Baptists all in favor of Ablaze! (by Mollie)

April 27th, 2009 Post by

One of the people I follow on Twitter is Ed Stetzer. Stetzer is part of the LifeWay Research Team, a Baptist research effort that studies church trends. I’m not enamored with the statistical methodology used but reporters like to have data for their stories. And Stetzer is a great guy to follow. A Southern Baptist, he is a leader of the emergent missional movement.

Anyway, here are the last three “tweets” I read from Stetzer:

# Heading to the airport wwwaaayyy to early. I’m hoping that the St Louis weather does not delay my time with the Lutheran bishops & leaders.
# Flight on time. Next stop is St Louis to talk about all things missional with the synodical leadership of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Sy.
# Landed in St Louis. Finished an article on the plane & just submitted it to the Assembles of God Enrichment Journal on church revitalization

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Synod, Inc. were instead informed by Lutheran theology when discussing Ablaze!? This is clearly not something important to Synodical leadership and I in no way blame Stetzer for any of this but it speaks to Synod, Inc.’s priorities.

Stetzer further informs:

On Monday, I will be in St. Louis with the Synodical Leadership of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. It will be good to connect with Mike Ruhl and the folks from the Center for U.S. Missions who had me speak at Concordia University last year. The LCMS plan is ABLAZE and it is an aggressive plan to “share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with 100 million unconverted people, 50 million of them in the U.S. by the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.”

Not just aggressive but poorly conceived too!

Anyway, I just found all this interesting.


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  1. Susan R
    April 27th, 2009 at 15:21 | #1

    Seems there’s a training event, TCN-hosted, in St. Louis in a couple of days.
    Stetzer is listed as co-author of a book, Transformissional Coaching…, which is featured at this event.
    ‘TCN is asking all who register for this conference to order and read this book prior to the event.’
    Events sponsors appear to be LCMS World Mission and TCN.
    Oh bother.

  2. Rev. Alan J. Wollenburg
    April 27th, 2009 at 15:48 | #2

    The plan for revitalizing churches is largely taken from the book (written by an American Baptist) “Hit the Bullseye.” It is a book full of awful assumptions (if you have not read it, do so, and keep your marker handy) which, unless challenged by the clear word of God, will lead one down the road of the “whatever works” paradigm. Indeed, the book suggests that congregations which are revitalizing suspend their constitutions and by-laws. And all along you thought our leaders were being so original . . . Kyrie, eleison.

  3. Susan R
    April 27th, 2009 at 16:13 | #3

    I, for one, welcome into the churchly lexicon the word ‘transformissional’.
    How creative, though its reality is certainly anti-creative. But it’s certainly telling.

  4. Elnathan the younger
    April 27th, 2009 at 17:21 | #4

    Mollie wrote: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if Synod, Inc. were instead informed by Lutheran theology when discussing Ablaze!”

    Now just where did you get that wild and crazy idea? I think it has some merit, but I really wonder if our PotS would/could follow the line of thought. All he seems to be able to do is to copy the church bodies that alreqady have gone down the tubes theologically – except, of course, he supports the six day creation. Whoopie do!

  5. April 27th, 2009 at 20:45 | #5

    Center for US Missions??

    I’m baffled by the shallowness of their doctrine of the church. In the ABOUT US I’m reminded of the anti-institutional 60’s hippie movement, where if everyone could just get together and love each other great things would happen. Their silence about the clergy is so anti-clergy.

    Sheep without a shepherd are sheep that wander. It takes strong shepherds to guard against the wolves.

    Michael

  6. Matt Phillips
    April 27th, 2009 at 22:43 | #6

    Mr. Stetzer is a Southern Baptist. We should examine what that means. Mr. Stetzer denies baptismal regeneration, which contradicts the clear teaching of God’s Word. He rejects the notion that Christ gives us his true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins. Any theological discussions (if that what was going on) with him should begin with baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These are not ancillary issues. The GOSPEL is at stake when we get the sacraments wrong. True evangelism begins and ends with them.

  7. Rev. Gregory J. Schultz
    April 28th, 2009 at 09:35 | #7

    Thanks, Mollie, for hitting the nail on the head again. Hmmm, Baptist leadership teaching “Lutheran” leadership; “Lutheran” leaders adopting Baptist theology/practice (they are one, you know). Hey, when you sleep with someone long enough, you’ll do anything with them. And suddenly, former “Lutherans” are Baptist! How’d that happen?!?

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