Issues I have with criticism of Emergent

I have been surfing through the blogworld and have seen alot of criticism of the Emerging Church/movement/discussion/conversation. What trips me out is that most of the stringent voices criticizing Emergent are not in my church orbit. I know there are premier conservative Evangelical voices that have some strong things to say about Emergent. And I can actually appreciate them. The issue I have though is that when I get into discussion about Emergent especially those that criticize it I cannot help remind some of these people that they don’t speak for “Christianity”. I find myself reminding them that you are one voice in a 2,000 year conversation. And that this conversation called Christianity has been around longer than the Protestant Reformation. And what I see in alot of criticism is Martin Luther-ish and John Calvin-ish interpretations of Christianity as the grid through which Emergent is being criticized. This is not to say that these grids have no truth to them its just that I see in Emergent a conversation that extends beyond Reformation theology. While I have mad respect for a D.A. Carson and a Norman Geisler…they don’t speak to me. They typically speak to a particular arm of the Protestant Evangelical church. But I will be reading them nonetheless.



6 thoughts on “Issues I have with criticism of Emergent

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  1. I enjoyed your blog and appreciate your honesty. I’d like to hear more about what specific criticisms of the emergent movement you’re referring to. I’ve been kind of vacillating in the conversation myself, and realize any movement in christendom has its ups and downs. For one I love the idea that we’re returning to an embrace of paradox and experience. On the other hand, maybe someone can let me know otherwise-cause this conversation hasn’t really permeated the Big Apple-whether this is this a conversation that represents different ethnic-cultural experiences? (that’s what caught me about the title of your blog, which was refreshing). I realize that as a dark-skin Latino I view God from a different perspective than other folks, which is the beauty of our faith conversation. There also calling this a new paradigm. Which I think is kind of contradictory to the idea of postmodernism itself.

    With that being said, I realize I’m very postmodern in my own thinking, which has drawn me to this whole conversation.

  2. jose and mayra,

    Thanks for responding to my post. There are some links to criticism of Emergent at the Emergent US site.

    I am glad to see more people of color engaged in this conversation. I look forward to future dialogue.

    grace and peace,


  3. same here bro! 🙂 well in most ways.

    I kind of knew who D.A. Carson is but have never “fully” read any of his books. Heard him speak/teach once.

    I was thinking the other day … what if we just read the words of those who write either for or against “emergent”/”emerging” church stuff how would we respond?

    When I felt resonance with Brian McLaren’s writings and the blogs on the internet 5 years ago this whole thing was under the radar. I followed the interaction (partly because it wasn’t popular)

    So when someone tells me, I might be in this because it’s a fad or trying to be “over relevant” it’s just strange to me. Because I was genuinely drawn in and invited in in many ways because I felt “Hey! we’re going somewhere with these questions! And we can have a vairety of answers to help each other out in whether North-south or east west. This is going to be great!”

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