Sunday, May 30, 2010


reTrain: "The Resurgence Training Center " but more accurately would be: re-training the mind with liberal re-tread, subtle or not. This is the face of Reformergents.

Executive Director of retrain, Rick Melson explains:


If you want to be in missional ministry, you need missional training. The Resurgence Training Center (Re:Train) was founded to serve as the leadership development engine for Mars Hill Church, Acts 29 and the broader Resurgence movement. The mission of the Resurgence Training Center is to train missional leaders to serve the Church to transform cultures for Christ by staying culturally accessible and Biblically faithful. This unique training provides church based theological education that is confessionally reformed, convictionally complementarian and committedly missional – by the church and for the church

Reformed. Gospel-centered sound doctrine based on the entirety of God’s Word, the exclusivity of Jesus, and the absolute truth of his grace and sovereignty, mercy and justice, wisdom and love.

Missional. God is a missionary God, and his people are a sent people. When we talk about “missional” modifying anything – church, leadership, philosophy – what we are stating, even if only implicitly, is active participation in the missio Dei, the sent and sending nature of God.

End quote.

Elsewhere reTrain states: "The Resurgence Training Center exists to train missional leaders to serve the church to transform cultures for Christ. Our commitment continues to be for our students to effectively reach cultures with the gospel, shepherd families, plant churches and fulfill the Great Commission, while staying Gospel-centered and biblically faithful. Students’ passions and hearts will be ignited and equipped for a more satisfying love of Jesus through living on mission as missionaries in all contexts."- Source

8 times "missional" is used in this "word from the founder". This is emergentspeak. Where does Scripture say that the nature of God is one of "sending and sent"? The nature of God is described as holy, righteous, wrathful, lovingkindness, love, good, omnipresent, omnipotent, omnicient, etc. Sending some out as missionaries is what God DOES, not what His nature is. Already there's an inaccuracy which is the tool of liberals to blurr lines instead of "accurately handling the Word of God" and accurately describing HIM.

In addition, the stated goal of this program is to "transform the culture" yet they want to stay "culturally accessible." I suppose that is why they hired on emergetn Ed Stetzer (Lifeway research group) Glenn Lucke of Docent Research Group. We know what researchers do when it comes to Christianity. The most glaring example is George Barna.

Lucke's purpose is very man-centered, user-friendly, stats driven, PDL really, for pastors so they can customize their productions to whatever audience. This isn't biblical nor is it Christ-centered. Claims of "sound doctrine" are cancelled out by the rest of what they DO.

MacArthur states correctly in his book, Ashamed of the Gospel (3rd edition):

"Some will maintain that if biblical principles are presented, the medium doesn't matter. That is nonsense. If an entertaining medium is the key to winning people, why not go all out? Why not has a real carnival? A tattooed acrobat on a high wire that could juggle chains saws and shout Bible verses while a trick dog balances on his head. That would draw a crowd. And the context of the message would still be biblical. It’s a bizarre scenario, but one that illustrates how the medium can cheapen and corrupt the message." (p. 81 )

"Any end-justifies-the-means philosophy of ministry inevitably will compromise doctrine, despite any proviso to the contrary. If we make effectiveness the gauge of right and wrong, how can that fail to color our doctrine? Ultimately the pragmatist’s notion of truth is shaped by what seems effective, not by the objective revelation of Scripture." (p. 89 )

He goes on to say:

"Charles Finney's approach to ministry thus foreshadowed and laid the foundation for modern pragmatism...We would expect those who reject the biblical doctrine of God's sovereignty to follow Finney, but not those who say they affirm it. Their pragmatism becomes a denial of their theology ---a kind of spiritual schizophrenia." p.169

The list of teachers/professors at reTrain, heavily supported by John Piper (also a teacher there and he's got the biggest picture and quote on their homepage) shows more connections between Reformed and Emergent (what I call “Reformergent”) men is revealed in this particular project and should be a warning to stay away from these men because of their compromise.

The list:

Wayne Grudem
Gregg Allison
John Piper
Ed Stetzer
Sam Storms
Bruce Ware
Tom Schreiner
Bryan Chapell
Ray Ortlund Jr.
Rick Melson
Justin Holcomb
Glenn Lucke
Bill Clem
Mark Driscoll
Scott Thomas
Tyler Jones
J.D. Greear
Ellito Grudem
Darrin Patrick
Jeff Vanderstelt
Daniel Montgomery
Dane Ortlund

Summation of information:

Reformed/Calvinist by seminary training, by church, or by claim:

Sam Storms
John Piper
Justin Holcomb
Glenn Louke
Elliot Grudem
Daniel Montgomery
Wayne Grudem
Mark Driscoll
Rick Melson
(Bethlehem Baptist Church, reTrain is "reformed" he says)
Bryan Chapell
Dane Ortlund

