Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)” as Want to Read:
Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,671 ratings  ·  143 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
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Moody Publishers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Why We're Not Emergent, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Why We're Not Emergent

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,671 ratings  ·  143 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)
Jul 24, 2009 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
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
Matt Wilder
Aug 04, 2008 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.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful addition to the conversation on the 21st century church and the emergent movement.

Ted Kluck and Kevin DeYoung carefully examine the triumphs and failings of the emergent movement and what it means for the future of western Christianity. I liked the way that they were careful to praise the wonderful things that this movement has brought to light, and very respectfully presented the areas where the vagueness and gray area leave us wanting.

This was a very helpful book for me personal
Andrew Pendleton
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly relevant and helpful to me even though the "emergent church" conversation is largely over.
Dec 29, 2008 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.
Jun 06, 2008 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.
Tom James
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
While this book may seem a bit dated today, it is still just as relevant, since the Emergent Church movement and it's proponents (e.g., Rob Bell, Brian McLaren) have become even more audacious in their heterodox pronouncements. Everything that Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck predicted would happen as a result of the Emergent movement has come to pass (and then some). And while the authors are cautioning readers to be wary of this movement within evangelical Christianity, they do so in a gracious man ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good introduction to the emerging movement. P. 218-222 alone are worth the read as is the epilogue. It is a balanced, fair, theological and witty critique of the movement and your own church.
Bill Stegemueller
Feb 15, 2011 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 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
Jan 31, 2009 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
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book, written smartly (and occasionally smart alecky!) discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the emergent church.
Jan 19, 2009 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.
Sep 02, 2009 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
Justin Daniel
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kevin DeYoung is an interesting character in evangelical Christianity. Coming from a strong reformed tradition, he is turning heads by becoming involved in big projects with the Gospel Coalition. He considers himself "Young, Restless, and Reformed," a movement that stems from millennial's coming into the Church holding onto important tenants such as expository preaching and election.

Interestingly enough, the early 2000's produced a movement of evangelical Christians that tried to appeal to mille
Mollie Bruno
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is good, but reveals in the epilogue it could have been stellar. Fair, balanced perspective and even used some of the tools the authors brought out as the strengths of the camp they were criticizing. Especially appreciated the respect they paid their brothers and sisters in other denominations as well as their affirming liberals as part of the Christian family. Mostly conservative myself, I agreed with the authors without being bored, and was enlightened because, although I had encount ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wise, thorough, gracious, and fair analysis of the Emergent Church movement. Despite their serious concerns with the movement, Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck were extremely kind and loving to their brothers and sisters in Christ. Highly recommend the read if you want a helpful understanding of the Emergent Church. They discuss both the good and the bad of the movement, and ultimately conclude with their reasons for why they are not emergent (as you can see in the title). 5 out of 5 stars.
Bryan Reeder
Honestly, I haven't done much studying or research on the Emergent Church. I ahve one pastor friend that practices a lot of Emergent ideas that I completely disagree with. Reading this book motivates me to do so. The authors put a lot of research into their arguments which I appreciate. Whether you are in the Emergent movement or against it, I challenge you to read this book. Either way, you will be challenged.
Mar 29, 2015 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
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Worth reading the whole thing, but if you only have a little bit of time, the last chapter provides a great summary of what we need to be careful of as we try to discern how God calls us to live as Christians.
William Estep
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I️ truly appreciated this book in its methodical approach to a complex issue in the church. They refused to simply view it as two opposing sides but gave credibilities to multiple stances, as well as pointed out the dangers that can be associated with them. Over all a very worth while read
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
wish there were more books like this
Mark Lickliter
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I totally read this too late. The Emergent Church is dead I think. It was still a decent read though.
Bryant Rudisill
Aug 12, 2011 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 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
Sep 11, 2013 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.

Mitch Nichols
Dec 31, 2012 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
Alexis Neal
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, 100-books
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 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Humility: True Greatness
  • The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? the Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World
  • A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God's Love
  • The Mortification of Sin
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God's Spirit Invades the Heart of His People
  • Searching for God Knows What
  • The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin
  • Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
  • Death by Love: Letters from the Cross
  • Finally Alive: What Happens When We Are Born Again?
  • Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
  • Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus
  • Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
  • Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate
  • The Truth of the Cross
  • Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World
  • Mere Christianity
  • Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters
See similar books…
Kevin DeYoung is the Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, right across the street from Michigan State University.

Related Articles

In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
59 likes · 39 comments
“Sincerity is a Christian virtue, as is honesty about our struggles. But my generation needs to realize that Christianity is more than chic fragility, endless self-revelation, and the coolness that comes with authenticity.” 8 likes
“If the good news is an invitation to a Jesus way of life and not information about somebody who accomplished something on my behalf, I’m sunk. This is law and no gospel.” 0 likes
More quotes…