This was my second reading of this book, the first being in 2005 when it was published. Since I was on my way to Turkey to speak to a number of Russian pastors about postmodernism and the emerging church, I thought it would be good to reread Carson. This is one of those books that proves to be more valuable as time goes on because what he says proves more and more to be right. Since Carson wrote this book, many emergent advocates have written shocking books, especially Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, and Rob Bell. In addition, the rise of “narrative” hermeneutics has also shown Carson’s warnings to be valid.
A couple quotes from Carson are telling. “Rather than force people to fall into line, an oozy community tolerates differences and treats people who hold opposing views with great dignity. To me, that’s the essence of the emerging church.” Also, “To put the matter differently: Is there at least some danger that what is being advocated is not so much a new kind of Christian in a new emerging church, but a church that is so submerging itself in the culture that it risks hopeless compromise?”
Much is being written today on the emerging church, but Carson’s remains one of the best evaluations. It is thorough and insightful.