Quotes and Excerpts from



"...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things..." 2 Timothy 4:3-5

Notice how words such as "gospel" and "mission" -- even God and His purposes -- have been given new meaning and context. Since Brian McLaren is one of the leaders of this movement, you may want to read these excerpts and articles: Emerging 'ChristianityA New Kind of Christian, Story we find ourselves in


About ALLELON: Cultivating the formation of Missional Church: "...We have a particular burden for people involved in new forms of missional communities (sometimes called "emerging"), people starting new congregations within denominational systems, and people in existing congregations, who are working towards missional identity and engagement. Our desire is to encourage, support, coach, and offer companionship for missional leaders as they discern new models of church....

      "The word allelon is a common but overlooked New Testament word that is reciprocal in nature. Christian faith is not an individual matter. Everything in the life of the church is done allelon for the sake of the world. A Christian community is defined by the allelon sayings in Scripture. We are to love one another; We are to pursue one another's good; We are to build up one another; We are to bear with one another in love; We are to bear one another's burdens; We are to be kind to one another; We are to be compassionate to one another; We are to be forgiving one another; We are to submit to one another; We are to consider one another better than ourselves; We are to be devoted to one another in love; We are to live in harmony with one another. [See Communitarian Network]

       "...our overarching mission is to educate and encourage the church to become a people among whom God can live, as sign, symbol, and foretaste of his redeeming love and grace in their neighborhoods and the whole of society -- ordinary women and men endeavoring to participate in God's mission to reclaim and restore the whole of creation and to bear witness to the world of a new way of being human."

Many leaders envision communities where their followers "love one another." But few emphasize God's primary command:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30)

The problem is: we can't love each other unless we first love God. Only when, by His grace, we are filled with His Spirit and love Him, first, with all our heart ("he who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.") can we truly love one another with His love -- even share His readiness to "lay down our lives for one another."

As for participating "in God's mission to reclaim and restore the whole of creation," this corrupt earth will be replaced, not restored:

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.... Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'"  Revelation 21:1-5

Allelon's Board of Advisors includes:

Richard J. Foster. Founder of Renovaré, who has popularized mysticism and contemplative prayer in churches around the world.

Brian McLaren. Pastor, author, and leader in the Emerging Church movement. His wife Grace is a "corporate teambuilding consultant."

Leonard Sweet. Partnered with with Rick Warren in a 1995 audio seminar called "The Tides of Change." He authored The Jesus Prescription for a Healthy Life (1996), FaithQuakes (1994) -- one of the "10 best religion books" -- and SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture (1999)-- "the first in a trilogy of third millennium resources to help leaders come to terms with postmodern culture. The second installment, AquaChurch... is designed specifically to show how to 'do church' in this new world."

Eugene Peterson.
"In addition to writing and contributing to more than 30 books, his most recognized work is the internationally acclaimed rendering of the Bible, titled The Message. ... A professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, he currently spends time in his Montana home working on book writing projects."

Dallas Willard. Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has taught at USC since 1965, where he was Director of the School of Philosophy from 1982-1985." His book, The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God was... selected Christianity Today's "Book of the Year" for 1999. ... He has served on the boards of the C.S. Lewis Foundation and Biola University."

Dr. Darrell Guder. Presbyterian minister, appointed to the Henry Winters Luce [Time Magazine] Chair of Missional and Ecumenical Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary. Author of The Continuing Conversion of the Church: Evangelization as the Heart of Ministry.

Dr. George Hunsberger. Presbyterian pastor, former staff member of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, missionary team leader for Africa Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya; and a teacher at Princeton Theological Seminary. Coordinator of The Gospel and Our Culture Network in North America. Co-editor of Christian Ethics in Ecumenical Context: Theology, Culture, and Politics in Dialogue and The Church Between Gospel and Culture, which explores "how the gospel speaks within and across cultures and in fostering congregations in North America who are missionaries for the encounter of the gospel with Western culture."

Former Board Members: Bill Bright and Stanley J. Grenz

"O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.” Isaiah 3:12


Community: "British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who has observed a correlation between the size of the neocortex in the brain of mammals and the size of the groups in which they live. This can be tracked through every species of primate, where the larger the neocortex, the larger the group size. ...  There is however, a specific limitation to the size of group of we can be a part without getting lost in its complexities… If you belong to a group of five people, Dunbar points out, you have to keep track of ten separate relationships: your relationships with the four others in your circle and the six other two-way relationships between the others. That’s what it means to know everyone in the circle. You have to understand the personal dynamics of the group, juggle different personalities, keep people happy, manage the demands on your own time and attention, and so on.... Even a relatively small increase in the size of a group, in other words, creates a significant additional social and intellectual burden."

Missional 101: Looking Outside by Brother Maynard Monday April 16, 2007

But such management details are not an issue in the true Church -- God's people who follow His guidelines and "walk by the Spirit." The pastor isn't responsible for their individual peace and "happiness." He is responsible for preaching the Word and equipping the poeple to stand firm no matter what battles they face. Each person -- before God -- is responsible for obeying that Word, following God's way, and "abiding in Him." Our contentment in Christ comes from pleasing our Lord and quickly confessing any sin that might hinder our fellowship with Him! 

