[Update: The original title for this series was "Emerging Church Hammering". Out of respect for John Hammett, because it did not fairly reflect his intentions towards the emerging church, I have edited the titles]
So . . . what about the latest 'hammering' on the emerging church? I don't respond to many of these critiques, and I tried to avoid this one, but since my name is in Hammett's paper, and since we have mutual friends, I thought i would throw down some thoughts over the next few days that might clarify some things. Heres an intro.
I find it interesting that from all the lectures given at the Evangelical Theology Society's conference, including some by emerging church people, only John Hammett's critique on the emerging church and subsequent warning gets wings on the web. Goes to show - if you say something critical about the emerging church, there is a legion of web journalists who will quickly back you up and help you graffitti your criticism on the wall of the blogosphere. Not saying Hammett was looking for such high readership on purpose. But it happened anyway.
I was virtually introduced to Dr John Hammett last week through 3 encounters:
1. Before I read his paper, Mark Thames of Demarkation, gave props to two people - me and John Hammett. Mark's wife, Dawn, refers to John as "Jesus's best friend". So . . like it or not . . I am intrinsically linked in friendship, as well as in denominational fold. Mark and I are both consultants for BGCT and John Hammett is also Baptist. In other words, we are brothers around the baptist coffee urn and you will not find me bad mouthing him or his ministry. Or even his critique of what he sees as "emerging church"
2. I found Hammett's "An Ecclesiological Assessment of the Emerging Church [pdf]" posted on the A-Team Blog. Well thought out and presented. I have problems with his source material, but more on that later.
3. Baptist Press releases the article "Baptist Scholar Sounds a Warning to Emerging Church" which was quickly sliced up and offered to the other critics. Another warning to beware the emerging church.
Well . . have a read and a thought and let me know what you think. In the meantime, I will jot down some of my own thoughts as part of a short series that i hope will bring another level of clarity to those just entering the discussion.