Doug Pagitt apologizes on behalf of John MacArthur

Between reading Listening to the Beliefs of the Emergent Church and Preaching Re-Imagined I feel like I have a fairly good grasp on Emergent/emerging/emergentising/emergentologist/emergentherapist Doug Pagitt. I agree with Mark Driscoll who responded to Pagitt in Listening to the Beliefs that “I am left to wonder if his pleading for love is something he also believes should be ‘ever-changing,’ and some future evolution of Christianity could embrace violent injustice yet remain faithful?” (146-47).

In case you missed it, Doug Pagitt has also taken on a new role, that of spokesperson for John MacArthur and Pagitt has issued an apology for John. (HT:His royal Philness).

FOOTNOTE: Some of you may be wondering why I would even mention this kind of rubbish on a blog that is for preachers and preaching. Well, Doug Pagitt is talking and writing a lot about preaching and the bottom line is that he hunts preaching down, cuts out its heart, mounts it on his wall and then takes his picture by it (in the form of his book Preaching Re-Imagine).

For those wanting to interact further allow me to suggest that a recent edition of The Master’s Seminary Journal (vol. 17, Num. 2, Fall 2006) should be required reading for expositors if for no other reason than Rick Holland’s article on “emergent preaching” entitled: “Progressional Dialogue & Preaching: Are They the Same?” Rick takes on the growing trend that has turned the pulpit into a place for “progressional dialogue” resulting in “intentional interplay of multiple viewpoints” which has been part and parcel of the emerging church dialogue. The chief proponent of this view has been Doug Pagitt who has authored the provocative Preaching Re-Imagined. Holland argues (persuasively in my mind) that Pagitt’s counsel has more footing in Fosdick than Scripture. Surrounding the whole “emerging church” debate there has been little shortage of thoughts and ideas from a plethora of viewpoints but relatively little has been written specifically dealing with the preaching style of the movement. Rick’s analysis is a great place to start and will certainly balance-out the presently vapid tone of discussion that has permeated this overlooked area.

7 responses to this post.

  1. I commented earlier on this whole fiasco when it came out on Pulpit Magazine’s blog. This is a whole new take on it. Wow.

    The U2 “Emergent Anthem” was pretty funny, though…

  2. Posted by CalebKolstad on September 22, 2007 at 4:12 am

    Wow! Phil’s commentary on this is very very good.

    Leave ET and go read Pyro friends (but please come back).


  3. I find the arrogance of Pagitt revealing in this instance. MacArthur delivers a clear articulation of gospel truth in an Athenian setting and a so-called fellow believer and preacher feels the need to apologize for him and admit embarrassment.

    Would Pagitt apologize to the philosophers at Athens on behalf of Paul? Would he apologize for John the Baptist as he confessed Christ before Herod to whom he lost his head?

    What arrogance and lack of love not to mention respect Pagitt has shown. I would like to know if this is indicative of his emergent vision as expressed by Emergent Village and Solomon’s Porch or is this his own insipid brand of disdain.

  4. Posted by Scott Christensen on September 22, 2007 at 5:40 am

    If Pagitt had made these remarks merely off the record, we might be tempted to cut him some slack for be ashamed of the gospel when the opportunity presented itself to speak the the truth. But the fact that he aired these remarks on a podcast tells me he truly does disregard Sola Scriptura and is proud of it. That makes this episode a truly grievous matter in my mind.

  5. Posted by CalebKolstad on September 22, 2007 at 6:28 pm


    I agree with you. I could not believe he actually put it on his own podcast…as if it was a wonderful example of how to be “missional” with unbelievers.

    Strange times these later days,


  6. If you want a closer look inside Doug Pagitt’s “church”, I found a very revealing video over at the A-Team Blog. Here’s the link:

  7. Paul,

    I am glad you mentioned the research and presentation that Rick Holland put together. It is good stuff. I listened to every audio available that dealt with this movement through The Master’s Seminary audio page. They really provide a great perspective and great resource for anyone not quite up to speed on the emergent movement. Holland also did an excellent job of critiquing “Preaching Re-Imagined” at the 2006 Shepherd’s Conference.
    Good post.

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