2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

“Emerging Theology” Is An Oxymoron

Just Click above to go to the Nazarene site to listen to the break out session held at the Missional Conference in 2007.

Comments on Jon Middendorf’s “Emerging Theology” 2007 Missional Conference Session Audio

by Sandy Simpson, 5/8/09

Article by Sandy Simpson

It is very important to start this article by pointing out that (1) the term “Emerging

Theology” is oxymoronic and (2) a better term for what Middendorf is repeating from the

teachings of Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Eddie Gibbs, Ryan Bolger and many other

Emergents should have been called “Emerging Beliefs” or “Emerging Orthopraxy”.

The reason the term “Emerging Theology” is an oxymoron is that true Biblical Theology

is not “emerging” but continuing. The true body of Christ is not making up new

“theologies” to suit the times or postmodern thought. Postmodernism has its origins in a

Satanic worldview practiced by the devil himself. In fact we need to reeducate people to

think Biblically, objectively and to believe in objective truth. The Church is to hold to

the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostles and Prophets in the written Word of God (2

Thes. 2:15), which makes up true Theology. We are not to add (Pr. 30:6), subtract (Rev.

22:18-19), go beyond (1 Cor. 4:6) or run ahead of the written Word (2 John 1:9). But

that is exactly what Emerging Church (EC) leaders are doing, including Middendorf.

Read my article on how the Emerging Church is teaching against some of the core

doctrines of the Church and adding things that the Bible does not teach or promote.

Middendorf bought into the EC paradigm and recommends a number of their materials in

this session. So right from the outset, beginning with the title of Middendorf’s 2007 Missional

session, his teaching is unbiblical.

Synopsis: There was no theology presented in this lecture, per se. The overriding theme

was that the EC wants to help Christians “find God in the world” and for them to “look

like Jesus”. Sounds good but what does that mean? Does that mean going back to

Roman Catholic liturgy and the Eucharist which Middendorf promotes? Does it mean

incorporating mystical and New Age practices into the churches? Does that look like

Jesus? I think not.

The tactic of any cultic groups is to isolate and indoctrinate. Middendorf is using both

those techniques to secure followers in the Nazarene denomination for the Emerging

Church. He uses isolation in two major ways. He first isolates by not allowing true

“conversation” even though that is the stated goal of the EC. He does not want to listen

to true criticism of the movement and subtly, and not so subtly, puts dissenters down by

using terms like those with “ugly questions” and those who “carve and manipulate”

people. It is clear, from his teachings in this session and others, that he is not able to

argue his case with clarity and in fact claims in this session “it feels funny to be the

person up here trying to nail down then what we mean when we say emerging or

emergent theology”. Maybe because he never really defines any theology in this session

and the EC has no real definitions on where they stand because that would necessarily

alienate people. He further isolates people by getting them involved in a close

relationship with another EC church and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), which is not

even Biblical Christianity at all. So all the people following the Middendorf model are

put in close personal contact with others who are exchanging the same views over and

over again while claiming they are having an open conversation. But if dissent is not

allowed then it can never be a true conversation but rather indoctrination. This is what is

interesting because while the EC advocates claim their movement is about orthopraxy it

is really about repeating the same tired teachings of the EC over and over again until

people accept the false ideas, which is classic brainwashing. So while claiming to not

have an emphasis on doctrine, it is just the opposite. The emphasis is always on the false

teachings of the movement restated, and when you try to change the belief system of

people you are teaching doctrine, pure and simple, no matter what you call it. No, they

are not about Biblical doctrine; they are about repeating false doctrines endlessly.

2Pe 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will

be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies,

even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on


1 Tim. 6: 3-5 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound

instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and

understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels

about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant

friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who

think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

Middendorf is not being a watchman for the sheep of the Nazarene denomination but is

instead guiding false teachers and false doctrines into the Nazarene churches and making

excuses for them while pretending it will do no harm.

Ga 2:4-5 This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our

ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We

did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might

remain with you.

ze 33:6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the

trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them,

that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman

accountable for his blood.’

Article by Sandy Simpson click

Following is the full transcript of the 2007 Missional session with commentary by Sandy Simpson.

The text that is indented and in italics is the transcript. My comments are not indented

and are in normal text. Again, this transcript is from Jon Middendorf’s “Emerging

Theology” 2007 Missional Conference Session Audio on “An Official Site of the Church Of The

Nazarene site , http://www.m7conference.org/ResurrectionStories/tabid/181/Default.aspx


Article by Sandy Simpson


What is Absolute Truth?

“The Written Word of God”

2 Timothy 3:16

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
Nazarenes believe in the authority of Scripture. ( “Sola Scriptura”), that the Bible is the literal Word of God, that the Bible alone is the sole source of God’s special revelation to mankind, and teaches all that is necessary for salvation from sin, and the Bible is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured. (My Nazarene Brothers and Sisters which are faithfully attending local Nazarene Churches Sunday after Sunday to my knowledge believe in the literal Word of God!)

Absolute Truth – Inflexible Reality
“Absolute truth” is defined as inflexible reality: fixed, invariable, unalterable facts. For example, it is a fixed, invariable, unalterable fact that there are absolutely no square circles and there are absolutely no round squares.

Absolute Truth vs. Relativism
While absolute truth is a logical necessity, there are some religious orientations (atheistic humanists, for example) who argue against the existence of absolute truth. Humanism’s exclusion of God necessitates moral relativism. Humanist John Dewey (1859-1952), co-author and signer of the Humanist Manifesto 1 (1933), declared, “There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes.” Humanists believe one should do, as one feels is right.

Absolute Truth – A Logical Necessity
You can’t logically argue against the existence of absolute truth. To argue against something is to establish that a truth exists. You cannot argue against absolute truth unless an absolute truth is the basis of your argument. Consider a few of the classic arguments and declarations made by those who seek to argue against the existence of absolute truth…

“There are no absolutes.” First of all, the relativist is declaring there are absolutely no absolutes. That is an absolute statement. The statement is logically contradictory. If the statement is true, there is, in fact, an absolute – there are absolutely no absolutes.

“Truth is relative.” Again, this is an absolute statement implying truth is absolutely relative. Besides positing an absolute, suppose the statement was true and “truth is relative.” Everything including that statement would be relative. If a statement is relative, it is not always true. If “truth is relative” is not always true, sometimes truth is not relative. This means there are absolutes, which means the above statement is false. When you follow the logic, relativist arguments will always contradict themselves.

“Who knows what the truth is, right?” In the same sentence the speaker declares that no one knows what the truth is, then he turns around and asks those who are listening to affirm the truth of his statement.

“No one knows what the truth is.” The speaker obviously believes his statement is true.

There are philosophers who actually spend countless hours toiling over thick volumes written on the “meaninglessness” of everything. We can assume they think the text is meaningful! Then there are those philosophy teachers who teach their students, “No one’s opinion is superior to anyone else’s. There is no hierarchy of truth or values. Anyone’s viewpoint is just as valid as anyone else’s viewpoint. We all have our own truth.” Then they turn around and grade the papers!

Please read the article, to educate yourself, be prepared for the days ahead. God said his people perish for lack of knowledge. Jesus warns us to continue to learn of HIM.

God Bless