Bold Statement

In the context of his review of Jim Belcher’s book Deep Church, Kevin DeYoung makes this bold statement:

I don’t think there is a single insight from the emergent church that cannot be gleaned from the best of the evangelical, and specifically the Reformed, tradition. We don’t need a third way between emergent and traditional. We need a revitalized, reformed evangelical church.

If this is the case, then it would mean that the primary value of the (artist formerly known as the) emerging conversation is not what it offers to the church.  Rather, its primary value is what it reminds the church: that there is a richness in the roots of evangelicalism that we ignore (and have ignored) to our peril.  If the (artist formerly known as the) emerging conversation plays any role in sending us back to our roots, then we owe it a debt of gratitude. 

What do you, O plenteous multitude of readers, think of DeYoung’s claim?

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3 Responses to “Bold Statement”

  1. Luke A. Says:

    Uh, yes.

    Wait! Wait! I mean NO!

    Wait! I mean…what was the question?

  2. fenderpooh Says:

    Yes, the question implies some basic familiarity with what was once known as “the emerging church” and the conversation that it has stirred up.

  3. Ali Says:

    I think the statement is true…but is not remarkable.

    The reality is that evangelical tradition is a difficult thing to pin down. Like any movement, as evangelical tradition has aged it has broadened, bringing so many things under its umbrella that virtually anything can be considered part of the evangelical tradition – even heresy! – and what constitutes evangelicalism is not universally agreed upon.

    When it comes to the emerging conversation (and Jim Belcher) “evangelical” is that thing of recent history, whereas DeYoung is trying to define the word in more historical terms. From the little I’ve gleaned about Belcher’s book, the difference is in these definitions – what Belcher considers non-evangelical “tradition”, DeYoung considers “the best of the evangelical…tradition”.

    DeYoung’s comments are different from Belcher’s comments in the same way a parent telling a child he can find everything he needs at home is different from the child finding out for himself. In the first instance, the pressure is on the child to remain on the say so of the parent and breeds almost a suspicion of other dwelling places; in the second, the child has discovered the value of the home and voluntarily dwells there, but is not opposed to input from other sources.

    I prefer the latter. It’s stultifying to be given no room to discover things for yourself, even if that exploration takes you beyond other people’s comfort zones. The term “a third way” allows for continued exploration.

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