Issue #2: The missional and holism issues
Fundamentally, the Emergent movement is a “missional” movement and it is holistic in its mission, and until it is addressed from that point, it won’t be addressed centrally. I am not aware that hordes are converting to faith in Jesus Christ by the Emergent movement. I am deeply committed myself to evangelism, and I am also a student of conversion (see my Turning to Jesus); and I have an article on small things, like why Evangelicals become Roman Catholics, and one shortly to be published with JETS on why Jews become Christians, and I’m doing one why Roman Catholics become Evangelicals. Not long ago I spoke with a Christian leader who speaks quite often to Emergent churches and this person told me that the Emergent movement does not have that many conversions. Now I don’t know if this person was accurate, and it does not matter, but I still think the issue is missional in the sense that the Emergent is trying to work out the gospel in a postmodern context – and that context exists and it is worth letting the gospel have its way in that context. But, I don’t see enough in DA Carson’s book about this, and for that reason alone the book is incomplete. It doesn’t undermine what he says about epistemology, but it makes one wonder why in the world he spent all his time on epistemology when the movement and its leaders constantly speak of holism and missional and the like. I wish we’d gotten more about this: maybe a whole chapter on “missional” and the “holism” of the Bible.