Michael Horton Gets It Right (and Wrong)

I was thrilled when Mike Horton agreed to come on Doug Pagitt Radio with me last Sunday to discuss Love(s) Wins. Mike is known to be among the more thoughtful, enjoyable members of the Neo-Reformed tribe, and he proved to be just that on the show. The first of three video segments is below the jump, and you can find the other two by clicking through to YouTube.

Two thoughts about my chat with Mike. First, what he gets right. Mike suggested that some emergent leaders need to grow a thicker skin, and I think he’s right. His point was that some emergent authors wade into deep theological waters with their writings, then beg off debate because they say they’re not theologians. “I’m not writing that kind of book,” they say, and thereby attempt to avoid confronting criticism. I think he’s got a point there.

But when I asked him why his tribe seems to be the first to jump on the criticism bandwagon, he demurred. In fact, he said that I was asking a leading question, and he said that the national media didn’t pick up the story of Rob’s book because the Reformed crowd spoke against it. But here, I think Mike is being disingenuous. The story popped precisely because John Piper tweeted against Rob. And what’s more, the contrary doesn’t happen: Rob Bell doesn’t write nine-part blog series going chapter-by-chapter through a Michael Horton or John Piper book, trying to show the world how bad it is.

The Reformed crowd does this, and they do it often. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m just saying that they should be honest about it.

And we emergents should be honest that our skin is too thin sometimes.

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