―My degree from George Fox University, where Leonard Sweet is a visiting professor, in no way means that I agree with everything taught at GFU, including everything taught by Leonard Sweet, or anyone else. It is important to note that our current and past General Conference Presidents both hold doctoral degrees from nonAdventist universities. This fact in no way indicates that they agree with everything taught at those institutions. …‖ ―Leonard Sweet is not my ‗mentor,‘ as the document indicates. I have no regular contact with him whatsoever. Multiple Adventist gatherings have headlined Sweet as a guest, including: General Conference, NAD, union conference, and local conference gatherings. His primary work is as a missiologist.‖ (Alex Bryan, http://spiritualformationsda.files. wordpress.com/2009/05/alex-bryans-response-to-concerns.pdf) 53
  54. 54. 54
  55. 55.    ―George Fox Evangelical Seminary: October 25 [2012] via HootSuite. Check out The One Project, being led by 3 of our D.Min alums: Terry Swenson, Alex Bryan, and Tim Gillespie: http://bit.ly/Mj0MR‖ ―Jim Carlson: The link doesn't seem to work right now and I wanna see it cause these are my boys. October 25 at 5:40pm via mobile‖ ―George Fox Evangelical Seminary: The One project Celebrating the supremacy of Jesus in the Seventh-day Adventist Church—Home: the1project.org‖ (https://www.facebook.com/georgefoxevangelicalseminary/timeline?filter=1) 55
  56. 56. 56
  57. 57.    “Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson: … Eat This Book is like a key that opens up the limitless potential of the Scriptural experience.‖ “Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell: If you believe theology is something people did in the past … but something we cannot do today … because it has already all been done …. you must read this little book! While Peterson‘s book left me pumped about reading the Bible, Bell‘s book left me angry that no one ever told me (or perhaps I wasn‘t listening) that our job is not simply to affirm the affirmations of dead people. Theology is living, breathing, and requires every generation‘s engagement. …‖ ”A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren: I‘ll admit I‘m a little late to the game as this was published a couple years back. But as I finish reading this masterpiece I find myself recommending it again and again. … But this is perhaps the single most important book I‘ve read in the past five years. McLaren artfully surveys the landscape of theology in America and argues for a humility and open-mindedness that seeks to learn from others‘ relationship with God, rather than pointing out the errors of everyone else. This book embraces courtship over courtroom in compelling fashion. Love the Bible (Peterson), do theology (Bell), and celebrate the theological discoveries of others instead of championing your conclusions as The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth (McLaren).‖ (Alex Bryan, http://breakfastfires.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2007-1110T10:40:00-05:00&max-results=7&start=21&by-date=false) 57
  58. 58.   ―Book Description: Eat This Book challenges us to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God‘s revelation, and to live them as we read them. With warmth and wisdom Peterson offers greatly needed, down-to-earth counsel on spiritual reading. In these pages he draws readers into a fascinating conversation on the nature of language, the ancient practice of lectio divina, and the role of Scripture translations; included here is the ‗inside story‘ behind Peterson‘s own popular Bible translation, The Message.‖ ―Editorial Review: Christians are to absorb, imbibe, feed on and digest Scripture. Peterson recommends a type of Bible-based prayer called lectio divina, in which the person praying meditates on a short passage of Scripture and listens for God to speak through the text. Peterson's exposition of lectio divina is one of the fullest to appear in recent years. Throughout, he cautions that lectio is not a systematic way of reading, but a ‗developed habit of living the text in Jesus' name.‘‖ (http://www.amazon.com/Eat-This-Book-ConversationSpiritual/dp/0802864902/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350845103&sr=8-1&keywords=eat+this+book+ peterson#_) 58
