Narrative Theology — A Subtle Deception


Hi Israel,

Our friends’ son (a homeschooled young man raised in a Christian home) now states that he is not a Christian, doesn’t believe that Jesus lived and the Bible, to him, is just another old book. Very sad but it was coming.. He had joined the emergent church several years ago.. Wonder if this is a common thing for those who move to the emergent church?

(A concerned friend)

A big part of Emergent Theology is a Narrative (story) approach to Hermeneutics (how we study and understand the Bible). Nearly every Evangelical scholar will readily admit that Narrative (story) is an important part of understanding the Bible. Jesus used Narrative quite often. The Mid-Eastern culture is deeply rooted in Narrative as a method for transmitting transcendent values from one generation to another. It is an important and vital part of Christian Homiletics (preaching style and methods of communicating the Gospel) and is a substantial part of the content of the Bible itself.

What many Emergents mean by Narrative Theology though is that the Bible is MERELY that…a story. As Brian McLaren, the grand-daddy of the movement says (in his book, The Story We Find Ourselves In), the Bible is a collection of stories that Bedoin shepherds told themselves around campfires to help them learn the story they found themselves in. Today, we read those stories in an attempt to understand important truths that might help us understand the story we find ourselves in.

So Narrative Theology is a deconstruction of the authority of Scripture, and most specifically what is called the “Perspicuity of Scripture“. That means that God wrote the Bible intending for it to be understood. He wanted it’s message to be clear and available for everyone. Emergents deny any claim someone makes that they understand what the Bible means. They would concede that you can know what it means FOR YOU, but not what it means objectively or what it means for someone else.

Really this is just a carry-over from what the German Theologians did through Higher Criticism over a century ago. Everything cycles back around. Back then the Fundamentalists were battling Modernism. Now the Evangelicals are battling Postmodernism. At the root is the fight over the authority of Scripture, and yes, thousands of young adults are embracing Narrative Theology as a replacement for seeing the Bible as Objective Propositional Truth.

May the Lord grant this young man humility, which opens access to grace (1 Peter 5:5).

Israel Wayne

2 Responses to “Narrative Theology — A Subtle Deception”

  1. Thanks for sharing this tragic story and what new “theology” is destroying the faith of so many in today’s church. Like in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, it always comes back to the authority of God’s Word. “Did God really say…?” Thank you for standing for God’s Word as the absolute Truth that it is and for exposing this false teaching.

  2. Karen Cox says:

    A leader in our church was going to give classes on “Hermaneutics”, inviting young men who had been “called” of God to be pastors. I asked if a friend of mine (man, who loved going door to door witnessing) could attend his class. He said “No”. I was disappointed, but now I know where he was coming from. Origin (200 AD) said only the “initiated” could understand Scripture. He left the “layman” out. Is this not Nicolaitan thinking- which Jesus said He Hated? (Rev 2, 6,15) I think this is where the emergent church started and will continue to take over all Nicolaitan churches- (fundamental Baptist churches included) . Someone needs to tell these church people and every seminary out there, what the true definition of Nicolaitans was. Would you Israel?

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