Thursday, April 07, 2011

John Piper and D.A. Carson Participate with Emergent Acts 29

Click it and it takes to you The Gospel Coalition:

Ray Ortlund Jr. is a pastor of an Acts 29 church. They state:
"Acts 29 welcomed a new church planter recently, Ray Ortlund Jr. Though
he may be new to the pastorate, he is not new to ministry. Prior to
becoming a pastor Ray was the Professor of Old Testament and Semitic
Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School alongside Mars Hill
Church’s good friend, Dr. D.A. Carson. Mars Hill Church members may know
him better as the man who wrote the notes for the book of Isaiah in the
ESV Study Bible
Acts 29, the brainchild of Emergent X-Rated "pastor" Mark Driscoll. Info here. It is through this network of church plants that the Emergent Church Movement spreads its Post-Modern liberalism and rebellion. In recent years, it seems they have tried to re-position themselves as not so rebellious, maybe even a bit Reformed. However, they are still what they have always been.
Ray Ortlund is proving his lack of biblical discernment and wisdom--something one who worked on the notes of the ESV would actually have. Unfortunately, like so many others, its just academic knowledge.
Why is D.A. Carson now considered a friend of a well-know, well-entrenched spearhead of the ECM through Acts 29 (go here and here for info on Acts 29)? I remember sensing Carson's critique of the ECM being tepid (like many others) a few years ago (an example follows, below). Finding truth in everything will cause a person to go down the Downgrade. I'm afraid we're seeing him pulled into the Acts 29 network, instead of truly seeing the horror of the ECM and rejecting it outright--this Emergent baby had to be thrown out with the Post-Modern bath water.
DA Carson on the ECM:

Is there at least some danger that what is being advocated is not so much a new kind of Christian in a new Emergent Church, but a church that is so submerging itself in the culture that it risks hopeless compromise?

Even to ask the question will strike some as impertinence at best, or a tired appeal to the old-fashioned at worst. I mean it to be neither. Most movements have both good and bad in them, and in the book from which this article is taken I highlight some of the things I find encouraging and helpful in the Emergent Church movement. I find that I am more critical of the movement because my "take" on contemporary culture is a bit removed from theirs, partly because the solutions I think are required are somewhat different from theirs, partly because I worry about (unwitting) drift from Scripture, and partly because this movement feels like an exercise in pendulum swinging, where the law of unintended consequences can do a lot of damage before the pendulum comes to rest.

End quote.

This is why I guess I'm not that surprised that Carson has jumped into the Acts 29 circle.

Folks, when you can't reject an entire movement or ministry when it clearly springs from unholy, unbiblical roots, loyalty to Christ disappears. There is no reason for any biblically minded Christian to give any room for such things. Its treachery against Christ and His Word. It is eating from the forbidden tree of "knowledge" that God say was NOT good.


dziendobry said...

Could you please provide some background to your statement, "Folks, when you can't reject an entire movement or ministry when it clearly springs from unholy, unbiblical roots, loyalty to Christ disappears." I can't find a way to search your blog so I am unable to read anything else that you have written about your views on the ACTS 29 network. I would like to know why you cite them to be a ministry that clearly springs from unholy, unbiblical roots. Thanks very much.

Denise said...


You can go here:

And here:

Denise said...

By the links you'll be able to see that Acts 29 network is the Emergent church plant network of Mark Driscoll (X-rated pastor). The ECM is based in rebellion and pragmatism, not Scripture.

Drew said...

I would like some clarification as to why you believe that they are not based in Scripture. I disagree with Mark Driscoll on a good many things, but I've listened to a lot of his messages, and he definitely focuses on understanding scripture, as well as following it. The Acts 29 church movement may not be traditional, but I would say that they certainly do a good job of spreading the gospel of Christ. If people are getting saved as a result of their ministry does it matter how they do it?

Denise said...


Methodoly does matter, yes. Scripture has given us the way to evangelize: by faithfully preaching the Gospel. Its that simple. And God gave us examples of this very clearly in the NT, particularly in Acts. We need to stick with what it says, not borrow from the world and its means, which are dead (and contrary to Romans 12:2), but by HIS means and His power which are alive (Rom. 1:16; Rom. 10).

Methodology reveals if a person truly and biblically believes in the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit and in the very words of Scripture as infallable, true, clear, and binding.

John MacArthur says in “Ashamed of the Gospel” about approaches or methodology:

p. 81 "Some will maintain that if biblical principles are presented, the medium doesn't matter. That is nonsense."

p. 89 “ …any end-justifies-the-means philosophy of ministry inevitably will compromise doctrine, despite any proviso to the contrary. If we make effectiveness the gauge of right and wrong, how can that fail to color our doctrine? Ultimately the pragmatist’s notion of truth is shaped by what seems effective, not by the objective revelation of Scripture."

p. 92-93 on pragmatism:"Do you see how the new philosophy necessarily undermines sound doctrine? It discards Jesus' own methods---preaching and teaching--as the primary means of ministry. It replaces them with methodologies utterly devoid of substance....In fact it avoids dogma or strong convictions as divisive, unbecoming,or inappropriate. It dismisses doctrine as academic, abstract, sterile, threatening, or simply impractical. Rather than teaching error or denying truth, it does something far more subtle, but just as effective from the enemy’s point of view. It jettisons content altogether. Instead of attacking orthodoxy head-on, it gives lip service to the truth while quietly undermining the foundations of doctrine. Instead of exalting God, it denigrates the things that are precious to Him. In that regard, pragmatism poses dangers more subtle than the liberalism that threatened the church in the first half of the century."

As for Acts 29 being emergent,I guess you didn't read my article. If you won't read it, then you aren't interested.