Category Archives: 9 Marks

A funny thing happened on the way to defining a church.

While doing some personal research about how an emergent will learn about God I found something very interesting, comedy_and_tragedy_masksfunny, and sad. One of the sites I will frequent in an effort to learn about what is current in the Emergent Church is Solomon’s Porch.

Solomon’s Porch does not a use the word church. There I would agree. They are, as the subtitle says “A Holistic, Missional, Christian Community. Solomon’s Porch is lead by Doug Pagitt, who is by all means a leader in the emergent movement. He has written several books on the movement and is an authority, which is a contrast in the emergent community. But that is another post, article, discussion.

While navigating the Solomon’s Porch web site using their navigating drop-down list I found an entry for “What Makes a church?”. Curious, I navigated to that page. The result can be seen here.  Go ahead, do it yourself.  I don’t know if this was intentional or not. Usually a web site will have something on a page that is published to the public, so maybe this was intentional. Does the blank page represent the open-minded, broad brush,  emergent definition of church? You draw your own opinion.

In contrast I will briefly mention another web site I frequent a bit more, especially to find info about “What Makes a church.” The web site is 9Marks. They have a couple of tag lines: “Church Matters”, and “Is Your Church Reflecting Culture or Re-shaping It?” The 9 in 9Marks represents the 9 marks of a healthy local church. When I navigated to their page on what a church looks like, I found this. It is based on what is  the ultimate authority for every man, the bible.

It is not my intention to bash Doug Pagitt and Solomon’s Porch. I just found it interesting that they do not have a definition for what makes a church. It is my prayer that Doug Pagitt and Solomon’s Porch update their “What Makes a church” page using the same basis. The bible. It is how we know God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ the son and head of the church.

Some food for thought:

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb. (Revelation 21:9 ESV)

1 Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, lord, open to us. 12 But he answered, Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13 ESV)

Soli Deo Gloria


Sunday School with a dose of cool

If you work with the youth ministry and haven’t heard of the NOOMA videos then youRob Bell have probably been living on the North Pole or under a rock. If you don’t work with a youth ministry, NOOMA is a series of videos by Flannel and published by longtime Christian publishers Zondervan and starring Rob Bell. NOOMA comes from the phonetic spelling of the Greek word pneuma meaning wind, spirit, or breath. I was first introduced to the series by viewing #9 in the series called “Bullhorn Guy”which can be seen at the link here. While Rob Bell’s look and sound may appeal to most folks sense of coolness, there is an undermining of the gospel going on in what he says. In this particular video he is condescending toward a guy who is street preaching with a bullhorn. Bell basically says I think the bullhorn guy has it wrong. My very first thought was of John the Baptist. Matthew 3:1-6 offers an excellent description of the behavior of John the Baptist. He called the people to repent of their sins. I have to wonder does Bell ever talk about the very thing that separates us from God. He certainly doesn’t in the “Bullhorn Guy” video.

In my research of this popular evangelical video series I found a series of articles reviewing the NOOMA video series. The articles are done by Greg Gilbert who writes for 9Marks Ministeries. I believe he does an excellent job of articulating what is good about the NOOMA videos and more importantly what is dangerous about them. Click on the link below to read the review.

The Scoop’a on NOOMA