  59. 59.    Customer Review: ―How you read a book is certainly important and plays a major role in what you get out of it. … Furthermore, many people do not approach the Bible without a certain set of presuppositions. Peterson is not exempt. He tells the story in the book about what led him to paraphrase the Bible and how it came about that he wrote ‗The Message.‘ … The problem is that Peterson would consider his paraphrase a translation, but if it is a translation, we obviously have two different opinions on accuracy.‖ ―The risk with any translation is adding, subtracting, or narrowing a particular meaning from the original author's intent. While Peterson's intentions may be pure, his process does not make proper provision for his own limitations. In the end, Peterson's premises bypass proper syntax in translating the text. …‖ ―Where you begin matters. If you think of the Bible allegorically, your paraphrase will reflect personal identity more than contextual accuracy. … I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without a clear understanding of orthodoxy and hermeneutics.‖ (Adam Miller, http://www.amazon.com/Eat-This-Book-Conversation-Spiritual/productreviews/0802864902/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_3?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addThreeStar&showViewpoints=0) 59
  60. 60.   Customer Review: ―It is a rather strange and wandering book in which Peterson meanders through a wide variety of topics having to do with the theme of Scripture. At heart, though, the book is an attempt to convince the reader of the importance of reading Scripture in order to promote life change. Peterson feels this is best done through the ancient practice of lectio divina. In many respects, then, this book is a beginner's guide to that practice. …‖ ―Having laid the foundation, Peterson provides an overview of lectio divina. He breaks the practice into its component parts: … Throughout the book Peterson suggests that lectio divina is a biblical practice and one that has been practiced since the dawn of the church. This is not strictly true, as it is the product of a particular form of Christianity: Catholic mysticism. The way Peterson presents it is quite innocuous, almost as if he is deliberately avoiding the deeper practices and even potential problems associated with it. … Peterson does little to help the reader understand that this is a practice more associated with Catholic mysticism than with Protestantism. Many of the most notable teachers of lectio divina would lead readers into practices that are unbiblical.‖(Tim Challies, http://www.amazon.com/Eat-This-Book-Conversation-Spiritual/product-reviews/0802864902/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_3?ie= UTF8&filterBy=addThreeStar&showViewpoints=0) 60
  61. 61.   ―Biography: Rob Bell lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he's the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church. He also teaches in a short film format called NOOMA, and his books include Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith, Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality. …” ―Book Description: ‗This book is for those who need a fresh take on Jesus and what it means for us to live the kind of life he teaches us to live,‘ writes Rob Bell. ‗This pursuit of Jesus is leading us backward as much as forward ... I am learning that what seems brand new is often just the discovery of something that has been there all along—it just got lost somewhere and it needs to be picked up, dusted off, and reclaimed.‘ … ‗Don't swallow it uncritically. Think about it. Wrestle with it. Just because I'm a Christian and I'm trying to articulate a Christian worldview doesn't mean I've got it nailed. I'm contributing to the discussion. God has spoken, and the rest is commentary, right?‘‖ (cont.) 61
  62. 62.  Official Editorial Review: ―Bell … offers an innovative and intriguing, if uneven, first book. This introduction to the Christian faith is definitely outside the usual evangelical box. Bell wants to offer ‗a fresh take on Jesus‘—a riff that begins with the assertion that Jesus wanted to ‗call people to live in tune with reality‘ and that he ‗had no use for religion.‘ Bell invites seekers into a Christianity that has room for doubts. … He mocks literalists whose faith seems to depend on a six-day creation, …He cites his church as a place of forgiveness, mystery, community and transformation. Bell is well-versed in Jewish teachings and draws from rabbinic wisdom and stories freely. … Still, this is faithful, creative Christianity, and Gen-Xers especially will find Bell a welcome guide to the Christian faith.‖ (http://www.amazon.com/Velvet-Elvis-Repainting-ChristianFaith/dp/B0057D8RU0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350850997&sr=1-2&keywords =velvet+elvis#_) 62
  63. 63.  Customer Reviews: ―Rob Bell makes me mad because he preaches an anti-gospel. … Rob Bell makes me mad because he writes off the virgin birth of Jesus as non-essential (pp. 26-27). You heard right, he writes off the virgin birth of Jesus as not essential! . … Rob Bell makes me mad because he downplays the vital role of conversion. … Rob Bell makes me mad because he does violence to the clear words of Jesus. … If J. Gresham Machen were alive today, I suspect he would do what he did with Bell's theological predecessors. Machen would remind him that while he has the freedom to start a new religion, he really should call it something other than Christian given that his religion does not resemble what Christ actually established as recorded in the Christian book, the Bible.‖ (Pastor Patrick Abendroth)  ―I truly wanted to like the book. … But it wasn't written for someone like me at all. It made me uncomfortable. … But I didn't feel close to God after reading Rob's book. Not at all. What I felt was that my faith was being undermined and I was being laughed at for believing certain things. In the end, I felt as if I knew more about Rob Bell than I did about God. And certainly more than I knew about the Bible.‖ (Sarah) (cont.) 63
