January 20, 2021

What will be the response to Paul Proctor?

Adrian Rogers, longtime pastor, preacher and denominational leader in the SBC, passed away today. A faithful Gospel warrior, he fought the good fight.

But according to Paul Proctor, another deceased Southern Baptist pastor, Kyle Lake, was probably killed by God to send a warning of his judgement to the emerging church.

It’s good to know we have people like Proctor who can discern who God is killing in wrath over their theology. It’s a step past Falwell explaining 9-11 and Pat Robertson predicting the soon removal of Dover, Pennsylvania for not endorsing ID. This is down to God taking you off the planet because of the fine points of your views on contemplative prayer.

I really don’t care about Proctor. He’s on another planet from the God I affirm and the Jesus I worship. His Al-Quedaesque theology is in the same camp with Fred Phelps. I’m sure I’m being targeted by the Almighty for opposing Proctor, reading Thomas Merton and handing out books by Brennan Manning.

What I do want to point out is where Proctor has likely been reading and learning about the “emerging church.” He’s another anti-emerging crusader who’s probably been reading the ranting of various reformed and culture warrior websites this past year. The difference is, those folks were usually just kicking up some dust about Brian McLaren. This column goes far beyond that. Taking the bait of what others have said, Proctor concludes that God hates the emerging church for compromising the Gospel, and is killing off its pastors. None of those bloggers ever said anything close to that….but Proctor has taken the bait and ridden off in another direction.

Anyone have a thought?

I’d like to hear some of the people who’ve blogged about the “dangers” of the emerging church say what they think of Proctor’s diagnosis of these events. So far, the silence, stuttering and stammering aren’t getting any coherent message across.

Listen up, young Calvinists. Listen up, my theologically astute friends in the blogosphere who admire those who have spent all that ink punching the emerging church punching bag in post after post. Listen for the critical assessments or the silence. What you hear- and don’t hear- about Proctor’s thesis that God kills off pastors with second-class theology will tell you something very important about where the heart and compassion of Jesus are in these theological discussions. No one has to say a word, of course. But…why would anyone remain silent in the face of such an arrogant and ugly application of theology?

Is the Gospel simply about the sovereignty of God- as understood by people who are certain their theology roughly equals the mind of God? Is it about theology and theological correctness? Or is it about the Father we come to know in and through the one Word, the mediator, the God-man, Jesus Christ?

Listen and you may learn the answer. If you plan to minister to the hurting, the widow, the orphans and the seeking, you may want to think seriously about what Proctor is saying, and what kind of Christianity it represents.