Archive for August 7th, 2007

Dan Kimball responded to the review I linked in the article below.  I thought his response was not only beautiful but what we need more of.  Thanks Dan, for those of us who hold to orthodoxy but see a new movement of Jesus Christ taking place.  Here is his response to the critique.

Hello,

I have been traveling and in church meetings today. But so fascinating that it seems the most vocal critics here haven’t even read the book!

Hi Ken Silva, I would encourage you to please tell the truth that I am not being vague about doctrine, as I even took the time and called you up on the phone a few weeks ago and I specifically walked you through the doctrines I believe and followed that up with an email list to you of the doctrines we teach and hold to – so that you wouldn’t be saying I am vague.

You are indicating I have been vague, and I am not sure what else I can do to not be vague besides walking with you the key doctrines we teach, and following that up with an email listing them as well. For those that are interested, the list of doctrines we teach and believe were posted on a blog entry:

http://www.dankimball.com/vintage_faith/2007/04/more_ephesians_.html

I don’t see how that is vague. It doesn’t have the Scriptural references on the list I put in te blog entry, but we do as we teach them.

Also, the original meaning of “fundamentalist” was the one from 1920, not from Torrey. So I am not redefining the term “fundamentalist” as it was originally used – I am sticking with the original meaning of the word.

Eric, yes I hold to the original 5 fundamentals and teach those – but I don’t use the term “inerrency” because like the term “fundamentals” it now means different things to different people and it is a term not used in the Scriptures, so I have no problem not using the term. What I say is that we believe that 100% of the Scriptures are inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) and that exactly what God wanted in the originals is what was written.

As for the homosexual issue you raised, I state my position in the book andwhat we teach.

I disagree that listening to people in our culture to know how best to communicate to them is wrong. People in different cultures have different values and ways of thinking. To be a missionary, we must understand the ways different cultures think as to what way to present the gospel. The classic example is Paul who when in the synagogue started with the Scriptures, and reasoned with them to prove that Jesus was the Christ. In the synagogue they already trusted and believed the Scriptures were from God, they were already looking for the Messiah – so his approach in the synagogue reflected a specific culture and people. When Paul taught the gospel on Mars Hill, he didn’t start with reasoning from Scripture but instead aknowledged they worship “gods”, quoted a pagan poet they were familiar with, walked back to the creation story and then onward to eventually speak of Jesus and judgment.

So there definetly is reasons for understanding a mindset as to best communicate. The four gospels show that in that Matthew’s gospel specifically is catered to a Jewish audience and included things that would be more of interest to them etc.

Also, in my opinion, if anyone is truly engaged in the lives of those outside the church, you would more naturally understand the need for this as it shows care and respect to take the time to understand their worldview. What I have interestingly been discovering as I start asking them, is that the same slice of Christians who are the types who raise these criticisms, don’t criticize missionaries when they study Buddhism when going to China, or whatever culture they are going into – so that they can be effective missionaries in a different culture and understand their beliefs. But to do the same thing in our American culture, it gets criticized.

All I know is that we had better take serioulsy the fact that the church is losing ground in our culture – an interesting article in USA Today from last week:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007-08-06-church-dropouts_N.htm

This is why I know I am in this as a missionary in our community as we are passionate about seeing this change (by God’s Spirit).

I am honored that on this blog there is such interest in the topic and what I wrote. I would encourage those who do raise criticisms to please read the book and not just the title.

Peace in Jesus,

Dan

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Yes, we have another communication problem. C?N recently published a book review of Dan Kimball’s work They like Jesus – But Not the Church. The whole premise of this book critique was the following

Kimball states in his book that these are “exciting times” that we live in when Jesus is becoming more and more respected in our culture by non-churchgoing people (p. 12). He also states that we should be: “be out listening to what non-Christians, especially those in their late teens to thirties, are saying and thinking about the church and Christianity” (p. 12).

I’m at a loss finding chapter and verse for where I should be taking the temperature of the culture and adjusting the message of the gospel accordingly. (emphasis mine)

Did anyone read in the paraphrase provided that we are supposed to be “adjusting the message of the gospel accordingly” as we read the culture? I can’t even find a hint of that statement within the content provided. He simply said that we need to be listening to what non-believers are saying about the church. Sometimes I think that many watch doggies just like to hear themselves type the same old nonsense… semi-pelagianism…emergent… true biblical doctrine… Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, Rob Bell… You know, it would do them a lot of good to actually do what Kimball suggests and just listen for a while. It would be a healthy practice for them to go into the gay districts of their communities and ask people what they think about the church and Christianity. They would probably get an earful. Of course, it would probably all be dismissed as the total depravity of their non-elect hearts.

Kimball’s message is that we need to be out listening to what non-Christians are saying and thinking about the church and Christianity so we know how to present the message accordingly, not change it. It has nothing to do with altering the message to simply please a culture. You see, WE have hurt a lot of people with ridiculous religion. WE have created communities of hate and prejudice. WE have promoted homophobia and at times deepened racial and economic lines. So, WE need to be the healing agents that mend the wounds that WE have created. And that will affect how we minister to people, not the message we minister with.

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