This chapter is easier to cover because of the nature of the chapter:Chapter 7 of DA Carson’s book tones down the rhetoric. DA Carson is a biblical theologian (shaped as he is by the Reformers and esp the Calvinistic Baptist tradition, and now an Evangelical Free Church leader), but whatever you want to say about him, he knows his Bible and he wants this whole Emergent movement to be biblical (more biblical would be the expression).So, in chapter 7 he… Read more

No one who reads Brian McLaren or who finds him to be a significant theologian can afford not to read the seventh chapter of DA Carson’s book. Here’s what I mean: if DA Carson is right, McLaren’s book is seriously problematic and not just in a pedantic or miniscule way: if DA Carson is right, McLaren is seriously wrong. Here’s DA Carson’s essential conclusion: “Every chapter of this book [Generous Orthodoxy] succumbs to the same elementary analysis. Every chapter has… Read more

We now turn to chapter 5 of DA Carson’s book on the Emerging church. Patient listening is required, and that means patient sorting out of his argument and points, if we are to hear what is being said. I make no apologize for trotting out his case for the simple reason that we have to know what he is saying before any kind of reasonable response can be put forth.When I am done sorting out his case at the end… Read more

In this fourth part of discussing DA Carson’s new book on the Emergent movement, I will consider a chapter on “Personal Reflections on PM’s contribution and challenges” (PM=Postmodernism).He begins with Premodern epistemology (reducing the postmodernity to an epistemology, which has its own problems, especially when it comes to explaining the Emergent Movement as a part of that PM). Essentially, God is the Knower and all human knowing is coming to terms with God’s All-Knowingness and Knowledge. He adds a few… Read more

In this third installment of DA Carson’s important new book, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, we will briefly summarize and ask questions of his third chapter, a chapter on how well (or how well not) the Emergent leaders understand contemporary culture. Let me emphasize again that DA Carson opens with comments on the diversity of the Emergent movement, and so any comments that “this doesn’t apply to us” is not fair to him. He speaks to four weaknesses in… Read more

I didn’t think I’d get to a second part until tomorrow, but I just got the book for review, so here we go.In this second installment we will look briefly at what DA Carson says positively about the Emergent movement. I am sad to say that I’ve seen some bloggers jump on his case before they have listened to him, and they are doing just what they are accusing him of doing. Whether or not some Emergent folk think Carson… Read more

As I told Andrew Jones in my blog at his site, I am a former colleague of DA Carson’s at TEDS; I had the office next to his for years; he is my friend; I consider him an expert; I do not have the book but I am in contact with those who know what is in it. I can sketch here only the briefest summaries of what is there, and I am encouraging everyone to buy it. And I… Read more

One of the more than 58,000 (count ‘em) names on the War Memorial to the Vietnam Veterans in Washington, D.C., is Barry Armstrong. We weren’t close, but we did play sandlot baseball together at the Little League field in Read Park in Freeport, Illinois. Boys who play pick-up games together are forever joined and so, when I saw Barry’s name on the Memorial, I was stirred far more deeply than I anticipated. “What would have become of him?” It hurt,… Read more

Alan Jacobs, in his brilliantly written and wide-ranging book, A Theology of Reading, makes a simple point that has sent my mind reeling and my heart into confession and prayer. Here it is: genuine interpretation of another’s writing is an act of love or it is an act of abuse. Either we treat the author as a person who has given voice to his or her inner heart and that we can trust, listen to, and respond to. Or, we… Read more

I have been skipping through some of Leo Tolstoy of late, and came upon William Shirer’s incredibly insightful study, Love and Hatred, which details the turbulent relationship of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy. For years and years they fought and warred and called one another hateful things, and then worked out their feelings in their diaries. The pattern was set: fight all day long, write about it at night, apologize, make up (which they didn’t always do), and then start all… Read more

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