Book: Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church

Book: Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications: D. A. Carson

The more I read about the Emerging church, the more I realise that I don’t really understand the breadth of the movement. Disillusioned with the problems inherent in a church that has staled, and become out of touch with the culture around it, the emerging church (as I understand it) seeks to create experiences that people outside the church – mostly those with a post-modern worldview – can relate to.

Sounds fine in theory, and indeed Carson in this book points out the positives that he can see coming from this. The danger, though, in making Christianity seem more appealing to post-moderns – those who don’t really think that there is any such thing as absolute truth – is that you can end up with something that isn’t in fact Christianity at all.

In his usual, thoroughly biblical style, Carson engages with this movement, and looks at the positives, and the negatives, as he sees it. Worth a read for its insights into how Christianity and post modernism relate.

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  1. Although from everything I hear (haven’t read it myself) is quite narrow in it’s understanding of the emerging church … and not particularly reflective of the Australian context.

  2. It doesn’t really mention the Australian context (but most of what I know about the emerging church is from American stuff on the web, not from anything locally).

    Carson’s main frustration appears to be with Brian McLaren, but predominantly with the idea of Christians being comfortable talking about truth as something flexible or out of reach, rather than something that can be known through the bible (or even something that can be known in general).

  3. Best book I’ve ever read about those issues (truth etc) is “Is there Meaning in the Text?” by Kevin Vanhoozer. I imagine it’d be in your college library. It’s pretty representative of what I come across in emerging church circles in Australia. It’s a heavy going book but very worthwhile, in my opinion.

  4. […] Following my book review, here’s the first part of a series covering Don Carson’s recent dialogue with some of the Australian Emerging Church people – it seems the situation in Australia is quite different to that in America. […]

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