Some Quotes by Emerging Church Leaders

 by Various

"The church has been preoccupied with the question, "What happens to your soul after you die?" As if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in, "Jesus is trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die." I just think a fair reading of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I don't think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line." - Brian McLaren, from the PBS special on the Emerging Church

"My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ," McManus, author of a new book called The Barbarian Way, said in a telephone interview. "Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I'm anti-Christian. I think they might be right."
Erwin McManus, from The Barbarian Way

"Emergent doesn't have a position on absolute truth, or on anything for that matter. Do you show up at a dinner party with your neighbours and ask, 'What's this dinner party's position on absolute truth?' No, you don't, because it's a nonsensical question."
Tony Jones at the 2005 National Youth Workers Convention               

"Meditative prayer like that we experienced in the labyrinth resonates with hearts of emerging generations."
Dan Kimball, Vintage Faith

"Some of the values of the emerging church are an emphasis on emotions, global outlook, a rise in the use of arts, and a rise in mysticism and spirituality."
Josh Reich, Creating Worship Gatherings for the Emerging Church

"I stopped reading from the approved evangelical reading list and began to distance myself from the evangelical agenda. I discovered new authors and new voices at the bookstore-Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and St. Teresa of Avila. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Contemplative spirituality seemed to open up a whole new way for me to understand and experience God. I was deeply moved by works like The Cloud of Unknowing, The Dark Night of the Soul and the Early Writings of the Desert Fathers."
Spencer Burke, The Ooze

“.... Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.” (Brian McLaren's comments on the back flap of Alan Jones' book Reimagining Christianity where Alan Jones states the following about the Christ's crucifixion:  "The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it." (p. 132)
Brian McLaren

"The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus' sacrifice was to appease an angry god. Penal substitution [the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine." (p. 168) "Meditative prayer like that we experienced in the labyrinth resonates with hearts of emerging generations."
Dan Kimball, Vintage Faith

"The fact is that contemplative spirituality will play a huge part in the Church of the future, and candles are just the beginning."
Duane Cottrell

"[W]e should stop to reflect and to treasure the words, to turn them over and over in our minds, repeating them ..."
Richard Foster, Renovare

What if Jesus' secret message reveals a secret plan?".... What if he didn't come to start a new religion--but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world?"
Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 4

"...many Hindus are willing to consider Jesus as a legitimate manifestation of the divine... many Buddhists see Jesus as one of humanity’s most enlightened people.... A shared reappraisal of Jesus’ message could provide a unique space or common ground for urgently needed religious dialogue—and it doesn’t seem an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet may depend on such dialogue. This reappraisal of Jesus’ message may be the only project capable of saving a number of religions."
Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 7

Brian McLaren's endorsement of Steve Chalke and Alan Mann's book "The Lost Message of Jesus":
“Scripture is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it.”
Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 162

“The church latched on to that old doctrine of original sin like a dog to a stick, and before you knew it, the whole gospel got twisted around it. Instead of being God’s big message of saving love for the whole world, the gospel became a little bit of secret information on how to solve the pesky legal problem of original sin.”
Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, p.134

“Western Christianity has (for the last few centuries anyway) said relatively little about mindfulness and meditative practices, about which Zen Buddhism has said much. To talk about different things is not to contradict one another; it is, rather, to have much to offer one another, on occasion at least.”
Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 225

"I must add, though, that I don't believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts."
Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260

"I am a Christian because I believe that, in all these ways, Jesus is saving the world. By “world” I mean planet Earth and all life on it, because left to ourselves, un-judged, un-forgiven, and un-taught, we will certainly destroy this planet and its residents. And by “the world” I specifically mean human history, because again, it was and is in danger, grave danger, ultimate danger, self-imposed danger, and I don’t believe anyone else can rescue it.”
Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 97

One of the things I was wondering about when researching through these comments of McLaren's is--doesn't a true Christian cherish and appreciate God even more because of such doctrines as the sovereignty of God, his holiness and his unfathomable richness of his truth (Romans 11: 33-34)? Don't those doctrines, and many others cause his children to humble themselves more and trust his Word to a greater degree like the writer of Psalm 119 did? Why does McLaren decide to change the meaning of scripture simply because it doesn't fit into his educated brilliant intellectual perspective? Why does Brian McLaren think he has to adjust his theology to fit his life experience? Shouldn't our life experience be perceived through the light of His holy Word rather than his Word being interpreted through an individual's personal viewpoint?  Kenny O Hank

l Tony [Campolo] and I might disagree on the details, but I think we are both trying to find an alternative to both traditional Universalism and the narrow, exclusivist understanding of hell [that unless you explicitly accept and follow Jesus, you are excluded from eternal life with God and destined for hell]."
Brian McLaren Brian McLaren’s Inferno 2, Out of Ur, May 2006

