Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The September edition of Next-Wave has gone live, which includes as its "cover story" an autobiographical piece by none other than Brian McLaren. I actually read this over the weekend on the Emergent Village website. Interestingly, the same day I read it, I finished D.A. Carson's Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, which obviously mentions McLaren more than a little bit.

I've tried to avoid reading book reviews on Carson because I wanted to read it with an open mind, without too many subscripts running. Overall, I have to say I was disappointed. I did expect to disagree with him and his critiques of the emerging church, but honestly, I expected a heartier effort on his part. I found his descriptions of postmodernity shallow and simplistic. I almost felt like he didn't have a command of the theories and thrusts of the philosophy - at least not enough to be writing his own book length critiques. He takes some shots at Stanley Grenz, who's Primer on Postmodernism was my first in depth exposure to the thought. He would have done better to learn more from Grenz before pulling up short, as he appears to have done. And then, of course, he goes off on Brian McLaren - at length.

I actually found some of Carson's critiques to be helpful and insightful, even if not profound. But there's just way too much broad-brushing - as though McLaren is the unquestioned pope of this movement/conversation. Clearly, this thing is about more than just the one guy.

The main beef I have with the book is that Carson shows his lack of understanding of his topic by his insistence on making linear, foundationalist arguments in an attempt to expose a non-linear, post-foundationalist mode of thought. I would have liked for him to be clever enough to find a postmodern approach to debunk postmodernism. Add to that the fact that this movement/conversation has never simply been about postmodernism. Many of us all along have noted the significance of the socio-cultural shift, without buying into all the precepts and epistimology. We recognize it for what it is, and then get on task with missional theology and ecclesiology.

I'm starting to sound like an academic now, so I'll stop. I am still looking for the first good book that will put us in check. I mean that - we need a book like that. I guess I'll give Carson some credit for trying, and for meaning well. He does display a somewhat generous spirit at times, which is more than I can say for some of Carson's own critics.

posted by Steve at 7:45 PM
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1 Comments:

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spirit farmer data

I'm Steve Lewis. This used to be my blogging home. My online home is now at SpiritFarmer.com. When this blog was my active online home, I lived in Seattle. Now I live in London, UK. I follow Jesus (poorly most of the time), worship simply, read a lot, watch culture, go to school, listen to music, write, enjoy art, and drink a lot of coffee.
e-mail me: spiritfarmer@gmail.com
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seattle spots

victrola coffee
zoka coffee
university of washington
church of the apostles
quest church
sanctuary church
shoreline vineyard


sites i visit

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next-wave
metacritic
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jason evans
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alan creech
chris marshall
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eugene cho
jordon cooper
dwight friesen
john chandler
amy palmer
ryan bolger
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sings in the sunshine
rick bennett
scot mcknight
karen ward
alan hirsch
dan kimball
petey crowder



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generation me
jesus and the restoration of israel
god's continent
glocalization
globalizing theology
gustavo gutierrez: essential writings
jesus and the eyewitnesses
garlands of grace
twenty poems to nourish your soul
the black swan
dancing in the streets
made to stick
signs in contemporary culture
hit the bullseye
revolution
the politics of jesus
readings in christian ethics
toward old testament ethics
the kite runner
principles of conduct
velvet elvis
the irresistable revolution
they like jesus, but not the church
the great omission
ishmael
charisma: the gift of grace, and how it has been taken from us
the starfish and the spider
a perfect mess
the world cafe
the new faces of christianity
leaving church
journeying in faith
the creed
creators
transforming mission
metaphors we live by
foolishness to the greeks
personal knowledge



states i've spent time: 2007

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texas
british columbia
oregon
california
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i wrote it

managing conflict in the 'new world'
music review: over the rhine
film review: bonhoeffer
music review: fighting jacks
film review: the passion of the christ
how reality tv changes lives
the best tv article you've ever read
corks & caps: a wine lover's story of change
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on becoming post-gnostic



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