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Seminar #3 – Emergent Calvinism “Does lightening strike twice?” – David Robertson

April 15, 2009

(I’ll be updating this seminar throughout the talk)

Emergent Calvinism “Does lightening strike twice?”
David Robertson

David Robertson (site) of St. Peters Free Church in Dundee Scotland presented on the topic above. He was born in 1962 in the Highlands of Scotland where his father was a farm worker. After attending the Univ. of Edinburgh and then the Free Church College he was ordained and inducted as Free Church minister to the Highland charge of Brora and then moved to engage in Church revitalization and inner city ministry in Dundee in the Church of Robert Murray McCheyne.

Acts 17 – We are about “turning the world upside down” The day you have to wear a Calvin t-shirt, the day you are done. The Young, Restless and Reformed by Hansen. The Calvinistic way is to go under the radar. Calvinism should be considered Biblical Theology and is what our world needs. Delighted to see influence but should mainstream media, esp. Christian media be recognizing this.

7 Positive Suggestions in the Emerging Church
1. Community
2. Social Justice
3. Holistic Worship
4. Missional
5. Inclusive and Tolerance
6. Theology (most emergents are speaking of being post-systematic theology)
7. Creative (Artistic)

In Theory:
Culture and these 7 things in our “confused” culture.
1. Community – people long for community; they want to belong to something
2. Social Justice –
3. Holistic Worship – our society is very interested as see the culture often replacing the local church worship with another form of worship (sports, concerts, etc.);
4. Missional – our society is very interested in mission work (foreign aide, military)
5. Inclusiveness and Tolerance – there is nothing so intolerant as a liberal arguing for tolerance; the basis of tolerance in any society is the Bible. You take away the Bible you will always end up with what we have in our society
6. Theological – “human beings are getting better all the time” (today’s theology);
7. Creative/Artistic – if you can read “Modern Art and the Death of the Culture” (book, book), reveals how theology influences our society (art)

We are a confused society. Modern society cheapens.

Positive Presbyterianism is what we need. What wrong with the emerging movement? It’s not enough. It’s old hat. Return to Positive Presbyterianism will
1. Community – the church. We need ecclesiology. The church is vital and important. Huge sections of the Institutes are tied up in “church”. The enemy can be within with independent churches. The essence of the church is the Word of Christ. The essence of the church is NOT the culture wars! The probably with the Church of Scotland is that it allows people to preach who do not believe in the Word of God and preach the Word. Believe in the church.
2. Social Justice – it is just political liberalism; it is not Biblical Christianity. It is not the gospel, it is moralism. We need to be defending the Lord’s Day EVEN in our Presbyterianism circles
3. Holistic Worship – belief that corporate worship is NOT needed. I don’t need a special time to worship, we just do it whenever. We need CORPORATE WORSHIP. Without C.W. there is no church! There is a need for 2-way communication while preaching but not what some are moving towards today. You need to make the Word relevant, the WORD preached will be relevant
4. Missional – the gospel of Christ; if you’re communicating the WORD of God, the gospel of Christ you are “church planting”, you are growing the church body
5. Inclusive and Tolerance – you have to be tolerant and patient and this is learned in our Theology
6. Theology – (See Pastor Duncan’s talk)
7. Creative and Artistic – the WORD brings life

In Practice:
St. Peters will be used as the example.
1. Community – Center on the Word; the Biblical view of church is liberating and counter-cultural; Focus on the Word and give people the freedom to fail. Don’t develop programs when someone wants to do something but give them the responsibility and ownership to do this on their own; a community that is focused on the word of Christ is a
2. Social Justice – prison work, outreach,
3. Holistic Worship – be flexible but keep the Word centered;
4. Missional – how can you not hear the gospel and not want to communicate to people the joy
5. Inclusive and Tolerant – we are all sinners
6. Theological – if you cannot link the Institutes to the junkie, the homeless, you do not know your theology
7. Creative –

The emerging church detracts from the glory of Jesus Christ. Preach the gospel, where ever they are. They need to know the Gospel. If you preach the Gospel, they will take the Gospel and not be able to NOT preach the Gospel.

Luther when asked what did you do… answered: “Nothing. God did it all!”

He preached with eternity stamped upon his brow – McCheyne

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