#013 – The Emergent Church and Young Fundamentalism

Emergent Church

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As I examine interactions between Independent Baptist leaders, I sense some distress.  There are leaders that follow in the long line of Baptists, with much pride in the old-time religion, and the old paths.  Then there are some leaders that are in essence trying out new methodology and not highlighting their traditions.  They tend to focus less on personal standards as a means of approval with God and focus on the personal holiness and personal convictions and liberties led and dictated by scripture.  This could easily be interpreted as compromise and for some it has led to questionable decisions and worldliness.  But, these two groups are, by and large, on the same page doctrinally, theologically.  But the second group tends to label the first group as Pharisaical and the first group labels the second group as neo-evangelicals and emergent.  I want to take some time this week to clear up that though some young independent Baptist guys have strayed into reformed theological thinking and Calvinism, they are not anywhere closing to the emergent church.

Some of the leaders of the emergent church are pretty well known, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt.  I’m going to be playing some audio clips so you can hear a little emergent theology first hand.


Over a year ago, a co-worker let me borrow a book by Rob Bell called Love Wins, it was used as the book for her women’s study group at a Christian Church.  As I read it, and my wife can attest to this, I was angry.  I was mad as I read it.  You may say, “That doesn’t sound like a very Christ-like response.”  Let me tell you, I think Christ was angry at this book.  It’s heresy.  Let me play the audio from the promo video for the book. The voice you’ll hear is Rob Bell.

He now has Love Wins for Teens: If God threw a party, would you be invited.  I’m not joking.

His most recent book is What We Talk About  When We Talk About God.  Listen to the audio from this book’s promo video.


Let me play some audio of him discussing his most recent book. Why Did Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road.

Brian McLaren has been very vocal about his thoughts that homosexuality is not wrong biblically.


The last guy that I’m going to share with you is Doug Pagitt.  He is the only one of these guys that is still in a church leadership role.  He has written a book, A Christianity Worth Believing.

So to conclude this, the emergent church is a mystical, ecumenical, belief system full of moral relativism and post-modernism, post-liberalism.

This is not Young Fundamentalism.

Church Planting Summit


Lastly, I want to promote an upcoming event that you might be interested in attending.  It is the Church Planting Summit that will  be hosted by Green Garden Baptist Church in Monee, IL.

Find out more:


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  1. Pingback: Defining our terms - Pastor Ryan Hayden

  2. Thank you for addressing this! I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard pastors throw out the term Emergent and associate it with people and positions it has no business being associated with. It’s frustrating on two levels: you addressed one, which is that the label gets carelessly attached to the direction or expressions of young fundamentalists, and you addressed the problems with that association well. A second level of frustration for me personally is that it’s hard to take someone seriously when they make these connections, because it shows their understanding is based in generalizations, stereotypes, and misinformation. To be blunt, they come off as kind of clueless.

    It is a misunderstanding of the term Emergent to even include figures like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels under that label (an association I have actually heard independent Baptist pastors make). To haphazardly slap the label on a young fundamentalist is absurd, misguided, and greatly frustrating.

    Thanks again for addressing this.

    • I completely agree Mike. I’ve come across several more of these types of references since I released the episode. It really does show a lack of knowledge and wisdom. It’s unfortunate. Thanks for listening and commenting! Blessings to you and yours.

    • Yes Terry. It is true of a certain element of the IFB. I just think it is so important to emphasize the true meaning of the terms and call a straw man a straw man.

      And I’ll be doing an episode on calvinism and reformed theology sometime in the next couple months. Thanks for the idea and thanks for listening!

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