"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine..." 2 Timothy 4:2-3


Allelon Missional Schools Project: "The seeming endless focus on programs and strategies is being reframed by the emerging understanding of a missional church. Popularized in the late 1990s by the book, Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, this conversation is being picked up by numerous denominations and is starting to shape theological schools and seminaries across the country.... Many are now looking at how to frame their curriculum and practices of leadership formation around the missional conversation....

     "Over the last sixteen months, Allelon has been in conversation with these twenty-four seminaries and schools across the United States and Canada. Our conversations have been about how we train a new generation of leaders for the contexts in which we now find ourselves. It has involved consultations and conversations with the Presidents and Academic Deans of each school. The result has been a growing recognition of the need to address the institutional culture, faculty ethos, and theological curriculum of the school in to engage in missional leadership formation from the perspective of a missional theology....

      "The Project is designed around missional theology.... A missional theology seeks to understand and act upon what God is doing in the world. Its focus is on the understanding that God is a missionary God and that the church is called to be a sign, witness and foretaste of God’s intentions for the whole of creation. This approach to theology is beginning to engage and redefine the leadership paradigms....

      "Leadership formation in these schools involves questions about both the curriculum and practices that need to be designed for the shaping of leaders who can cultivate local communities and inter-relate these communities within the systems they serve....

      "...all theology needs to be, in reality, understood as missional theology..... Over the past two years a majority of the schools choosing to participate in this Project have approached the Allelon Missional School Project Team (Dr. Alan Roxburgh - Lead Coordinator, Dr. Patrick Keifert, Dr. Craig Van Gelder and/or Rev. Dr. Brian McLaren) requesting assistance to understand, evaluate and innovate mission-shaped leadership within their schools." Click to View All Participating Schools


Allelon - Mission in Western Culture: "This initiative brings together a series of major projects designed to develop frameworks, practices, and resources that address the question of a missional engagement in contemporary, Western culture through a mutually critical partnership with seminaries, denominations, local churches, foundations and parachurch organizations. Conversations about the church in North America are changing and we are now experiencing a growing recognition that churches need to rethink ecclesiology from a missional perspective and the implications for leadership development."


Allelon Library Portal: "This section seeks to make public our current work, past work and emerging research findings, essays from scholars, researchers, and practitioners in and out of the academy as it relates to missional theology."

"As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."  Colossians 2:6-8


Postmodernism, the emerging church and evangelicalism: Part 1a (by Alan Roxburgh, 5-3-07) : "At the end of February I was in Dallas directing the first formal meeting of the Allelon Missional Schools Project. We had gathered twenty-four seminaries from across North America to initiate a multi year project that will engage the question of how a missional theology might shape theological education and leadership formation in consultation with the local church.... As presidents, deans, faculty and board members came together, many commented that five years ago it wouldn’t have been possible to gather such a theologically disparate group of schools from a wide set of traditions and histories.

       "The question was asked: Why at this time? A common answer emerging from those discussions could be summarized under the single word: Identity. There was a common sense that what was happening in the social environment of North America, whether we call it a late modern or postmodern shift or a globalization of the culture or a pluralization of values and perspectives or the emergence of a non-foundationalist context ... they are each an accurate image of the multi-complex environment in which we find ourselves..... As one school president put it in a somewhat functionalist manner: 'The churches for which we were established to theologically form leaders doesn’t exist anymore and we’re in a place where we have to re-imagine our very identity as a school....

      "As a missiologist whose work has been shaped by Newbigin’s question about a missional engagement with our own culture I want explore the first question about the role of theology. ... [B]oth the postmodern turn and some of the emerging experiments in church life assists us address the question of the role of theology, especially in terms of the theologian relationship to the identity and vocation of the local church as the mission-shaped community of God’s emerging future....

       "....a southern Episcopalian minister said: 'Al, I read that book about the pastor, and it describes my life to a tee – I couldn’t put it down.' Another, this time a Presbyterian from the mid-West said: 'My wife came to me with this book from Brian M [A New Kind of Christian?] and she said: ‘You’ve got to read this, its about you!’” ... They can describe the massive new presences in their lives that have turned ministry into a confusing moment for almost all of them.... But they were also telling me that the formal systems of response within which they were trained does not come close to engaging the realities of their everyday lives....

       "...all these pastors were from evangelical traditions of one kind of another. They were telling stories of how, in these evangelical churches, many of their people have been coming to them to say that these books by Brian M and others are describing their lives.... It is not so much giving knowledge of God’s nature as it is speaking about the God who is confessed but that confession is situated and contextualized...."


