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Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)

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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  1,367 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
You can be young, passionate about Jesus Christ, surrounded by diversity, engaged in a postmodern world, reared in evangelicalism, and not be an emergent Christian. In fact, I want to argue that it would be better if you weren't.

The Emergent Church is a strong voice in today's Christian community. And they're talking about good things, like caring for the poor, peace for a
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Moody Publishers
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Paul
Jul 24, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it
It's funny reading some of the reviews from the emergents. They have barely any substance to their reviews and mostly engage in name-calling. One "reviewer" said the two authors of Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be seemed to lack "education and experience, judging from their arguments." Of course, any critical interaction with their arguments was, as you might expect, missing. Furthermore, I don't even know what that accusation amounts to. What doth experience hath to do with arg ...more
Ben Zajdel
Dec 17, 2011 Ben Zajdel rated it it was amazing
The emergent church is an emotional and controversial topic. One of the latest books in the emergent "conversation" is Why We're Not Emergent(by two guys who should be). The book has an intriguing title and a very emergent-looking cover. But the best part is that there is substance and style to this manifesto.

DeYoung and Kluck, as the title claims, are perfect candidates for the emerging church movement. They prefer, however, traditional church, and spend a good portion of the book explaining w
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Dustin
A MUST READ!

Two thoughtful young guys with different styles, DeYoung (the pastor-theologian) and Kluck (the journalist)have teamed up to write a fair-minded, biblically grounded, insightful book. It's clear that they are not motivated by the desire to criticize, but rather by their love of the church as the body of Christ. -Justin Taylor

With careful observation, faithful handling of Scripture, and an eye for the ironic and absurd, DeYoung and Kluck have given us a feel for what attracts some to
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Rick
Dec 29, 2008 Rick rated it really liked it
This is an important book. I have read a couple popular emergent titles [Blue Like Jazz, Velvet Elvis:] and was proufoundly impacted by parts, but a bit unsettled by other parts.

The authors here are quick to applaud the emergent conversation when it issues needed correction to evangelicalism. But they offer a stinging indictment when the emergent discussion wanders from the faith.

Well researched and well crafted.
Matt Wilder
Aug 04, 2008 Matt Wilder rated it it was ok
I'm still in the middle of this one, but its obvious that these two are missing the point. The emergent church is a healthy response to the long stated rigid theology of evangelicals. I think the two authors are re-enforcing the message of the emergent church in this text. I also think they lack education and experience, judging from their arguments.
Bill Stegemueller
Feb 15, 2011 Bill Stegemueller rated it really liked it
I get really confused when I hear the term EMERGENT. This book helped me to clear a lot of that up. EMERGENT is essentially the latest form of liberalism. In fact, it is so liberal that it’s extremely difficult to nail down a firm definition. Kevin DeYoung writes, “Defining the emerging church is like nailing Jell-O to the wall.” Emergent Leaders often refuse to take a stand on controversial issues like Hell, Original Sin, Atonement, Exclusivity of Christ, Authority of Scripture. Their silence s ...more
David Shane
Mar 18, 2011 David Shane rated it really liked it
This excellent book, written tag-team by the two authors with alternating chapters, does two very helpful things. First, they do their best to define who comprises the "emergent" or "emerging" church, settling on a list of people including Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Spencer Burke, and others, who seem to be saying roughly the same things, endorse each others books, and sometimes make joint statements. Once that is settled we learn, by examination of the writings of these people, exactly what it is ...more
Tom
Jan 19, 2009 Tom rated it it was amazing
i would rather be true to scriptures than hip. start with Truth and then allow the Holy Spirit to make it relevant--don't make relevance and broad acceptance the principle goals.
Deanna
Jun 24, 2008 Deanna rated it it was amazing
Great book, written smartly (and occasionally smart alecky!) discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the emergent church.
Cabe
Jun 06, 2008 Cabe rated it did not like it
Does offer a few decent critiques of Emergent (and a few bad ones as well), but what they would replace it with is often undesirable. I'm also unconvinced that they understand Emergent that well.
Mike
Sep 02, 2009 Mike rated it did not like it
I have to be honest. I didn't like this book. I would not classify myself as "emergent." But I do think that I have a sympathetic disposition toward the "movement." I think they are saying some good things. I don't agree with everything but I think their critique is going to have to be understood and the greater church will have to respond. Which leads me to my primary problem with the book. The authors demonstrate the chronic inability to listen.

