The Emergent conversation is at a critical point, in my opinion. You can gather some of my personal thoughts about the conversation in previous posts. I would categorize my own position as emergent-minded and thoughtfully sympathetic. That said, I don't want this post to be about me.
I want to turn a little bit of the focus to the extra-emergent conversation, the conversation about the conversation between evangelicals and emergent types.
I think right now is the time when a lot of evangelicals are getting scared. I don't mean that as a put down. They see a movement coming and react in a way consistent with an evangelical mindset. Some have characterized the emergent movement as problematic. Others as heretical. Most claim it is a sellout to postmodernism.
I think most who consider themselves in the emergent conversation will say they are trying to get back to the historic Christian faith. Postmodernism has provided a wonderful opportunity to reclaim and redeem in Christ that which the Church has allowed modernism to steal away.
I also know there are more extreme positions among evangelicals and emergent types. I don't want to discount that. But I think that emergent is more of a conversation than a movement and evangelicals are more of a movement than a conversation. And that matters when we try to critique and judge and pigeonhole people and issues and movements.
So to try encourage more conversation between evangelicals and emergent types (of which I consider myself both), I want to offer some links to the extra-emergent conversation. Some of you will have already read or listened to these resources. Others of you will be getting some new things to think about. Even others will be introduced to the conversation for the first time.
I hope that some of you who have access to resources not mentioned here will comment and add to the list.
Brian McLaren website - many interactions with the conversation throughout including...
-A Brotherly Critique and Response
-Annotation of "The Emergent Mystique" article by Christianity Today (found below)
-Open Letter to Chuck Colson on Colson's Christianity Today article "The Postmodern Crackup"
-Various other articles
White Horse Inn
-Emergent Church Movement, Part 1 - free streaming currently available
-Interview with three young members of an Emergent Church congregation
-Interview with Shane Rosenthal, producer of WHI, on emergent experiences
Christianity Today - emergent conversation resources
-The Emergent Mystique - Christianity Today article
-Becoming Conversant With Emergent by D.A. Carson - due out in April 2005
-The Church in Emerging Culture - Five Perspectives: Leonard Sweet, Andy Crouch, Brian McLaren, Erwin McManus, Michael Horton
You can also Google search various issues, names, or words like "emergent" or "emerging church" and you will find other articles, links, interviews, and a billion blogs and posts that add to the conversation. Helpful emergent blogs found at Planet Emergent.
I hope these links are helpful. I don't put them here because I agree with everything said, but because I value the conversation. Please feel free to add something you find helpful.