When are Southern Baptist leaders going to do more than shout from afar at those involved in the emerging church conversation?
Baptist Press has once again added to the misinformation on the emerging church in a March 23rd article by David Roach: "Leaders Call 'Emerging Church Movement' a Threat to Gospel." The article includes quotes from Don Carson, a series of quotes from Al Mohler's critique of Brian McLaren's book, A Generous Orthodoxy, and quotes from Brian McLaren.
Some of us are trying to enhance the conversation about the emerging church "movement" with thoughtfulness. But BP (to this point) and other thinkers are trying to fill the SBC with anti-emerging noise and knee-jerk reactions as quickly as they can. It feels like propaganda. With every article like this published for the masses, the hope for fruitful dialogue fades. Misinformation will need to be fixed, stereotypes will have to be dropped, and straw men will need to be put back in the corn field where they belong.
For the record, I have emailed an SBC pastor (a regular contributor to BP) about one of his articles that is heavy on judgment and without grace to some in our culture (which emerging folks are fed up with). No response. I have emailed and informed Russ Moore of my response to his article on the emerging church and Brian McLaren. I know he received it, but no response.
I'm doing all I know to do to encourage emerging SBC leaders like me to work patiently in the convention to see biblical change. But SBC leaders are (unintentionally?) working hard to push away many in emerging generations rather than talk about the truth together.
Listen, I don't agree with everything in the emergent conversation, or by McLaren. But much of the emergent critique of the evangelical church is showing brilliance every time an article like this one from BP is published.
This is a public call to Baptist Press and Southern Baptists, coming from a young Southern Baptist pastor, to talk about the emerging church with some young SBC leaders. We certainly need to hear you, but you also need to hear us. I think a little dialogue will show that it's actually possible to engage in the emerging church conversation and be a committed Southern Baptist at the same time.