  64. 64.   Customer Reviews: ―If I did not know my Bible better and had not saving faith or the Holy Spirit helping me to discern, I might have been swept away by this type of teaching - especially having been educated at a secular university, where my professors were all questioning the doctrines of the Bible and constantly shipwrecking the faith of many a Christian-raised child. … I say again, that the worst thing this author does, which ruins the book for me, is that he exchanges the teachings of the Bible for open-ended discussions, worldly science, and feel-good poppsychology.‖ (E.A. Fisher– Food for goats not for sheep) “Velvet Elvis: 1. Is anti-orthodoxy, 2. Is light on biblical content, 3. Seems to promote Rob Bell and his church more than Jesus, 4. Causes people to doubt their faith, 5. Divides Christians against one another, 6. Is so ‗hip‘ and ‗cool‘ that even non-Christians love it, 7. Ridicules people who hold a solid view of Scripture and who seek to defend it; such people are guilty of ‗brickianity‘ in Bell-speak, 8. Allows contemporary culture to interpret and set the standards for the Bible rather than letting the Bible interpret and set the standards for contemporary culture, 9. Promotes (and even rewards!) a lack of critical thinking; instead it praises emotion and feelings above all else.‖ (Renae, http://www.amazon.com/Velvet-Elvis-RepaintingChristian-Faith/product-reviews/B0057D8RU0/ref=cm_cr_pr_btm_ link_2?ie=UTF8&filterBy =addOneStar&pageNumber=2&showViewpoints=0) 64
  65. 65.   ―Brian D. McLaren (born 1956) is a prominent Christian pastor, author, activist and speaker and leading figure in the emerging church movement. McLaren is also associated with postmodern Christianity and progressive Christianity and is a major figure in post-evangelical thought. He has often been named one of the most influential Christian leaders in America and was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America in 2005. … Brian McLaren graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with degrees in English (BA, summa cum laude, 1978, and MA, 1981). His academic interests include medieval drama, romantic poets, modern philosophical literature, and the novels of Dr. Walker Percy. …‖ ―McLaren believes this theology enables him to approach faith from what he considers a more Jewish perspective which allows faith to exist without objective, propositional truth to believe. He has also challenged traditional evangelicals' emphasis on individual salvation, end-times theology, … McLaren suggests … that new Christian converts should remain within their specific contexts: ‗I don‘t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish contexts. …‘‖ (cont.) 65
  66. 66.  ―Often McLaren's postmodern approach to hermeneutics and Biblical understanding prompts him to take a less traditional approach towards issues considered controversial by fundamentalists, such as homosexuality. McLaren encourages what he calls a humble approach to controversial issues to enable dialog with others in a productive way.‖ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_McLaren)  ―Book Description: A confession and manifesto from a senior leader in the emerging church movement. A Generous Orthodoxy calls for a radical, Christ-centered orthodoxy of faith and practice in a missional, generous spirit. Brian McLaren argues for a postliberal, post-conservative, post-protestant convergence, which will stimulate lively interest and global conversation among thoughtful Christians from all traditions. In a sweeping exploration of belief, author Brian McLaren takes us across the landscape of faith, envisioning an orthodoxy that aims for Jesus, is driven by love, and is defined by missional intent.‖ (http://www.amazon.com/Generous-Orthodoxy-evangelical-conservative-contemplative/dp/0310 258030/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350856640&sr=1-1&keywords=a+generous+orthodoxy) 66
