At tallskinnykiwi.com, the web site of Andrew Jones, he has been blogging about some of the critique and criticism regarding the emerging church of late. In particular he has been covering D. A. Carson’s book Becoming Conversant With Emergent and a blog called emergentno (not the most creative name). Though Carson’s book aims to make a level-headed critique of the emergent network, emergentno appears to step over the line at times.
While I am sure that some of the contributors to the emergentno site have offered some valid critiques of the emerging church, I have generally found a lot of angry, overgeneralized, and often combative comments regarding the emerging church. I find it to be toxic and hard to handle. It’s very disturbing to read how misunderstood many emergent thinkers are and how quickly Christians can turn upon their own. If anything, I have been made very aware of how important it is to represent views other than my own with accuracy and charity.
Though it is tempting to respond to this criticism with posts that fight fire with fire, exposing their flaws and criticizing them. But then I came accross Psalm 109 tonight.
Though I would never put the emergentno writers in the same camp as the people David was writing about, I have found solace in the application of David’s response to slander and the hurtful words of others. Here’s the NET Bible’s translation.
109:3 They surround me and say hateful things;
they attack me for no reason.
109:4 They repay my love with accusations,
but I continue to pray.
Responding to harsh criticism with prayer is a humbling and amazing course of action for the Christian. I’m sure that my words are of no value and can do little benefit in the situation. But stepping back and letting God deal with his church . . . now that’s something that is win win for all concerned.