“Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)”

March 31, 2008

That’s the title of a new book by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. This is the book description:

“You can be young, passionate about Jesus Christ, surrounded by diversity, engaged in a postmodern world, reared in evangelicalism and not be an emergent Christian.  In fact, I want to argue that it would be better if you weren’t.”
The Emergent Church is a strong voice in today’s Christian community.  And they’re talking about good things:  caring for the poor, peace for all men, loving Jesus.  They’re doing church a new way, not content to fit the mold.  Again, all good.  But there’s more to the movement than that. Much more.
Kevin and Ted are two guys who, demographically, should be all over this movement.  But they’re not.  And Why We’re Not Emergent gives you the solid reasons why.  From both a theological and an on-the-street perspective, Kevin and Ted diagnose the emerging church.  They pull apart interviews, articles, books, and blogs, helping you see for yourself what it’s all about.

I have not yet read this book, but I wanted to let you know about it because it seems well worth checking out. It comes with hearty endorsements from such solid theologians and pastors as Al Mohler, DA Carson, Justin Taylor, Ligon Duncan, and Mark Dever (see here). I’ll be reading it as soon as I have time to.

You can see more info on the book and read/download some of it’s chapters at this website: www.notemergent.com. I’d also recommend listening to this interview with the authors (besides an overview of the book, they give a helpful overview of the Emergent scene).

The review below is by Frank Turk of the Pyromaniacs Blog (March 19, 2008). I posted it here because not all of his post was about this book, and I trimmed it down a tad because his review was pretty long:

“Kevin Deyoung is a young pastor in Michigan who has previously written a book about practical complementarian theology, called Freedom and Boundaries; his writing partner is Ted Kluck, who has written a couple of books about football and a book about guys who fought Mike Tyson.

Together, they have turned out Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be), published by Moody Press…

The brainier, academically-inclined professorial types have already read D.A. Carson’s Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, and also everything by David Wells on American Culture, Postmodernism and the Church. The rest of us have been waiting for a book by someone with an I.Q. below the boiling point of water to speak simply, plainly, and clearly about what’s at stake in the “emergent conversation”, and why someone who shares many of the concerns of the Emergents would choose to do something besides, well, what the Emergents are doing.

Without boxing pastor Deyoung in, I’d call him one of the better examples of the so-called “young Calvinists” out there. He obviously has a robust faith, something which is not a “mere Christianity” but a robust philosophy that hinges on a real Christ, a real Jesus who isn’t far away from us in time and space but speaks to us through Scripture. And he’s a serious thinker – not someone seeking to score cheap shots or create unnecessary controversy. And he’s sort of the anchor in this book – the guy who keeps us faced toward the real issue, which is “Is Jesus real, and can we know Him?”

Ted Kluck, on the other hand, is sort of an interesting bird. He comes across as a very level-headed guy who has a very pleasant, anecdotal style of writing; he does really nice things with common-place events like the death of one of his childhood Sunday school teachers, or a conversation which takes place in a diner… The thing with Kluck is that exactly where you think he’s going to sort of duck into an “emergent” brain-storming alley about mystery and poverty and candles, it turns out he is actually turning on the street light of thought about the problems or questions at hand; he answers a little more deeply and a little less, um, adolescently and demonstrates to the reader that the call to faith is not merely a poetic notion.

And we’re blogging here, so rather than turn out a 10-page paper on this book, I’m going to give you what I think is a taste of what’s inside, and leave it up to you to actually buy and read this book.

First, from Pastor Deyoung:

I understand that the emerging church is only addressing certain areas of inquiry that they deem are most crucial. That’s their prerogative. But at some point in the conversation it would be nice if they would share their convictions on something other than community, kingdom living, and mystery. The emerging church will grow irrelevant to the very culture it is trying to reach if it can’t answer with some measure of clarity, however tentatively, the most basic questions that face every human being.

And also from Ted Kluck:

I am struck by the fact [while reading Peter Rollins’ book How (Not) to Speak of God] that what is billed as sort of unchecked creativity has produced ten liturgies that are remarkably similar in look, feel, and purpose. This is not a critique so much as an observation that Ikon may be more like its traditional counterparts than it would like to think. At the beginning of the tenth liturgy we are reminded by Rollins that Ikon “has no substantial doctrinal center … just as a doughnut has not interior, but is made up entirely of an exterior.

I am reminded of what goes on in seeker-friendly megaplexes all across the country on Sunday morning – slickly produced music, followed by multimedia clip, followed by drama, followed by ambiguously thought-provoking/inspirational message with a minimum of Scripture at its center.

Get this book; read this book. It frames the issues both for the Emergent church and for the larger body of Christ in such a way that both side get rightly challenged and called to action for the sake of our Lord and Savior.”


One Response to ““Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)””

  1. […] Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) – Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck […]

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