Scot McKnight recently saw Walk the Line, the movie on the life of Johnny Cash. He blogged on it today (also at Touchstone's Mere Comments) with an interesting twist, that he found it curious that Russ Moore (SBTS) stands with the Man in Black while the Kentucky Baptist Convention didn't stand with a different sort of man in black, Brian McLaren.
I've read both posts a few times now. On the one hand, I'm not sure McKnight's connections between McLaren and Cash work. I don't know the history of how Cash was treated by SBC'rs, so I can't speak to that. But the KBC decides who it wants to instruct them, and Cash had a different purpose altogether. You are standing for different things when you stand for one or the other.
On the other hand, Moore's unreasonable caricatures of the EC make whatever wisdom he has on the issue hard to hear. He writes,
The difference between Cash's sin-and-repentance authenticity and the manufactured faddish candles-and-incense "authenticity" of the "emerging church" movement is one of kind, not just degree.
One might also say of the repackaged liberalism of the "emerging church," everyone who wears dark turtlenecks is not a Man in Black.
I just don't get this sort of response. Does Russ actually believe the EC is (STILL!) only a fad? I'm not saying the EC is the church of the future, or whatever. But I think Moore's position is a very unscholarly one. I don't see John Hammett or Justin Taylor or Don Carson using this sort of language. They are engaging the issues. Sure there are faddish elements in the EC, just as there are in the SBC and everywhere else.
But characterizing the whole this way is like saying you aren't willing to look any deeper. It's like saying that you would rather see the EC as a big impersonal whole that you can mock rather than as real people with real faith and a real desire to know and follow Jesus. I encourage my friend Russ to lose the rhetoric and stick to the issues. He has a lot to add if he does.