Two Charismatic Reformers (the only Charismatic ones on the list are Calvinists)


Seminaries the speakers graduated from:

Dallas Theological Seminary: Sam Storms, Ray Ortlund Jr., Rick Melson,
Fuller Theological Seminary: John Piper, Bruce Ware, Tom Schreiner,
Reformed Theological Seminary: Justin Holcomb,Glenn Lucke,Elliot Grudem,Daniel Montgomery
Bethel Theological Seminary: John Piper, Bruce Ware, Tom Schreiner,
Bethlehem Seminary: Rick Melson (pres. Resergence, Exec. Elder at Mars Hill, pastored at Bethlehem Baptist)
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: Rick Melson, Ed Stetzer, Bruce Ware, JD Greear
Trinity Evangelical Divinity school: Bruce Ware,Ray Ortlund Jr,Gregg Allison, Wayne Grudem
Covenant Theological Seminary: Bryan Chapell, Dane Ortlund

Wheaton College:
Sam Storms
Ray Ortlund Jr.
Dane Ortlund

Acts 29:
Jeff Vanderstelt (Willow Creek Church -Hybels' church where
women pastor; );
Elliot Grudemn (PCA too),
Tyler Jones
Scott Thomas

Mark Driscoll
Rick Melson (Bethlehem College and Sem. and pastor)
Darrin Patrick

Mars Hill:
Rick Melson
Justine Holcomb
Bill Clem
Mark Driscoll
Scott Thomas

Two research groups (Stetzer of Lifeway and Glenn Lucke of Docent Research Group)

Emergent (besides being part of the ECM Acts 29):

Ed Stetzer: missionshift; ed stetzer
Jeff Vanderstelt: Emergent. Soma is ECM; missionshift
Daniel Montgomery's church: ECM: sojourn :health clinic, arts/music shows; social justice advocates, parties of three/sacred confessions and Angel's song; missionshift
Gregg Allison is East Coast pastor of sojourn
Tyler Jones ECM-friendly: Vintage21 Church Relevent to POMOS Matt Chandler connection with Advance09; "attractional" church , coaches
JD Greear: friends with David Platt; missionshift

Additional information:

Matt Chandler is on the board ofActs 29 (note some of the same names as above):

"Who are the key leaders within the ministry?Mark Driscoll, President and Founder; Scott Thomas, Chairman and Director; Darrin Patrick, First Vice President; Jeff Vanderstelt, Second Vice President; Board members: Matt Chandler, Chan Kilgore, Eric Mason and church planting strategist, Tyler Powell. Other regional leaders are Brian Howard, David Fairchild, Russ McKendry, Daniel Montgomery, Tyler Jones and Ed Marcelle." -Source

For some of the recent doctrinal problems with Driscoll and Acts 29 go to Apprising Ministries for the connection of Emergent's love affair with Contemplative Spirituality.

Keep in mind too, that some Reformers, Reformergents, and Emergents are ecumenical too:

More speakers at this Ecumenical Conference Series (hosted by Lusanne):
Darrin Patrick
Joni Erickson Tada - also signed the Manhattan Declaration
Ligon Duncon
Matt Chandler
Os Guiness
Michael Horton
Richard Mouw - liberal inter-faith (including Mormons) president of Fuller Seminary
Tim Keller - also signed the Manhattan Declaration

Regarding pragmatism (which is what liberalism and emergent and ecumenicism is),MacArthur echoes what I've observed and noted, when he said in Ashamed of The Gospel: when the church becomes like the world:

"Do you see how the new philosophy necessarily undermines sound doctrine? It discards Jesus' own methods---preaching and teaching--as the primary means of ministry. It replaces them with methodologies utterly devoid of substance....In fact it avoids dogma or strong convictions as divisive, unbecoming,, or inappropriate. It dismisses doctrine as academic, abstract, sterile, threatening, or simply impractical. Rather than teaching error or denying truth, it does something far more subtle, but just as effective from the enemy’s point of view. It jettisons content altogether. Instead of attacking orthodoxy head-on, it gives lip service to the truth while quietly undermining the foundations of doctrine. Instead of exalting God, it denigrates the things that are precious to Him. In that regard, pragmatism poses dangers more subtle than the liberalism that threatened the church in the first half of the century." (p. 92-93 )

2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.


Burning Lamp said...

Enjoy your blog.

Just a heads up. Check out articles on John MacArthur.

Also A.W. Pink is Calvinist. I don't read him for that reason even though he has other good stuff. A little leaven........

Denise said...

