It’s hard not to defend something that is admittedly flawed at points when you see it misrepresented. There’s a time that it’s important to speak up, but there’s also a time to keep quiet. Maggi Dawn writes:
I think too much energy is wasted defending the emerging church conversation. I’m amazed that there are people who seem to think they need to defend it against ME – and I’m a sympatheitc supporter of it, although I dare now and again to write about its weaknesses as well as its strengths. THere is too much oversensitivity. If Carla doesn’t understand it, that’s her business. Respect to her for having a go, at least. It also may be that her perception of emerging is instructive, as it might show us how a lot of people actually perceive us (e.g. many people can’t spot the difference between Emerging church and Purpose Driven. We might know there is a difference, but it remains a fact that thousands of people, including many who call themselves “emerging” or “emergent” don’t get it.) I think just keep on doing what you’re doing. What’s good will grow. All the debate and misunderstanding will fall away.
Like everything, it’s hard to keep this in tension. In the end, it’s not about the emerging church anyway. It’s about all of us learning what it takes to be faithful in our own context. That’s what’s important.