This was a great read. The back and forth style between a writer for ESPN (Ted Kluck) and a pastor at a church in East Lansing, MI (Kevin DeYoung) has made for an excellent combination of perspectives on the emerging church movement. On the one hand, Kluck is coming at it from a very down-to-earth, journalistic, street level perspective, giving you a cultural view from all kinds of sources and personal interviews. And on the other hand, DeYoung is taking apart the movement from a theological point of view, affirming the things that are positive about it, and denying the things that are Scripturally contradictory.
Instead of just hearing one authors’ perspective and critiques, by having two authors with differing angles, it really gives you a more well-rounded understanding of what it’s all about. It is an easy read and really pulls you in. As D.A. Carson describes the book, it is “breezy.” It’s one of those books where you don’t get bogged down in a section because of its thickness. Points are explained with exceptional clarity and not made theologically overbearing.
By no means do they cover absolutely every single point of view in the movement (to do so would be next to impossible), but they cover the major teachers and forces driving the movement, both theological and cultural. The summed up thesis is that we have a lot to glean from the emerging church and their critiques of evangelicalism and where it’s gone, and yet they, like their liberal forebears 100 years ago, have swung the pendulum too far the other way. In many ways, the movement has the same taste as modernistic theological liberalism, and oddly enough, some of the almost exact quotes. Therefore the answer is not to “reimagine” Christianity under the shadow of postmodern (as the liberals attempted and failed at 100 years ago under the shadow of modernism), but to recapture historically faithful, evangelical (Gospel-centered), Reformational Christianity.
I don’t want to give too much more away because, well, you just need to read it yourself. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to know more or understand what this whole movement is about, why it’s appealing, what’s positive, but also show us all a better way. Get this book. You will not be let down by the content, nor the style.