“going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia…. There as many ways….  It doesn’t make any difference how we go there.   We all end up in the same place.” 
Tony CampoloCarpe Diem:  Seize the Day”, 1994, pages 85-88

“He saved us in order that He might begin to transform His world into the kind of world that He willed for it to be when He created it…  When Jesus saved us, He saved us to be agents of a great revolution, the end of which will come when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our God”
Tony CampoloIt’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming”, page 106

“I’m not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians.”
Tony Campolo Charlie Rose Show on January 24, 1997

“…what can I say to an Islamic brother who  has fed the hungry, and clothed the naked?  You say, “But he hasn’t a personal relationship with Christ.”  I would argue that.  And I would say from a Christian perspective, in as much as you did it to the least of these you did it unto Christ.  You did have a personal relationship with Christ, you just didn’t know it.”
Tony Campolo Evangelicals and Interfaith Cooperation, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself – “discovering the Bible as a human product,” as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. “The Bible is still in the center for us,” Rob says, “but it’s a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.”
Rob Bell

* The Bible is the product of two historical communities, ancient Israel and the early Christian movement.
* As such, it is a human product, not a divine product. This claim…sees the Bible as the response of these two ancient communities.
* As their response to God, the Bible tells us how they saw things… It is not God’s witness to God (not a divine product), but their witness to God.
* As a human product, the Bible is not “absolute truth” or “God’s revealed truth,” but relative and culturally conditioned…the Bible tells us how our spiritual ancestors saw things – not how God sees things.” (45, emphasis mine
Marcus Borg The Heart of Christianity

"Thomas Merton has perhaps done more than any other twentieth-century figure to make the life of prayer widely known and understood ... his interest in contemplation led him to investigate prayer forms in Eastern religion ...[he is] a gifted teacher ..." (Spiritual Classics - p.17)
"[W]e began experiencing that "sweet sinking into Deity" Madame Guyon speaks of. It, very honestly, had much the same "feel" and "smell" as the experiences I had been reading about in the Devotional Masters"

Richard Foster (from Renovare Perspective.01/ 1998) have come to reject the notion of Original Sin.  I consider it neither biblically, philosophically, nor scientifically tenable.

Tony Jones

While making the rounds promoting his book Velvet Elvis: Repainting The Christian Faith (VE) Bell told
The Bible itself, he writes, is a book that constantly must be wrestled with and re-interpreted. He dismisses claims that “Scripture alone” will answer all questions. Bible interpretation is colored by historical context, the reader’s bias and current realities, he says. The more you study the Bible, the more questions it raises.
“It is not possible to simply do what the Bible says,” Bell writes. (Online source, emphasis added)
Then in VE, after laying out essentially a neo-orthodox understanding of some of the Biblical writers, Bell specifically says:
This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice but it is not true… When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true.
Rob Bell

Pagitt is the pastor of Solomon's Porch in Minnesota where yoga classes are often held. In the December 3rd 2005 issue of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, it stated: "Christian yoga has been gaining a devout following, and Twin Cities pastor Doug Pagitt has endorsed the practice in his new book, Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God." A PBS news story (see video) on the emerging church featured Doug Pagitt. The video also showed yoga classes taking place at the 2005 Emergent Convention in which Pagitt was a speaker. In one segment of the video (25 second mark), there was an Egyptian god symbol above a sanctuary stage (25 second mark) of a church. Currently, on the Solomon Church website is advertised the Women's Yoga and Prayer class....
Pagitt, like most emerging church leaders, resonates with mysticism (such as yoga and contemplative prayer) and is sympathetic towards Catholicism. In Roger Oakland's book, Faith Undone, he quotes Pagitt. Pagitt states:
"During a recent Life Development Forum we offered a session on Christian practices. In one of the four weeks we introduced the act of making the sign of the cross on ourselves. This gesture has become a very powerful experience for me. It is rich with meaning and history and is such a simple way to proclaim and pray my faith with my body. I hold the fingers on my right hand in the shape of a cross, my index finger lying over the top of my outstretched thumb. I use the Eastern Orthodox pattern of touching first head, then heart, then right lung followed by left. Others in the group follow the Roman Catholic practice with left before right." (Faith Undone, p. 51)
Doug Pagitt

"Tony [Campolo] and I might disagree on the details, but I think we are both trying to find an alternative to both traditional Universalism and the narrow, exclusivist understanding of hell [that unless you explicitly accept and follow Jesus, you are excluded from eternal life with God and destined for hell]."
Brian McLaren Brian McLaren’s Inferno 2, Out of Ur, May 2006