I can't deal with everything I didn't agree with
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Jennifer
Mar 29, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Okay, so, let me say straight-up, the only reason this book gets four stars is because Kevin DeYoung manages to carry it despite Ted/Tod/Tom/Tim Kluck's seeming best efforts to bash it into one-star territory with his rambling, pointless "storyteller's approach" to theology. I get that Kluck is there to try and appeal to the younger, story-oriented people who read this book, maybe even deliberately tried to engage on a level that emergent Christians would respond to, but he comes off as a middle ...more
Derrick Seagraves
Oct 25, 2016 Derrick Seagraves rated it really liked it
For the purpose that I read this book, it was excellent. I had it suggested to me as the best book defining the emergent Church, and why they are so hard to define. Additionally the consequences of the emergent movement are nicely explored.

For other purposes, like a Biblical argument against being emergent, it's a 3 star book.
Bryant Rudisill
Aug 12, 2011 Bryant Rudisill rated it it was amazing
"Semper reformanda!," the pastoral battle-cry of the Reformation meaning "always reforming," has reemerged (no pun intended) itself onto the "post-evangelical" tongue through the leading voices of the Emergent conversation. (Note: This review, unlike the book itself, will distinguish between Emergent and Emerging; defining Emergent as a methodo-epistemological philosophy, whereas those Emerging don't so much forsake knowledge at the cost of method.) The authors make the point to examine the Emer ...more
Dan Glover
Jan 11, 2010 Dan Glover rated it really liked it
This book is an important warning about the errors of the emergent church movement (oops, I mean un-movement). It is well researched and clearly presented and maintains a gracious spirit throughout, carefully pointing out that some of the emergent emphasis is a reaction to and an attempted correction of some genuine follies and foibles of present day evangelical Christianity. The alternating narrative and didactic chapters made for an interesting format that likely will appeal to those attracted ...more
Violet
Sep 11, 2013 Violet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be, by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck is a great resource if you want to find out about Christianity’s Emergent Movement. In eleven chapters DeYoung and Kluck tag-team their way through the maze that is the Christian postmodern (emergent, emerging) belief system.

It’s tricky in that it comes from no one spokesperson but a network of people across denominations who endorse each other’s books, interview each other, and seem to be generally affiliated.

DeY
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John
Jan 31, 2009 John rated it did not like it
This book was given to me as a proselytizing "gift" of sorts from a friend. I probably wouldn't have bought it myself, but it has actually been very informative if not in the way the authors or my "closet reformist" friend intended. First off, I didn't care much for Ted's chapters at all. He is a sports writer (?) and even suggests that people could skip over his chapters in the book if they wanted to. I second that suggestion. I think the intent of incorporating his voice into the book was to g ...more
Mitch Nichols
Dec 31, 2012 Mitch Nichols rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DeYoung and Kluck do an excellent and balanced job pointing out that the Emergent movement is liberalism repackaged. But they successfully show how it is not even a solid reproduction since its leaders (Rob Bell, Dan McLaren and Doug Pagitt) have not only failed to learn their Bible or church history, but they completely misrepresent and distort it. The authors researched their subject very well and provide a point counterpoint exposé, citing quotes and interviews with the most notable Emergent ...more
Josiah
Nov 06, 2013 Josiah rated it liked it
The emergent church and its ideas appeal to me. On page 20 of this book, DeYoung starts a somewhat tongue-in-cheek sentence that begins with, "You might be an emergent Christian if..." and definitely several (but not all) of the items apply to me: I always use a Mac (haha), I don't like GWB too much, I am concerned about "poverty, AIDS, imperialism, war-mongering...global warming, racism, and oppression," and the list goes on, though DeYoung's tone seems to get more and more demeaning as his run ...more
Alexis Neal
Sep 26, 2011 Alexis Neal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-books, religion
Going into this book, I knew next to nothing about the emerging/emergent church, and this was a great resource for getting up to speed on some of the strengths and weaknesses of the movement. The movement is notoriously difficult to pin down, as they eschew creeds and there is no ready definition of "emergent," so the authors pieced together what they could from the written works of some of the more popular authors/pastors who have self-identified as emergent. The authors freely admit that the s ...more
Andy Anderson
Apr 28, 2012 Andy Anderson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Describing the emergent church is like nailing jello to the wall. Authors Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck do a good job trying.

