One of the most frustrating parts of reading some books is that positions are set up and attacked, and you’re left wondering, “Was that really fair?” This is called the straw man fallacy, and it’s used all the time, in books as well as blogs, for that matter. It’s a lot harder to do this when those who hold positions you’re attacking are in the room, or will be leaving comments on your blog. My favorite sessions on the gender issue, for example, have taken place at the Evangelical Theology Society in which the leading thinkers on both sides have to answer to each other. It keeps them honest. Some of them get a little carried away sometimes – no doubt unintentionally – without this accountability. That’s why I’m enjoying The Church in Emerging Culture so much. Leonard Sweet edits and provides an incredibly insightful introduction, while five people much smarter than me go at it. The others are allowed to comment midstream in what each of them gets to say, so you don’t get away with much. There is so much to absorb in this book that I am going to have to read it more than once. If you have views – and I know you do – on the church and how it should relate to these times, then you really do need to wrestle with this book. Whether you’re in the “don’t change a thing” camp that believes change is compromise, the church growth camp, or in the emerging church camp, trying to rediscover Christianity for a new age, you’ll be challenged by interacting with those who hold the same and different views as you do within these pages. One more thing: I wish I were smarter, at least as smart as any one of the contributors to this book.