I just finished writing a couple of reviews of Carson’s Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, which are sadly out of date already, given the events of the past day. The book now sits at my office, where I won’t be back for a week. I wish I had it back today so I could reread it! McLaren writes:
Dr. D. A. Carson has written a critical review of emergent, and of my work in particular. Dr. Al Mohler and others have praised and quoted Carson’s book in reviews and articles of their own. Unfortunately, in a number of ways their reviews misrepresent and misjudge my writings, thinking, and beliefs – and those of my friends. A number of scholars are responding to these critiques.
I do hope that he will clarify where he has been misrepresented. Although hard, I think this will benefit the entire conversation that is taking place. Note, by the way, that McLaren has given Carson’s book three stars at Amazon:
I’ve given the book 3 stars because, although I believe the book misinterprets my friends and me on some important points, it opens up important space for dialogue – and it offers some criticism which will be constructive and helpful. The book concludes with the hope that those of us in the emergent conversation will be open to correction, and I hope readers will be assured that we welcome critique, and will seek to learn from it all we can.
On that note, I am encouraged whenever friendly critique takes place. Rather than being a breech of community, it is the essence of community (real community values truth as much as it does love, and surfaces and deals with issues appropriately). I hope we can continue to foster and welcome disagreement and healthy discussion, even when it’s uncomfortable for us. When it hurts, I hope we can re-affirm our respect and love for one another but still refuse to be threatened by a movement that values truth just as much as it does love. That is the essence of true community.