I do not claim to be an expert in postmodernism or the emergent church. I am continually learning, and in the past few weeks have been doing some intense study on the topic of truth, something I hit on very early in my writing career. I came across a statement that was so utterly false, I had to talk about it. Rob Bell teaches that we should â€œembrace mystery and doubt.â€ How utterly foolish, I said.
Now before we go any further, we have to understand the differences within the â€œconversationâ€ or movement and realize that a good many of the emergents, like Brian McLaren, are preaching heresy. On the other hand, we have many emergent men and women who are saying that we need to reject the belief that we can know all things with our own power and insight. Some believe that we should embrace postmodernism, holding to the truth that we are fallible humans, so therefore we cannot know infallible truth because the culture around us will mar our interpretation of Scripture. This teaching is extremely dangerous due to the fact that if we cannot know infallible truth, as Christians we must question and doubt Christâ€™s deity, the creation, and even the gospel.
That is what many are preaching within the emergent conversation. Others want to â€œembrace mystery and faithâ€ instead of mystery and doubt. In other words, we need to embrace the many things we do not know in the Bible and teach more about faith instead of relying on our own selves. We need to be embracing the fact that God is bigger than anything we can know or imagine: He is indescribable. We need to have a huge sense of awe at our finite state and inability to understand any infallible truth without the Holy Spirit. By doing this, we as The Church come closer together. This is all well and good, and much of it true, but I donâ€™t believe it is the route we should be taking.
We must embrace what we know by embracing truth and orthodoxy. Or as Josh Harris and New Attitude has put it, â€œEmbrace Humble Orthodoxy.â€ We need to embrace the truth of the gospel, the things we do know all the while understanding that we are indeed fallen human beings who only by Godâ€™s grace know these things. We still understand that the non essentials must be decided with fear and trembling, but we cling not to the things we do not know, but to the things we do know. The mystery has been revealed to us, and it is no longer hidden. This does not diminish the importance of faith and humility, but rather affirms it. We understand that we have no power within us to know the mystery, and only by the Holy Spirit leading us to repentance and faith do we understand. This is so important as we understand how truth affects our lives and how it affects the world around us.
We must not embrace mystery and doubt, but rather the mystery that has been revealed, the truth of the gospel. The Bible leaves no doubt about what that gospel is, about who we are, and about who God is. Letâ€™s embrace this truth.