Those who have read through any of the posts on this blog know I am no fan of the theological trajectory of the emergent movement. I recently posted on Facebook that the more I read emergent authors, the more I am convinced that their whole system is founded on theological, historical, and philosophical straw men. I haven’t read anything to convince me otherwise.
In light of McLaren’s new book, A New Kind of Christianity, I recommend Kevin DeYoung’s book review on The Gospel Coalition website. DeYoung does a very good job of pinning down an author who tries (often with a great deal of success) to be un-pinn-downable. Though I have not read this book of McLaren’s, it has all the appearances of having jumped the shark: he is now obviously in the camp of 19th century liberal theology. And DeYoung and I both hope, “this wave of liberalism fades as dramatically as did the last.”
Often people, who want to see the good in everything, will counter that the emergent movement at least has a deep missional motivation – they want to see people…well, what exactly do they want to see people do? McLaren is clear over and over in his writings that he doesn’t want to see them come to a saving knowledge of Christ, and mostly other emergents who have a compassionate heart are primarily about social justice issues while simultaneously wrenching out the inherently theological core to Christian social justice.
If the theology is this bad, chances are the behavior will trend in the wrong direction. In order to recover a Christlike sense of care for creation and its inhabitants, it begins with a holistic view of God’s revelation to us, not by cherry-picking and fuzzy thinking.