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Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be (Faith and Freedom) Paperback – April 1, 2008

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Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be (Faith and Freedom) + Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications
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Editorial Reviews


This book is a pleasure to read, not least because it pricks so many pretensions. While it deals with an important subject, it manages to sustain a breezy style that draws you in. The subtitle tells you the stance of the authors: the emerging church movement, which taught an entire generation to rebel, is now old enough to find growing numbers of people learning to rebel against the rebellion.
-D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Why We're Not Emergent crashes into the emerging conversation in a voice which hears "them" and talks back!  This is a book we've been waiting for. With careful observation, faithful handling of Scripture, and an eye for the ironic and absurd, DeYoung and Kluck have given us a feel for what attracts some to emerging churches and thoughts about why that's sometimes a very bad thing.  Buy and read this book.  You'll enjoy it.  And it could help you and the people you'll tell about it.
-Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC

Fifteen years ago in No Place for Truth, David Wells reminded us all that in our time, those who seem most relevant are in fact most irrelevant, and those who seem most irrelevant are in fact most relevant.  That, as Gandalf would say, "is a very encouraging thought."  Indeed, as I encounter what has been called the "young, Reformed awakening," for every young Christian who is convinced that in order to engage the culture the church must embrace the emergent paradigm of truth and church, there are nineteen who understand (because they really care about what the Bible says) that faithfulness is relevance.  DeYoung and Kluck tell you why.
-Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

Two thoughtful young guys with different styles, Kevin DeYoung (the pastor-theologian) and Ted Kluck (the journalist), have teamed up to write Why We're Not Emergent.  The result is a fair-minded, biblically grounded, insightful book.  It's clear that DeYoung and Kluck are not motivated by the desire to criticize, but rather by their love of the church as the body of Christ.  This is now the first book I'd give someone who asks the question, "What is the emerging church?" Highly recommended!
-Justin Taylor, Project Director, ESV Study Bible; blogger (Between Two Worlds)

From the Back Cover

Here's the truth-there is truth.

You can be young, passionate about Jesus Christ, surrounded by diversity, engaged in a postmodern world, reared in evangelicalism, and not be an emergent Christian.  In fact, I want to argue that it would be better if you weren't.   

The emergent church is asking good questions and dialoguing about good things: community, caring for the poor, loving Jesus. Co-authors Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck care about these same issues. They should be all over this movement.

But they're not. And here's why--they do life founded upon orthodox beliefs about God, propositional truths about Jesus, and the authority of Scripture. Many do not.

Why We're Not Emergent gives both a theological and an on-the-street perspective that helps you examine the emerging church for yourself. Provocative yet playful, this book seeks to show you why being emergent isn't the only, or even the best, way to be passionate about Jesus Christ.


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Product Details

  • Series: Faith and Freedom
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802458343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802458346
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

251 of 258 people found the following review helpful By Darryl Dash on March 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
A couple of years ago, I found myself disappointed with many of the critiques of the emerging church. Some were nasty, and some did a poor job of capturing the movement (or whatever you call it).

But something's changed: the quality of the critique. A case in point is this book.

The authors, Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck, don't take themselves too seriously. They write differently: Kevin is the more scholarly pastor, while Ted is the less academic guy who writes shorter, more experiential chapters. You get propositional arguments in this book, but you also get to visualize Ted reading Rob Bell while his wife's family cottage while discussing the contents with his brother-in-law, or sheepishly admitting that he likes Rob Bell's Nooma videos to his mother-in-law, who likes them too. I really enjoyed the voices of the authors in this book. "Emergent leaders have often cried foul when their books have been held up to academic scrutiny. 'We're not professional scholars,' they say, and neither are we. So it's a fair fight - more fair than fight, we hope."

I also like the way they approach the subject. They have read the books, and not just one or two either. They've been to some of the churches, conferences, and classrooms. They admit when they like the authors and speakers, and never forget that they're talking about real people. They like some aspects of the emerging church. They understand the difference between emerging and emergent. They don't think one voice speaks for the entire emerging church, and they speak appreciatively of those who are more theologically conservative.

They're also realistic about their goals. "We're not really writing this book to change people's minds because, let's face it, that rarely happens...
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213 of 230 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
"What is this emerging church I keep hearing about?" If I had a dime for every time I have been asked that question or one like it, well, I'd be several dollars richer. Emerging is one of the buzzwords in the church these days and one that begs for greater explanation. Unfortunately it is not an easy term to define. To borrow a tired cliche, defining the emerging church is much like trying to nail Jello to a wall. It's a near-impossible and entirely thankless task. Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck give it a shot in their new book Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be). These are two young men who, if we were to look to demographics, would be top candidates for involvement in the emerging movement. Yet they've stayed away from it, opting instead to commit to ministry and service within more traditional churches. In this book they explain why and in so doing explain what the emerging church is all about and the danger it poses.

In an editorial decision that turns out to be quite successful, DeYoung and Kluck alternate chapters throughout the book (though you'll want to watch for an exception at the very end where Kluck writes two consecutively). DeYoung's chapters are the more academic ones--they provide some in-depth interaction with the theology of the emerging church. Kluck's chapters, on the other hand, are less formal and more reflective. They actually read, perhaps ironically, not unlike something Don Millar might have written.

Kluck typically begins his chapters by discussing a book he has been reading or an emergent speaker he has heard. He bridges to some of the shortcomings of the emergent movement and some of the ways it has proven unbiblical.
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141 of 161 people found the following review helpful By D. Stringer on August 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
I must confess that I often judge a book by its cover... the back cover that is. If the title and trendy cover artwork for Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) aren't catchy enough already, the endorsements on the back cover are what really grabbed my attention. Those who are familiar with the current mini-feud within evangelicalism between liberal "emergents" and conservative Calvinists will recognize names like scholar D.A. Carson, pastor Mark Dever and blogger Justin Taylor, all of whom are well respected in Calvinist/Reformed circles. Because of their high praise for this book, I was half-expecting another dry and academic roast of Brian McLaren's irreverent writing, which often distracts critics from the broader emerging movement's missional focus.

While reading the opening chapters, I quickly discovered that my pre-conceptions were largely incorrect. Gen-X authors Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck have done their homework and the result is a witty, engaging and accessible critique, certainly the most nuanced and evenhanded anti-emergent book yet published. While it's no surprise that their perspective is clearly Reformed (thanks to a healthy dose of penal substitution atonement theory, human depravity and unconditional election), their observations and conclusions will be helpful to readers across the Christian spectrum. With alternating chapters, DeYoung's pastoral/academic lens provides the theological substance while Kluck, a culturally savvy sportswriter with an eye for the ironic, supplies a colorful layperson's perspective.

Regardless of how one describes what it means to be `emerging' or `emergent' (the authors acknowledge there is a difference), it is unmistakably one of the most controversial movements in the church today.
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