Contend Earnestly: Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be

This book was written by two guys who couldn't be more different in their background and writing styles. Kevin DeYoung is the young, Reformed pastor, that takes this subject on a very subjective theological level, exposing carefully the doctrinal errors found in the Emergent church. Ted Kluck is just the opposite. Also, young, but a former athlete (he would love to hear that I said former), former semi professional football player, current sportswriter, and unapologetically sarcastic and whimsical. He takes on the subject much like I would, exposing the errors with witty banter and "low hanging fruit."

The book layout was great. Each author took a subject and then the chapters went back and forth throughout. So, you would get hit with the longer, theological, linear chapters of DeYoung, and then read the shorter stories and witty rebuttals from Kluck. I really enjoyed this as you really got the feel from two totally different perspectives of what is going on in the Emergent church.

The book's purpose is to really help people just better understand what the Emergent church is and what it does, or maybe better put, doesn't stand for. The main people that are refuted would be the same if you looked on any blog, namely, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell and Tony Jones. What seemed to be the main focus of the entirety of the book would be the Emergent's focus on Kingdom living, instead of the totality of the work of Christ. In other words, more focused on morality, than understanding what is the first importance: the gospel.

DeYoung and Kluck came to the same conclusion that I have with the Emergent church and others that think just like them, which would be the fact that they are reacting to the more fundamental, legalistic churches, but doing so in the wrong manner. DeYoung and Kluck show that some of the questions that the Emergents bring to light are true and helpful to/against the mainstream church in America, but the way that they answer those questions are not only wrong, but actually harmful, and in some cases, flat out heretical.

The authors did much research for the material, so much so that they went to the different churches and events of this movement to "get their hands dirty". I found this book very helpful and know that those who are in the Emergent church will just see this as another "conversation" not worth having. But, for those who are on the fence or are starting to understand the Emergent problems, will find this a very helpful book on understanding the things that are going on with the Emergent leaders.

Actually, the best part of the book was in the epilogue, when DeYoung went through the churches in Revelation with special focus on Ephesus, Pergamum and Thyratira. This part was very balanced and showed how every church should try to take the good out of each of these churches and learn from them and also learn from the admonishment that Christ gives each as well. Of course, in the end, the idea was for the Emergent church to take a look at what is missing in their movement, which would be the very strongest part in the Ephesian church: defense of doctrine.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand the Emergent church in more detail. I just hope that people are able to learn from this book from within the movement and it isn't just used as ammunition to debate with. Link to Buy


Arthur Sido said...

Looks like a great book, I got a free copy at Together for the Gospel and am looking forward to checking it out.

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