The Carson Conversation III

I have often said that I am a theologian in the same sense that I am a missionary – a ‘backyard’ one who can pull stuff together – sometimes slowly – and not always with ease of an expert or with the polished finish. I am also not well travelled and so my reflection on the state of the EC in different countries is limited to what I read on blogs and what I hear from people who do visit eg. my friend Al Hirsch.

For those who are reading this and reflecting on what we need to hear I refer you to these various sources.

Andrew Jones began the ball rolling download snakes on a plane dvdrip way back in 2004 with a series of posts.

And then handballed it to Scot McKnight who did a fairly close analysis / review of Carson’s book. I have linked to the first in his series of posts, but there are 8 in all, so read them all if you are wanting to see one academic engage with another.

Andrew is one of the most respected leaders in the EC arena and has his finger on the pulse of what is happening around the world while Scot has approached the whole emerging church scene as an academic who is keen to give room for growth and experimentation, while calling people not to wander from the core tenets of the faith.

I’ll write more in due course – right now I have a nasty head cold that is making me feel groggy – but you could do worse than to go back and read all the stuff these guys have written. Another excellent piece of work was also produced by David Mills who was present at Carson’s lecture series.

Someone asked me if I still see myself as part of the emerging church, given Carson’s critique and his statement that ‘we may not actually be considered emerging in other parts of the world’. My response is to say ‘Yes I am.’ Not because I subscribe to all that he critiques, but largely because I am not about to allow him to define me out.

While I do have problems with such a fuzzy term as ’emerging church’, I am willing to accept that my own position sits somewhere under that umbrella and I am not about to opt out. That would feel kinda lame…

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