The 3 main general points of the movement are:
1. Because God is so big, infallible and perfect we can't really know him. Using words to describe him can't do it, so therefore it's hard to really know who God really is.
2. Uncertainty is good. Since we can't truly know him it's hard to pick a side of an issue or know the true answer. Martyn Lloyd Jones says "they dislike clar
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Clark Goble
Jul 06, 2012 Clark Goble rated it it was amazing
Those that are not familiar with the Emergent movement within the church have not been paying much attention to the book shelves lately. Authors like Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and Dan Kimball have made the movement a topic of much conversation, and controversy, in the last few years. In a nutshell, the emergent movement argues that the modern church needs remodeled in order to be relevant in the postmodern world we live in. Those within the movement favor a more missional approach to “doing” chur ...more
David Westerfield
This was a great read. The back and forth style between a writer for ESPN (Ted Kluck) and a pastor at a church in East Lansing, MI (Kevin DeYoung) has made for an excellent combination of perspectives on the emerging church movement. On the one hand, Kluck is coming at it from a very down-to-earth, journalistic, street level perspective, giving you a cultural view from all kinds of sources and personal interviews. And on the other hand, DeYoung is taking apart the movement from a theological poi ...more
Matthew
Jan 26, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing
I was out of town the entire past week on business, which on one hand is bad because I had to be away from my wife the whole week, but is great on the other hand because the flights give me uninterrupted time to read. For some reason, I can really focus on a plane.

Anyway, I had the chance to read Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) this week. I had heard great things about this book, and they are all justified. This is one of the better books I have read in quite a while.

It's writ
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Ethan Marstella
Sep 18, 2016 Ethan Marstella rated it it was ok
Although I agree with almost every critique, I didn't appreciate the tone of the writing. I also did't like that Kluck chose to call out a campus ministry by name for their students holding emergent views, when the organization thoroughly rejects the emergent movement. Denouncing an international missions organization for a few kids on one campus is terribly unprofessional.
Doug
Oct 25, 2011 Doug rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
I have been using a fair few of Rob Bell's short DVD's -- in class devotions recently. I really like them. They raise some very good questions, and they are short and interesting. But a friend of mine questioned whether that was a good idea, considering the foundations of the emergent church movement - of which Bell is a part. I found this book really helpful in terms of understanding the issues which, it turns out, are quite significant. The two authors approach their subject matter gently, ass ...more
Timblack1
Nov 13, 2008 Timblack1 is currently reading it
About Why We're Not Emergent (by two guys who should be)...I can't wait for the last chapter - "Why I Don't Want A Cool Pastor," because it will probably help me finally understand that not being cool for so long is actually what Calvin always wanted for my life.

More seriously, this book is reassuring me that it's cool to like all the things that young adults like today and be a conservative Reformed and Presbyterian Christian. Calvin is still all right with me. Besides confirming me in my preju
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Bob
Feb 25, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it
So just what is the problem with the emerging church? The authors point out some of the problems with the thinking that the journey is more about experience (and more important) than the destination. They argue that humility is not the same thing as uncertainty. They argue for the value of propositions, which are not a modern phenomenon. They gently poke fun at emergent speak. They present some of their problems with the notion, "Give me Jesus, not doctrine," and the emphasis on orthopraxy at th ...more
Kurt
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it really liked it
Most of this book is a thoughtful, well-composed response to some of the troubling aspects of the emergent church, along with numerous positive reasons for Christians to be involved with more Orthodox churches. Ted Kluck's chapters are pretty terrible - they are, oddly enough, a postmodern string of ideas and observations presented with no unifying thread or narrative structure or real theological insight. Kevin DeYoung, however, is fantastic. I think he casts his net too wide in labeling specif ...more
Barbara
Oct 16, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book. Even if you've never heard of the Emergent church and don't particularity care what it is all about, there are tendrils of its philosophies reaching into many venues, and it is good to think Biblically about these things.

DeYoung and Gluck have done extensive research into the books and messages of those who identify themselves as emergent and addressed some common themes (there is a distinction between those who would call themselves “emergent” and “emerging,” but for
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Kevin DeYoung is the Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, right across the street from Michigan State University.
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