Brian McLaren, whom I tongue-in-cheekedly referred to as the White Crayon in Chief last week, has stepped into the fray over all of the Sojo posts (and my own) regarding Sojourners Magazine’s latest cover article:
In my view, reports of the conversation’s demise are greatly exaggerated. In some cases, they represent wishful thinking; in other cases, a limited frame of reference. From my perspective, Chapter 1 of the conversation may be ending, but there are many new and even better episodes to come. Or better put, what we call “the emergent conversation” may in fact be chapter 3 or 7 or 123 of a much longer storyline. That larger story is nowhere close to being over, and in fact, I don’t think its most important work has even begun.
The real future, as I see it, isn’t an intramural conversation among Evangelicals (as many think), or even among Western Christians (as others think), but rather an expanding conversation among progressive evangelicals, missional mainline Protestants, progressive Catholics, and postcolonial Christians from around the world. Its future may or may not still use words like emergent, emerging, etc., but the cat is out of the bag. Deep questions are being raised, and when that happens, you can take two predictions to the bank, one of them being that you can’t get the questions back in the bag, and the second being that some people will try.
Now, let me say something a bit McLarenesque, and something that didn’t come through as loudly as it should have in my previous posts: I am thankful for Soong-Chan Rah and Lisa Sharon Harper and Gabriel Salguero and Calvin Chen. They are asking important questions of me and everyone else in the EC, and I am listening.
And I look forward to all of us getting to know one another better.