Most Christians have always thought that at the Fall we fell comprehensively, though many don’t like the category of “total depravity.” But, as Cornelius Plantinga put it in his brilliant Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be, is there any doctrine more demonstrable by experience? Isn’t our messed-upness clear to each of us?Maybe this will help us think of it anew: death itself shows that our bodies are broken and decaying and fallen; WW2 and Vietnam and international strife and… Read more

Preface to my responseWe owe it to one another, and I feel I am a journalist in all this rather than someone to spar with, to listen as carefully as we can. Hence, I belabored a point by point summary of what DA Carson says. I am confident that what I said adequately represents him; and though I occasionally made some evaluations, by and large I left him alone. If we are to live as those who love God and… Read more

Issue #1: Emergence is more than epistemologyThis book falls short of DA Carson’s better books, mostly because it is not researched thoroughly enough to cover enough of the Emergent movement to catch what is so blooming attractive about this movement. The debate cannot be reduced to epistemology, though someone from his angle might like to do so – and I suspect many of his readers will agree with him because they, too, come from the same context. I do not… Read more

Emergent divergenceMy own experience shows that I have learned more about Emergent from blogging and talking and asking Emergents than I have from reading McLaren, but I have learned plenty from McLaren and from Pagitt.There are other Emergents to deal with: Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones, Andrew Jones and Dan Kimball. They deserved to be dealt with more adequately if one is to be “conversant” with the emerging church. I think DA Carson’s book is really “becoming conversant with the… Read more

Issue #1A: Emergence is passionate in various directions: Why?And, along this line, we have to ask why it is that so many Evangelicals are upset with their past – whether or not one agrees with DA Carson that its leaders come from conservative Evangelical pasts is not the point. If they are, that is not the issue: the issue is why are they so upset to fashion an entirely new way of “doing church” (which expression I don’t really like)…. Read more

Issue #2: The missional and holism issuesFundamentally, the Emergent movement is a “missional” movement and it is holistic in its mission, and until it is addressed from that point, it won’t be addressed centrally. I am not aware that hordes are converting to faith in Jesus Christ by the Emergent movement. I am deeply committed myself to evangelism, and I am also a student of conversion (see my Turning to Jesus); and I have an article on small things, like… Read more

Issue #3: What is Truth and how do we put it together?Furthermore, DA Carson’s book fails to deal with what “truth” means. It regularly tells us that we can know truth, that we find it everywhere in the Bible, but he doesn’t really define it and expound it at length. I think we could benefit from that, and I think the Emergent movement would like to see what he means by Truth to see if they agree, if they don’t,… Read more

Issue #4: The Subject’s grasp of the Object leads to chastened truth-claimsAlso, I don’t think DA Carson deals with the inevitable entailment of truth-claiming, namely, that even if we think the Scripture is Truth and Jesus Christ is Truth, we are still in need of dealing with our “articulation” of that Truth, and that is the place PM enters and that is the struggle we find in the Emergent Truth. This is a pressing issue for me: I utterly believe… Read more

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

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