Published this year, Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) comes highly endorsed by D. A. Carson, Mark Dever, Justin Taylor, and Ligon Duncan. I’ve read about a third of it so far, and it is proving to be a fair analysis and biblical perspective on the Emerging/Emergent Church (the authors use the two “E” words interchangeably, a tactic explained at the beginning of the book).
This book is a must-read for anyone in the following categories: vaguely familiar with the emerging church, an advocate of the emerging church, an opponent of the emerging church, or an inquirer about the emerging church. The authors–Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck–are very familiar with the blogs, interviews, articles, books, and sermons of the emerging church “leaders.” They write from a position of indepth research. After all, if you are assessing a movement or its leaders, you need to read what those leaders themselves are writing, not only what others write about the leaders.
DeYoung and Kluck make the case that “you can be young, passionate about Jesus Christ, surrounded by diversity, engaged in a postmodern world, and reared in evangelicalism and not be an emergent Christian. In fact, I want to argue that it would be better if you weren’t” (p. 15). A thought-provoking statement, to say the least. The book is hard to put down.
For anyone wondering whether you can engage the postmodern culture while still believing in propositional truth, the authority and inspiration of Scripture, an appropriate place for tradition, the central place of preaching in worship, and doctrines that are not up for negotiation…DeYoung and Kluck say “Yes, you can.” In fact, you must, to be faithful to Scripture.
If you have ever asked, “What is the Emerging Church” or “What do some Christians think about the Emerging Church” or “What are some of the warranted criticisms of the Emerging Church,” then this book is a must-read. If you are reading this post and thinking, “I have never even heard of the Emerging Church,” you still need to get this book. It will inform you about a significant movement in the 21st century that is making a lot of headway, especially among young people. The book is thoughtful, reflective, humorous, witty, clear, and theologically grounded. Kudos to the authors for such a timely book.