Lots of reaction to the Forge document: Jordon posts some concerns – “…we still do a lousy job of talking to each other…I wonder what kind of paper Hirch and Frost would have written had Brian’s input been a part of it. This isn’t about division in the church or differening theological worldviews or being American vs. being Aussie. It is about showing the world a different way of resolving our differences.” Hirsch (co-author of the Forge document) clarifies – “Please be assured that what we have written is not a dismissal of Emergent and certainly not a distancing from Brian McLaren and what he stands for. I have immense and abiding respect, nay, reverence, for Brian. Our primary concern in drafting this document was to try and distinguish elements that make us different in terms of nuance and focus in order to try offset the collateral damage on the Australian missional church that has, and is, sadly taking place due to Carson’s book.” Tony Jones (co-ordinator of Emergent USA) responds to Hirsch – “…is the posting of position papers really the way that we want the global EC conversation to continue?” Points of agreement: McLaren is held in high esteem; Carson’s assessment misrepresents the emerging church at points (although I think it would be helpful for McLaren to outline these); there are some differences of theology within the ec; this is a discussion among friends. The real question seems to be what type of public debate is acceptable over issues (not personalities) within the emerging church – a seemingly important question for something that claims to be a conversation. After all, McLaren’s books are a “position paper” of sorts (position papers don’t have to be against someone or something). I tend to lean toward more openness and public debate over ideas rather than less, so it’s hard for me to be discouraged about this – but I’m open to your comments. Update: Stephen Shields weighs in with some good insights.