Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Look Back at Emergent

Five years ago Ted Kluck and Kevin DeYoung wrote Why We're Not Emergent: by Two Guys Who Should Be. It was an insightful, educational and entertaining book, dealing with the Emergent Movement while it was still at (or at least near) its apex. On pages 31-35 of the March issue of Credo Magazine, Kluck takes a look back at things "Emergent" (and its cousin "Missional"), given the perspective that only time can often bring.

Among the things I found particularly helpful with Ted's piece were the following:

Ted's openness about his own struggles with pride and the example he sets in his commitment to try to write more humbly. I'll be honest with you, I probably check the stats on my web traffic more than anyone should, and certainly more than anyone who generates as little traffic as I do! I get excited when a web post of mine generates 25 or 50 hits; I can only imagine how hard it would be to remain humble when you're a real author like Ted and thousands of people actually pay money to read your books. He freely admits his struggles in that area, and in so doing, provides a great example for those of us who may like the spotlight a little more than we should.

A subsequent willingness on Ted's part to express thanks for some of the parts of the Emergent movement.  To be sure, some of this of a backhanded compliment in part, as it includes such things as his observation that the Young Reformed movement owes much of its rise to the Emergent movement. But indeed, for better or worse (and there is surely much of both) the rise of a new generation of prominent Reformed leaders was (at least in part) a response to the Emergent movement. Ted also expresses appreciation though for such derivatives of the Emergent movement as the uniting of people across normal liberal/conservative divides and a concern for many areas on which we all need to focus.

A steady commitment to keep the center at the center. While not being critical of social efforts, Ted rightly wants to keep the mission of the church centered on the proclamation that our only true hope is in the the good news of Christ's atoning sacrifice on the cross, his resurrection from the dead, and our subsequent salvation. Surely, good works will flow out of this, but the Gospel is the key.

Check out the whole article by clicking here.

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