Thanks for coming by. I really enjoy the biblical teaching of MacArthur and Pink. =) Pink was actually a Sovereign Grace Baptist...not to be confused with Presbyerian/Calvinism. =)

Denise said...


The contraversy about the blood of Jesus and what MacArthur has taught, is decades old. He was taken out of context and the false accusations were slanderous.

I suggest going to this site for clarity on what he believes, which is in line with Scripture:

In part:

On June 13, 1986, MacArthur wrote to Bob Jones III, complaining that the magazine had taken snippets of his remarks out of context and deliberately made them seem sinister. MacArthur assured the magazine's editors that he absolutely affirms the necessity of the shed blood of Christ for atonement and explained that the point he was trying to make in the quoted excerpt was merely that the saving efficacy of Christ's blood is not because of some property in the blood itself, but rather because Christ had poured it out in death as a substitute for sinners.

Indeed, in the very same source Dr. Jones, Jr. had selectively quoted from, MacArthur had written,

"Peter calls His blood "precious" and I agree . . . but Peter's reference there is to the sacrificial nature of His death. . . . The phrase "Christ died for our sin" (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3) expresses the truth that death was the penalty, not blood. . . I Peter 2:24 is not saying we are saved by his wounds. . . . If we say that it is the blood that saves . . . what are we saying? His actual blood, physically, saves us? Or perhaps we are stuck with the Roman Catholic Church "perpetual offering" view that some hold. This view says that Christ perpetually sacrifices Himself. He took His blood into heaven and keeps offering it. Hebrews 10:12-14forbids such a view.

Clearly it was His death . . . once for all. His shed blood was part of the violence of it, and speaks of it as sacrifice, but we are saved by His substitutionary death for us, not by the chemicals in His blood."

Plainly, MacArthur was not denying that Christ literally shed His blood. He was not denying that the literal shedding of blood was a necessary aspect of the atonement. His only point was that the efficacy of Christ's blood lies not in some property of the blood itself, but rather in the fact that Christ shed it in death, and such a death was the price of atonement for our sin.

These misguided brethren are so blindly determined to tie John MacArthur to the heretics' stake that they haven't noticed how their own rhetoric has carried them into serious heresy instead, denying the full humanity of Christ's body, and opening the door to a Romanesque literalism regarding the application of Christ's blood to sinners.

Finally, five years after the original correspondence with Jones, Jr., Bob Jones III wrote MacArthur (July 3, 1991) and assured MacArthur that BJU had tried to let the matter drop. He clearly did not regard MacArthur's position as heresy

End quote.

I suggest reading the entire article carefully, as it is very detailed in his position on the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its not what Bob Jones had claimed it was (and later BJU had to retract).

Burning Lamp said...

There are a lot of Baptists who are Calvinists and Pink is very popular w/Calvinist/Reformed. As for the Sovereign Grace doctrine I would be interested in your opinion of it as described at We must be careful what we promote.

On MacA, I hope you read the recommended link to be informed on his position on the blood of Christ. He is also a Calvinist although he soft-pedals it to make himself palatable to the masses. Many discerners are oblivious to this because he has spoken out on PDL and some other errors in the Church. The greatest deception has been and always will be a mixture of truth and error.

Grace and peace!

Denise said...


I did look at the website and its promoting something untrue. You need to actually read what happened and MacArthur's own words on his view of the blood of Jesus Christ. He doesn't soft-pedal anything. I know. I've listened to his sermons for years (in context!) and have read many of his books (in context). You didn't bother to read the article that I posted. You need to.

As for Election and Pink's view, he's in line with Scripture, too. I've studied this doctrine and know it well according to Scripture.

I agree truth and error mixed = error. But our standard must by according to Scripture, not some man-centered Arminian view which contradicts the Bible.


Denise said...


Until you are willing to read what MacArthur has actually taught and the whole story of Bob Jones Jr. and Bob Jones III, then you will continue to be not only misinformed, but help spreading false things about MacArthur.

You cannot take comments from a video site to draw your conclusions.

Btw, Deborah and that whole website is VERY misinformed about the Sovereignty of God and the biblical teaching of electing and prestination. They argue against things that aren't even held to.

I would suggest, besides reading what MacArthur said and the reporting done on that (as linked here in the comment section), to study this:

Eph. 1-2, which says in part:

Eph 1:11 In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will

Ps. 33: 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere Him. 9 For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.

Dan. 4: 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to him: “What have you done?”

Study Romans 1-5, 9-11, and also John's Gospel, besides Eph. 1-2. Don't go to commentary or anyone...just study the Scripture all by itself, carefully, prayerfully, and slowly, considering that what you understood might not be accurate according to the Scriptures.