Issue #5: Over-reactions in the Emergent movement The over-reactionary nature of some of its claims, especially about (a) modernism and postmodernism and (b) what modernist Christianity really believes. The reason this is a problem is because it resorts to false dichotomies and to simplistic comparisons. DA Carson’s book will help with this and I do hope that everyone serious about Emergent church stuff will read him carefully on these matters.DA Carson’s book explodes this issue and it needs to be… Read more


Issue #6: Self-analysis or even self-deconstructionIs the Emergent movement largely white? largely post-Evangelical? If so, it needs to spread its wings and embrace the whole world. This is evidently an issue for some; DA Carson does not bring this up except in his stuff about it being reactionary. Read more

Permeable walls abounding

Issue #7: A strength with a weakness: permeable walls aboundingI find the “permeable walls” (they are not strong, solid, or thick) of the Emergent movement a breath of fresh air. It reminds of Jesus’ table fellowship where people could be with him, could be near him, could sit down right next to him, and the gradation was possible because the structures were there that enabled that to occur. Emergent folks are working out permeable walls. I worry about too many… Read more

Particular realities

Issue #8: ParticularismOne of the most exciting issues is also a potential problem; I have heard many speak of the “particularism” of the Emergent movement and by that mean that the gospel will manifest itself differently in each location – and I couldn’t agree more with Andrew Jones knowing that the Emergent movement in UK will look different than the one in Southern California or up in Minneapolis where Doug Pagitt is — and that the goal is to let… Read more

Great Traditions

Issue #9: Great TraditionsI like the Emergent focus on the Great Traditions, but robbing and stealing from them without taking into consideration contexts is no more than ornament. You can’t have Icons if you don’t have a theology of nature and revelation the way the Eastern Orthodox do; and you can’t have candles without a view of prayer that the Catholics do; I could go on and on. So, read the Great Traditions and learn from them, but simplistic borrowings… Read more

What role culture?

Issue #10: Cultural usurpationMy big problem ought to be obvious: the problem with Emergent alliance with postmodernism smacks of theological liberalism where the reigning ideology and idealisms of the day came to roost in the Church and eventually overwhelmed the Church and its gospel. There is always a danger of cultural usurpation when one embraces the reigning ideologies of the day. This should not lead to separation but to chastened listening and to chastened embracing. Read more

What do we preach?

Issue #11: What are we really preaching?What we preach is Jesus Christ, crucified, raised and the one who sent the Spirit. We don’t preach the spirit of the age; we preach to the spirit of the age from within and from without. Read more

Brian, What do you really mean?

Issue #12: Brian, what do you mean by this?Generous Orthodoxy, 35: “Beyond all these warnings, you should know that I am horribly unfair in this book, lacking all scholarly objectivity and evenhandedness. My own upbringing was way out on the end of one of the most conservative twigs of one of the most conservative branches of one of the most conservative limbs of Christianity, and I am far harder on conservative Protestant Christians who share that heritage than I am… Read more


An Appreciation to Andrew Jones, the Tall Skinny Kiwi who opened the envelope for meI continue to learn from and support the many efforts of the Emergents because I think they have recognized the chastened humility that our humble efforts at theologizing ought to exhibit. They have learned this from the spirit of the age: namely that the Subject is always involved in the knowing of the Object. I pray to God they will stay in touch with the Bible… Read more

DA Carson and the Emergent Movement, Part 8

The final chapter of DA Carson’s book is a biblical meditation on Truth and Experience, and largely a gentle, but well-informed, commentary on 2 Peter 1. Here’s his opening line:“A good deal of the discussion of this book could be recast as a debate between the claims of truth and the claims of experience” (218). For the traditionalist, there is an emphasis on truth-claims, but with the Emergent movement there is not. But DA Carson knows there is plenty of… Read more

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