Over at Church and Pomo, David Fitch and I posted about Kevin’s book, Church in the Present Tense. I told David to get in line with the others who are disappointed with emergent. Jason Clark, a friend of mine and a contributor to the book, accused me of not reading the book. I didn’t deal with Jason’s chapters in my post, since I think Jonny Baker had done a good job of that some time back.
Let me turn now to a couple of things Tony says and asks. First, Tony asks at the end of his review, “Do [the authors of Church in the Present Tense] reject the pastiche aspect of ECM, or are they happy that their tradition gets a hearing.” I think it should be clear from what I just said above that I do not reject this feature at all, but rather enthusiastically embrace it. When Tony suggests that lots of people are disappointed with the emerging church, I am inclined to think that while true, it is only true because people are mistaken about what the emerging church is. If it is recognized that the emerging church is not an entity, not a single, structural community, but rather a hodge-podge of individuals united by a common vision and a set of shared interests, concerns and cultural sensibilities from an array of different traditions and communities, then when the emerging church fails to speak with one voice on some important matter, one won’t be disappointed. Because once it is recognized what the emerging church is one will not have such expectations.
Kevin also has a fine retort to David Fitch’s concerns, and he also takes blame for the fact that the book is written by white males. You should read the whole post.