Doug Pagitt writes,
A number of us have been working for a few months on a collectiveresponse to criticisms that have been made about us and Emergent. We decided to put a document together, not for the purpose of settling all matters, but to try and put words around our hopes, and to give those who have to respond on our behalf some indication of what we are thinking on these matters.
I imagine that others would like to "sign on" to this response, if not in words then in spirit. Those listed are among the people who have been "called out" either for what they have written or said, but mostly what has been written.
And here's a link to the collective response (PDF file) by Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Chris Seay, Spencer Burke, Dan Kimball, Andrew Jones, and Tony Jones.
I think it's a great response that needs very wide reading, from the staunch critic who has likened Brian McLaren to a cult leader to the blogger who hates emergent because their pastor told them to. These four pages won't answer all the questions or do enough to moisten the dry tongue of the critics, but I think it carries wisdom as well as a humble spirit.
I want to play briefly with one thought that came to mind while reading this. Often in church history the greatest theologians, authors, hymn writers (and so on) were pastors. The practitioners were writing and their writing was informed not only by their preaching, but their daily involvement with the pains and joys of the local church ministry. Is the Emerging Church about recovering that? I'm not sure, but I think it's worth thinking about.