  67. 67.  Customer Reviews: ―It appears the strategy of the author is to deal with post-modernism by becoming post-modern oneself. What this means is that doctrine really doesn't matter, that a person can believe pretty much whatever he wishes, and all for the sake of what? Meaningless gobbley-gook, a faith that has no meaning whatsoever. It's difficult to pin McLaren down to much of anything, as his subtitle indicates. What bothers me is that doctrine really does matter. … and let me be a ‗prophet‘ for a minute--it's the beginning of the end for the Christian church if we head down this road, because the destination is more than just inclusivism. In fact, it leads to pure pluralism (universalism), where everyone who is sincere should be considered a child of God. The attitude of don't criticize, ‗just love‘ negates the message that the Bible consistently preaches, that there can be other gospels (Gal. 1:8), that false Jesuses can exist (2 Cor. 11:4), and that it could be possible to call yourself a Christian yet not have a true relationship with God.‖ (E. Johnson) (cont.) 67
  68. 68.  ―Let me alarm the reader immediately by stating bluntly the premise of this thesis. … I think this book is one of the bestwritten, well thought-out, and most cleverly presented deceptions I've ever come across. McLaren is good... really good! Unfortunately he has wrapped some really good points, some of which I can agree with, around some very dangerous theological errors. … I liken refuting some important issues in this book to the task of ferreting out and destroying cancer in an otherwise healthy body. Doctors are often frustrated in their attempts to kill cancerous tumors within living people without damaging the healthy tissue around the thing that is killing the patient.‖ (Bruce R. Porter, D. D.)  ―[M]y general impressions of this book. In short, it is awful. I consider it, in terms of content, one of the worst I have ever read and it stands as damning evidence of what passes for Christian reading in our day.‖ (Tim Challies) (cont. ) 68
  69. 69.   ―Take various 'truths' as you perceive them from your personalized perspective. Add other ingredients from various religious systems to taste. Place in spiritual blender. Turn setting to puree. Pour contents into the styrofoam cup that's just right for you. Make sure it tastes good. Don't worry about nutritional value, health benefit or potential toxicity. Call it: neochristian smoothie. Share recipe with other thirsty souls. But don't be rigid or exacting. Let them mix & match & alter the recipe to suit individual preference. Allow absolute latitude to decide for themselves what tastes best. …‖ ―Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Jesus said to his skeptical seeking audience: ‗They have Moses & the Prophets (Scripture). Let them hear them.‘ The response? ‗No, but if someone rises from the dead (experiential evidence, conclusive proof, subjective signs) they will repent.‘ Jesus' loving response? ‗If they will not listen to Moses & Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone resurrects before their very eyes.‘‖ (Chuck, smorgasbord spirituality, http://www.amazon.com/Generous-Orthodoxy-evangelical-conservative-contemplative/productreviews/0310258030/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoints=) 69
  70. 70. 70
  71. 71. ―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. … The authors urge churches to focus on the man who embodies the entire religion. 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.‖ (http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Manifesto-RestoringSupremacy-Sovereignty/dp/1596443855/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322412894&sr=1-1) 71
  72. 72.  ―About the Author: N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England and one of the world‘s leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews.‖ (http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Jesus-Vision-What-Matters/dp/0062084399)  ―Nicholas Thomas Wright is considered by many to be the most influential New Testament scholar in the world. As a former graduate and professor at Oxford University, a former Bishop in the Church of England, and as a writer of many thick academic books about Jesus and Paul that have been widely circulated; N. T. Wright demands the attention of anyone who is seeking to understand current theological Pauline scholarship.‖ (Piper, The Future of Justification, p. 15). 72
  73. 73. 73
  74. 74.   ―At any rate, over on the Reformation21 blog, Justin Taylor made the observation that N.T. Wright's recent book on the authority of Scripture carries endorsements by two emerging church figures, Brian McLaren and John Franke, and solicited comments on what affinities there might be between Wright and the emergent folks. While I suspect endorsements on the backs of the books have much more to do with marketing than theology, several figures associated with the emerging church have admiringly cited Wright as influential, …‖ I find it difficult to ignore Richard D. Phillips's comments on the matter of Wright and the emergent church. Phillips writes:  Both Wright and the Emergents have set their sails to catch the wind of post-modernity, so despite any differences, they are being blown into the same port. The emergents are enraptured by new paradigms (e.g. Maclaren's New Kind of Christian), and Wright is the champion of the New Perspective. New wine and new wineskins go together. In this respect, I would suspect that the Emergents are attracted to NTW's rhetoric more than anything else. Imagine the emergent glow when Wright compares today's theological conservatives to soldiers who long after the war has ended are "still hiding in the jungle, unaware that the world has moved on to other matters" (Challenge of Jesus, 99). (http://sacradoctrina.blogspot.com/2006/01/wright-and-emerging-churchregarding.html) 74
