Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

Why I’m Not Emergent

I just finished reading “Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be),” those ‘two guys who should be’ being pastor Kevin DeYoung and sportswriter Ted Kluck.

The epilogue alone is worth way more than the price of the book, so a) if you don’t have the book, click here and buy it, or b) if you, like me, got if for free at Together 4 the Gospel back in April, then crack it open and skip right to the end and read the epilogue.  Like, right now.  Seriously stop reading this, and go do that.  If you order it, then you can come back and read the rest of this.  Or if you already have it, go read it, then come back if you want.  Or if you need further evidence to read it, keep reading:

Some high points from the epitomic epilogue, titled “Listening to All the Churches of Revelation”:

DeYoung and Kluck traded off chapters throughout the book, and DeYoung wrote the epilogue.  He started off by discussing the seven churches addressed in letters from Jesus in the book of Revelation.  These are great words of wisdom, which we would all do well to heed.  This culminates in the section titled “His Vision for the Whole Church,” that being the vision of Jesus, which is:

His vision for a church that is intolerant of error, maintains moral boundaries, promotes doctrinal integrity, stands strong in times of trial, remains vibrant in times of prosperity, believes in certain judgment and certain reward, even as it engages the culture, reaches out, loves, and serves. We need a church that reflects the Master’s vision–one that is deeply theological, deeply ethical, deeply compassionate, and deeply doxological.

We would also do well to hear DeYoung’s advice on arguing:

I can tell in my own spirit when I am arguing a point to be right and when I am arguing a point out of love. Hopefully, this book is the latter. There is a big difference between the two. Do I want to be right because “I know this is right, moron, and why can’t you see it?” Or am I arguing my point because “I love you and I know this will be good for you and honor Christ.”

He also gives a warning to all churches who resemble what Jesus criticized about Ephesus in the letter to that church in the book of Revelation- those who, as DeYoung says, rightly hate what Jesus hates, but wrongly fail to love what Jesus loves:

Give the gospel away or lose it.

Meaning that if we wrongly over-emphasize fighting sin and maintaining purity at the expense of loving both believers and unbelievers, as well as at the expense of proclaiming the gospel; such churches, by failing to lovingly live and proclaim the gospel will indeed lose it.

DeYoung also points out some apparently opposite virtues which he prays that his church will exhibit both rather than either/or, such as:

grace and truth, logical precision and warmhearted passion, careful thinking and compassionate feeling, strong theology and tender love, Christian liberty and spiritual discipline, congregational care and committed outreach, diversity without doctrinal infidelity, ambition without arrogance, and contentment without complacency.

Last but certainly not least, DeYoung gives a glorious gospel proclamation:

What puts a rock under our feet and hope in our hearts is the certain knowledge that God is holy, righteous, loving, all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal, independent, sovereign, and merciful; that He created the world good only to have Adam plunge the human race into sin and bondage to ever-increasing wickedness; that God purposed in eternity past to save those whom He would call and that in the fullness of time He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live the life we couldn’t and die the death we deserved; that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead, justly condemning the unbelieving to eternal punishment and granting the followers of Jesus to live forever in never-ending, always increasing enjoyment of God.


August 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. David,

    I just finished this book myself and plan on reviewing on my blog soon. I agree with you, the epilogue is well worth the price of admission. It’s a great primer on the emergent movement.

    Comment by Jim Rector | August 20, 2008 | Reply

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