This afternoon I have the opportunity to guest lecture at Seattle Pacific University for a dear friend, Bob Drovdahl, who is a professor there. I will be speaking on my experience with adult education and I am very much looking forward to meeting the students and hearing more about their hearts for ministry in the church. I hope that i will have something of value to offer them from my own experience, and it will be fun to be on the SPU campus (a school I considered attending before deciding on North Park).
Scot McKnight recently posted some thoughts on the rise of the “NeoReformed“. He writes:
The NeoReformed, for a variety of reasons, some of them good, don’t recognize that evangelicalism as a village green. Instead, they want to build a gate at the gate-less village green and require Reformed confessions and credentials to enter onto the village green. Put differently, they think the only legitimate and the only faithful evangelicals are Reformed. Really Reformed. In other words, they are “confessing” evangelicals. The only true evangelical is a Reformed evangelical. They are more than happy to call into question the legitimacy and fidelity of any evangelical who doesn’t believe in classic Reformed doctrines, like double predestination.
In effect, the NeoReformed are a new form of Fundamentalism, so one might describe them accurately as the NeoFundamentalists. Which means they seem to need a trend or an opponent upon whom they can vent their frustrations (see Rene Girard). This results in two clear traits: the exaltation of some peripheral doctrine to central status and the demonization of a person. The goal in such cases seems to be to win at all costs.
I have heard that the influence of Mars Hill on the students at SPU has been significant. One student told me that for young women on campus, there is a heavy trend away from considering careers or many ministry callings because of that particular church’s teaching on the role of women at church and in the home. It will be interesting to see if that trend is evident in this class today.
On his blog, Scot asks why younger adults are so drawn to what he calls the NeoReformed movement as evident in places like Mars Hill Church. Desire for certainty, hierarchy, and heavy leadership are a few observations some have made that seem to resonate with me, but I am not totally sure.