  75. 75. 75
  76. 76.   ―John MacArthur Attacks the Emergent Church For Questioning the Clarity of the Scriptures. I listened to John MacArthur on the Emergent Church today. Masters Seminary (whose motto is ‗We Train Men as if Lives Depended on It!‘) is doing a 5 week series of critique on the Emergent Church. You can find the series of lectures to listen to here. The first talk was given by MacArthur who explained that the problem with the Emergent Church is that they question the perpescuity (or clarity or intelligibility) of Scripture. …‖ ―MacArthur's Concern Regarding Tom Wright and Why Emergent Folks Actually Like Tom Wright. MacArthur is concerned that many Emergent people are reading Tom Wright and praising him. He is concerned that N.T. Wright's view of the atonement is not orthodox.‖ (http://www.andyrowell.net /andy_rowell/2006/02/john_macarthur_.html) 76
  77. 77.  Customer Review: ―I consider myself a classic Protestant Evangelical, and I found that Wright offers many profound, even brilliant insights on the ministry and message of Jesus. …All that said, the book leaves me cold. The concluding chapter seemed to me not a call to personal relationship and discipleship, but mainly a rallying cry for social action, much of which reflected a left of center political perspective more than clearly thought out biblical values. In sum, I think the ‗kingdom more than personal piety‘ theme in the book just goes too far. Most troubling was the way that Wright seems to pass off and even denigrate the traditional view of what it means to say ‗Christ died for our sins.‘ It seems to me that Wright's view of the atonement (if we can even call it that) is that Christ died more for the failures of the nation of Israel to fulfill its role in establishing the Kingdom of God than for my sins and yours. I can't imagine that the hymn Rock of Ages would fit into Wright's views at all.‖ (http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Jesus-Vision-What-Matters/ product-reviews/0062084399/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_3?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addThreeStar&showViewpoints=0) 77
  78. 78. 78
  79. 79.    ―Alex Bryan displays his favorite Spiritual Formation books at the Adventist Forum meeting held at Walla Walla University, October 2011. He described these books as ‗the most helpful.‘ Bryan described how others, with differing views about Spiritual Formation from his have spoken negatively against these ‗helpful‘ books.‖ ―He says his favorite authors have been ‗lambasted in some very poorly written books that are very popular in Adventism right now by the way, there are three of four of them which I will not name that are doing great destruction and are very poorly put together‘ (he holds up the books shown above and reads the names of his favorite authors; Manning, Foster, Yaconelli, Foster, Willard, Eldredge, Foster, Man ning) ‗so yea, I think the comments made about those authors – I would disagree‘ and then shakes his head and speaks inaudibly (From Adventist Forum DVD, time stamp 1:11:43 to 1:12:12).‖ ―At the end of his statement, he is asked why the Seventh-day Adventist church‘s president would speak negatively about the content of those books, Alex is silent and does not answer the question and goes to the next question.‖ (Taken from ―Concerns Regarding Alex Bryan as WWU President‖ PDF file, p. 8) 79
  80. 80.  ―Dear Max, …. My use of books written by non-Seventh-day Adventist authors, also, in no way suggests that I agree with everything written therein. Indeed, all Seventh-day Adventist schools of theology utilize such books, including our seminary. I critically read and scrutinize all material to comport with the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.‖ (http://spiritualformationsda.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/alex-bryans-response-toconcerns.pdf) 80
  81. 81. 81
  82. 82.   ―Alex Bryan, Senior Pastor of the WWU University Church has been added to the short list of candidates invited to interview for WWU president. He joins David Thomas and Linda Becker who were announced as candidates last week.‖ ―Thomas and Becker met with the search committee on Tuesday May 1. Bryan will meet with the committee this Friday May 4. The committee still plans to have a recommendation for the WWU Board at their next meeting on May 14.‖ (http://as.wallawalla.edu/collegian/main.php?article=757) 82
