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Grand Rapids, MI

Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

Future Communication of the Gospel 7

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One of the things that I've noticed lately is that when some of the younger, emerging church leaders use different language than is "standard" in the evangelical community, there tends to be a backlash.  Even if you're orthodox (again, I'd like a better definition for this when it's tossed around - orthodox according to what standards?), but you try to reframe your understanding of the Scriptures or key theology in a more contemporary... or even just a different language, there tends to be a conservative backlash.  In a sense, there is a kind of required language that needs to be used in the evanglical community, and if you don't use that particular language, you're either suspect, heretical, or making dangerous revisions to theology.  Interestingly, much of that language that has become both sacred and become part of the litmus test to whether you are orthodox or not comes not from scripture itself, but was later added as a clarification of Scripture.  That's always helpful as a clarification, but when it becomes exalted to the level of Scripture, it can become dangerous.  The question is, what extra-biblical language and/ or categories (philosophical or theological) are essential/ necessary for orthodoxy, which ones are helpful but not necessary to be orthodox, and which ones are just personal intepretive preferences?    There is a lot of talk about contextualizing the gospel in whatever missional context you find yourself in, but then when you attempt to do that and forego a language of a previous or other culture for something more contextual, then you get labelled heretical. 


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