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Evangelicals Engaging Emergent: A Discussion of the Emergent Church Movement Paperback – May 1, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Henard is senior pastor of Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He is also president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, former trustee chairman for LifeWay Christian Resources, and assistant professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Henard and his wife, Judy, have three children and two grandchildren.

Adam Greenway is assistant professor of Evangelism and Applied Apologetics and associate vice president for Extension Education and Applied Ministries  at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He also directs Research Doctoral Studies at the seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805447393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805447392
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,517,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I confess a sense of weariness when it comes to speaking of the Emerging Church movement.

Back in 2008, I wrote about how the Emerging Church had begun to "recede." Shortly thereafter, some key participants in the conversation began abandoning the title altogether.

Today, much of the debate centers on correctly identifying "Emerging" as a diverse movement that includes some who are more traditionally evangelical and others who are not.

Regardless of the current state of the debate, evangelicals should at least ask this question: What insights can we glean from the Emerging Church conversation? Such a question presumes that there are both positive and negative aspects of the movement. It takes little thought to condemn the movement outright or to embrace it wholeheartedly. What is needed is a careful engagement of the Emerging conversation so that Christians can distinguish between the wheat and chaff.

The new book, Evangelicals Engaging Emergent: A Discussion of the Emergent Church Movement (2009, Broadman and Holman) features a collection of essays from notable authors and scholars like Ed Stetzer, Norman Geisler, Darrell Bock, and Mark DeVine. The contributors to this book seek to examine the Emerging Church fairly and then weigh the positives and negatives of the movement in light of Scripture.

Mark DeVine starts off by differentiating between the two streams of the Emerging Church - the more traditional evangelical stream and the more liberal stream. DeVine focuses on defining the Emerging Church by the questions and criticisms of its proponents, not their doctrinal commitments.

DeVine believes that D.A. Carson's influential critique of Emerging was helpful in its assessment of Brian McLaren's epistemology.
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This compilation of articles engaging various issues concerning the emergent/emerging church provides a helpful overview of the movement/conversation as well as a timely critique of much of the questionable practices of the movement. One of the biggest strengths of the book is that it provides three different categories of the emergent church--the least extreme being those who might not even identify themselves with the emergent church yet are commonly associated with the movement (Mark Driscoll, etc) and the most extreme being those who are considered leaders in the movement and those who perhaps deserve the most critique (Brian McLaren, etc). Because the authors are so careful to highlight these different categories, it keeps them from over-generalizing or lumping the entire movement together (perhaps the one criticism of D.A. Carson's book on the emergent church). This is a very helpful book when thinking about how to continue to engage the emergent church.
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The topic of this book is great, and the authors who contributed are incredible. I can't say enough about those two things. But because this book was compiled by different authors who didn't have a really great understanding of what the other authors were going to write, it can be extremely redundant at time.
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Format: Paperback
The local pastor is often unaware of what the culture is offering older Christians who practice church hoping, young people who are searching for relevance within the church and seekers wanting church to accomodate their interests. The approaches, methods and theologies of much of the Emergent movement churches present the local pastor with challenges for which he is unaware and may be unprepared to address.

This book provides a wide and comprehensive evanluation of the Emergent movement. It is not merely critical in the negative sense. It offers a realistic view of where the traditional church continually comes up short and where the Emergent churches are meeting the need of many in the culture for relevance. It also provides a careful analysis of the theological shortcomings, and even failures of the movement.

A local pastor who is unaware of the movement, and its implications, who genuinely seeks to protect and meet the needs of the church, while also wanting to reach the lost would benefit greatly from this work.
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