  83. 83. 83
  84. 84.  ―‗I am very pleased with the process that has brought us to this decision,‘ says Joe Galusha, a search committee member and WWU's associate vice president for graduate studies. ‗Dr. Bryan is a very energetic and visionary member of our academic community. His leadership will take our university to a new level of ―excellence in thought, generosity in service, beauty in expression, and faith in God.‖‘‖(WWU News Release, http://www.noodls. com/viewNoodl/ 14792681/walla-walla-university/presidential-search-committee-makes-recommendation)  ―Three of the most influential pulpits in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America are in the process of losing the current senior pastor. Pastor Mic Thurber at the Keene (Texas) Church, Pastor Tim Mitchell at the Pacific Union College Church in Angwin (California) and Pastor Alex Bryan at the University Church in Walla Walla (Washington) are all leaving their leadership of three of the largest congregations in the denomination. Bryan has been recommended by the search committee to become the new president of Walla Walla University, the institution where his church is located. He is willing to serve, according to members of the church who have talked with him, and the chairman of the university‘s governing board, Pastor Max Torkelson wants him to take the position.‖ (http://www.atoday.org/article/1256/news/june-headlines/three-senior-pastorsleaving-major-adventist-campus-church-pulpits) 84
  85. 85. 85
  86. 86.   ―COLLEGE PLACE, Wash. - In a special meeting held Sunday, July 1, 2012, the Walla Walla University Board of Trustees, with 25 of 29 members present, decided with a two-thirds vote to not approve the recommendation of Dr. Alex Bryan as university president. The board also voted unanimously to express their appreciation for and affirmation of Dr. Bryan‘s continuing pastoral leadership and ministry at the WWU Church.‖ ―In forward-looking actions, the board approved a motion to ask the Presidential Search Committee to continue the process to recommend additional candidates for the permanent position of president while it seeks to bring a viable candidate for interim president to the board as soon as possible.‖ (http://www.uccsda.org/News/news07032012b) 86
  87. 87. 87
  88. 88.  ―Update on WWU Presidential Search Process: The recent vote of the Walla Walla University (WWU) Board of Trustees has engendered a great deal of discussion among the university community and beyond. Alex Bryan, who currently serves as the WWU Church senior pastor, was turned down for the president spot during the board‘s July 1 meeting. But some are championing the cause for him to be reconsidered. An expanded statement on the process from Max Torkelsen, North Pacific Union Conference president and WWU board chair, is available HERE. On-campus meetings will take up the search process again this coming Monday.‖ (http://www.gleaneronline.org/news. html?wsnID=11651 &newsCtr=10&newsTop=395&cat=12)  ―A Facebook group created by a group of Walla Walla University student leaders with the intent of sharing factual information about the WWU presidential search process has attracted more than 2,700 members this week. Since the group was set up Monday evening, organizers have been steadily building a library of documents explaining each of the most significant developments of the search process thus far.‖ (http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4593) 88
  89. 89. 89
  90. 90.  ―It is my intention that [my new presidency] be much more focused on four priorities that I believe are crucial for the next stage in our institutional journey:       1. Vision, mission and strategic planning. 2. Building philanthropy. 3. Working closely with the vice presidents. 4. Communing and communicating with faculty, staff and students on all our campuses. …‖ ―I am pleased as well that Dr. Alex Bryan, who has brought so many good things to WWU over the past few years, has agreed to serve as a part-time adviser for strategy, mission and vision. Dr. Bryan will help us vision a transforming and robust future for WWU that brings our Seventh-day Adventist commitments into creative engagement with the wider culture. …‖ ―Walla Walla University is at an amazing moment of opportunity, by far the most exciting moment that we have experienced in the last few years. There will be some significant changes in the way we do things and the emergence of new faces leading WWU.‖ (John McVay, ―A Renewed Call,‖ Westwind, Summer 2012, p. 4; http://www.wallawalla.edu/fileadmin/user_upload/college_relations/Westwind/summer_12/2012_ Westwind_Web.pdf) 90
  91. 91. 91
  92. 92.   ―The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. ― (Battle Creek Letters, pp. 79-81) 92

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