Why We’re Not Emergent

“I’m convinced that a major problem with the emerging church is that they refuse to have their cake and eat it to.”

Josh Harris writes about a new book on the emergent church and quotes from it:

New Book: Why We’re Not Emergent
Posted: 21 Dec 2007 09:06 AM CST
My friend Justin Taylor, shot me an email this past week about a new book by Kevin Deyoung and Ted Kluck entitled Why We’re Not Emergent. I don’t normally get excited about books coming from a “we’re not that” perspective, but from what I’ve read on the book’s website, these guys seem to be striking a helpful tone. The promotional description reads:
“You can be young, passionate about Jesus Christ, surrounded by diversity, engaged in a postmodern world, reared in evangelicalism and not be an emergent Christian. In fact, I want to argue that it would be better if you weren’t.” The Emergent Church is a strong voice in today’s Christian community. And they’re talking about good things: caring for the poor, peace for all men, loving Jesus. They’re doing church a new way, not content to fit the mold. Again, all good. But there’s more to the movement than that. Much more. Kevin and Ted are two guys who, demographically, should be all over this movement. But they’re not. And Why We’re Not Emergent gives you the solid reasons why. From both a theological and an on-the-street perspective, Kevin and Ted diagnose the emerging church. They pull apart interviews, articles, books, and blogs, helping you see for yourself what it’s all about.

And here’s a strong quote from the free sample chapter that they make available on their site:

I’m convinced that a major problem with the emerging church is that they refuse to have their cake and eat it to. The whole movement seems to be built on reductionistic, even modernistic, either-or categories. They pit information versus transformation, believing versus belonging, and propositions about Christ versus the Person of Christ. The emerging church will be a helpful corrective against real, and sometimes perceived, abuses in evangelicalism when they discover the genius of the “and,” and stop forcing us to accept half-truths. Carl Henry is right: “The antithesis of ‘person-revelation’ and ‘proposition-revelation’ can only result in an equally unscriptural contrast of personal faith with doctrinal belief. It is now often said that belief in Christ is something wholly different from belief in truths or propositions. But to lose intelligible revelation spells inescapable loss of any supernatural authorized doctrinal assertions concerning God.” It is possible for Christians to esteem the Bible wrongly and equate the Bible with God. But it is not possible for Christians to esteem the Bible too highly. Every word in every sentence in every proposition or command or question in the Bible is inspired by God, authoritative, trustworthy, true, useful, and aids our joy in God. Despite their differing interpretations on some matters, Christians of various theological stripes in all ages have believed wholeheartedly in this previous sentence. My hope is that emerging Christians are not departing from it. For every fundamentalist who loves the Bible more than Christ, I’m willing to bet there is one emergent Christian who honors the Bible less than Christ did. I fear that what starts out as a fancy way of coupling postmodern jargon with biblical authority quickly leads to a loss of confidence in the word of God—a lost confidence that prevents preachers and evangelists from establishing doctrine, ethics, and gospel truth with the words “It is written.””

The book won’t be released until April, but in the meantime, you can read the free sample chapter or pre-order it.
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