Wandering in Wonderland, part 2- A Quote by Dan Kimball Adressing Emergent Motivations

In discussing the topic of emergent motivations and whether or not we should be concerned with “the destination,” I think it would be nice to post a quote by someone who is so closely linked to the debate that he even has a book out entitled The Emerging Church, that being Dan Kimball (for the distinctions/relation between “emerging” and “emergent,” at least in my own use, check out the “Emerging vs. Emergent” tab above).

Now, I know I have not always agreed with everything Dan Kimball says, but in this ever growing divide between orthodoxy and “generous orthodoxy” I think it is important to know who you can trust to maintain the integrity of the truth, and I believe Kimball is one of those people.

The following quote comes from a message Kimball delivered at the recent Shift youth ministry conference at Willow Creek Community Church. What makes this even more impressive a statement is the context in which it was delivered: Kimball’s remarks came two days after Brian McLaren got up and spoke about the fact that “Many of us [theologians] have been increasingly critical in recent years of popular American eschatology in general, and conventional views of hell in particular. Simply put, if we believe that God will ultimately enforce his will by forceful domination, and will eternally torture all who resist that domination, then torture and domination become not only permissible but in some way godly.” So, what did Kimball have to say in response to this?:

“This is what I’m just concerned about a little bit with some of the things that are going on today. The church is waking up to the fact that we have to be involved in global social justice issues. And that is fantastic. We should be repenting (and saying), ‘I can’t believe we did not think of this. This is the command of Jesus and what we should be about.’ And we need to be so involved in all of this because the kingdom is about life on this planet here and not just about when we die.

“But my subtle fear is that we don’t then swing the pendulum so much that we forget that there is life after we die and that we do have to still remember that there is an eternity with God and an eternity apart from God.”

These are surely pertinent words, and awfully brave things to say in front of a room which has been digesting the social gospel/universalist biases of people like McLaren and Shane Claiborne. I am thankful for people like Kimball who, though I may disagree with them on some issues, they understand the importance of submitting to God’s revealed word in the Bible and being disciples with a big enough a pair to live out Titus 1.9: “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

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