Postmodernism, the emerging church and evangelicalism: Part 1b: "One of the important sociologists of the last half of the 20th century is the Polish Jew, Zygmunt Bauman.... A metaphor he uses to describe the present experiences of people in western societies is that used by Marx more than a hundred and fifty years ago as industrialization, capitalism and Darwinian modernity coalesced in the emerging industrial cities of Manchester and London...: 'All that is solid melts into air, all that is…'

      "The husband, Mike, is a recently retired principle in his late 50s whose whole life has been shaped by allegiance and attendance within Christian Reformed churches. His vocational life has been spent in teaching and leading in their Christian School movement. Again, I was taken aback by the questions he was just waiting to ask me. Did I know Brian M? Had I read…? Then it poured out – these books are describing him! It’s the first time in a long time, he tells me, that someone is writing in such way that his experience of the culture and his faith are being connected and brought into dialogue. He tells me that for the first time in a long time he is finding himself energized again by his faith.

       "Then he wants to know more about postmodernism and emerging church. He’s reading books and is energized by what he finds there in contrast to what he tells me about his Sunday mornings. He wants to find out about these emerging churches because now he’s blogging on numerous sites and discovering that out there experiments are happening that seem to be trying to understand how to be Christian in this strange new world were we find ourselves. Finally, he pops the question: Do I know anyplace where he and his wife can find one of these postmodern, emergent churches because he can’t deal with the church that formed his whole life anymore?...

       "One can go back to the beginning of the last century and hear similar critiques. George Lukacs [Marxist] argued that in modernity the basic form of existence governing society... was a certain kind of rationality focused on forms of objectively established truth universally available to everyone. Method was the dominant motif for discovering these evidential truths made clear either through the categories of mind or the revelation of God. Method made truth plain and method made the world ours....

        "The Frankfurt School reflected a similar critique.... What is relatively new is that other narratives have entered the stage, flown across the sky with criticisms and questions about the social imaginary of modernity. The postmodern turn and the hermeneutical turn have raised serious questions about the assumptions within which this modernity has operated. The depth and speed with which these counter narratives have entered the culture and gone deep into the lifeworld and ethos of North America is stunning. The postmodern turn has practically evaporated the meaning systems and markers that once gave substantive continuity to people’s lives....

       "... people have less and less ability to give language to what they are experiencing and, therefore, less and less capacity to name what God might be up to in this strange new world."

We ought to know! The information about God and His ways is still in His Word -- available to all those who truly seek Him! But those who don't like His ways, will neither see nor find it. Remember,

"Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding,
Who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not:
Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence...?
But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed. They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God...." Jeremiah  5:21-24


“God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear....” Romans 11:8


Postmodernism, the emerging church and evangelicalism: Part 2 (by Alan Roxburgh, 5-15-07): "I confess that I’m not a guilded, professional theologian but have a deep sense that theology, this speaking of God, is an utterly essential vocation for the church right now. It is a tragedy that we have schooled pastors and practically all lay people to assume that theology is an austere practice of the few who don’t know how to make practical sense out of life....

    "...all theology is perspectival without privileged positions above and outside. Second, pastorally, and this surely was how Augustine and Calvin would identify themselves as theologians, it is among God’s people that we work out the questions of God’s activities in God’s world. This pastoral vocation of theology today will recognize that the people to whom we are to shepherd find themselves struggling to make sense of their worlds. They have lost the capacity to give language to their experiences....

[But we are first called to know God's revealed Word. Then the world and its changes make sense to us! Second, we must express His Truth by our words and action! Then our victory -- within His unchanging context of reality in contrast to our changing cultures -- becomes our main expression to each other! Our perspective of the world is seen through His eyes. Please read "Seeing the world from His perspective"

"Here the theologians work revolves around re-cultivating a community of memory, for only those shaped by the practices of memory formation stand any chance of discerning the ways in which to live faithfully in the present....

[It all depends the nature of that memory. Today's "emerging" memory is contrary to what God calls us to hide in our hearts. Psalm 119:11]

God’s judgment of Israel was often framed in terms of their loss of memory. The calling to enter desert or exile (Hosea and Jeremiah stand out here as illustrations) was in order to recover the story [No, it was to recover the Law and return to the true God. They had forgotten and rejected their Deliverer!] and live again into the narratives that nourished the life of God among them. ...


 It was in this context of deconstructed worlds that Israel re-entered the memory of her narratives from below without power or control and discovered ways God’s Spirit was framing another future. This is a deeply humble vocation. It is not about re-asserting more recent notions of recovering some objective Truth [but, it is!] which if only heard will set all things right but the re-entering of the narratives of God in order to allow them to read us, to change our imaginations and become again the stories of the One who makes all things new. If the theological vocation cannot pastorally enter these same contexts today to hear the cries of people in order to re-memorize and give language to what is happening and where God might be in all of that, then what’s the point of it all?"

"... in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

"...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned..." 2 Timothy 3:1-14

"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among  those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

"...in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."  1 Timothy 4:1

"My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13

“...the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them.... But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober."  1 Thessalonians 5:2-6

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