A Christchurch pastor came to me. He has a PhD in Biblical studies, is a pastor, has been reading Carson,whom he respects. And now he has some questions about the emerging church. And could we talk. Can you see why this is a gift! Not hissing over the internet, but face to face. Nice voices.
And I asked him if we could video the conversation. Could I show it in my Masters class this week? It would be so easy for me in my small classroom to conduct a monologue, to summarise a critic like Carson and then trash a critic like Carson.
But a conversation. That would be different. Allowing diverse voices into the classroom. Face to face. And allowing the critic, in this case Carson, to have the right of reply and even the last word. 55 minutes later we have a video, and what I hope will be a great gift to the class.
But whatever the case, I am trying to learn to talk in nice voices. Anyone out there want to join me? Please.
UPDATE: There appears to be a bit of a groundswell on this issue. John Santic has written a good post on this topic, as has Paul Mayers. Mark Van Steewyk writes the 7 Loving Challenges for Emergent and says this in point 1;
We should be careful not to draw lines in the sand–even if “they” drew it first. We should always be VERY careful when we use us versus them language–especially within the Body of Christ. Within the emerging church, I’ve found many folks who, while still technically evangelicals, have decided to use the word “evangelical” as a bad word. That really is a snotty thing to do. And I’ve done it lots. This is like the Vice President who begins to distance himself from the administration after he plans to run for president.