A friendly critique of Emergent No

I’ve learned the wisdom of listening to one’s critics; they tend to be right an annoyingly large percentage of the time. Even when they’re wrong, it’s usually worth knowing what they say. Nobody is wrong all the time. Emergent No has taken its place on my regular reading list. Carla, one of the contributors, is part of my denomination. This site is a clearinghouse for information and opinions against the emerging church, especially from a Reformed perspective. It’s regularly updated and often links to material that is new to me. The good about this site? Well, they are sometimes right. The emerging church is far from perfect, and at times it needs a gentle rebuke. I am not comfortable with every teaching contained in every emergent book, or every practice seen in emerging type churches. As others have noted, the emerging church can benefit from healthy critique. May God give us that. The bad? At times, I feel like I’m reading a caricature of the emerging church. The best critiques take great pains to describe what they’re criticizing as fairly as possible before they go to work objecting. They might say, “Now, this isn’t representative of the whole movement, but…” or describe the situation so that the people they’re critiquing say, “Yes, that’s us.” Then they can object. Emergent No has a tendency to go to the jugular and paint the emerging church in the worst light possible before critiquing it, often (unintentionally, I believe) inaccurately. It’s easy to pick the “worst of” any movement and paint it as representative of the whole. This is, I fear, what happens often at this site. This is a friendly critique, because I hope they continue. They could provide a valuable service to us all. At present, the best thing they could do is to work very hard at building credibility by always accurately describing what they are critiquing. Meantime, I’m grateful for them.

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Liberty Grace Church in Toronto. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada