Summarizing a clear but still technical journal article is not easy, and so shorter here is better. David Mills, a prof at Cedarville University, asks if the critics of emergent leaders are justified in their accusation that the leaders are epistemological relativists or deniers of truth. His piece is called “Mountain or Molehill? The Question of Truth and the Emerging Church.” My read of his piece is that the critics have made a mountain of a molehill.
He deals upfront with Al Mohler, DA Carson and Scott Smith, but his article interacts more with Smith. Mills does a nice job of defining the postmodernist turn and thinks both postmodernism and postmodernity are too narrow for the reality of what is a transition. And it is diverse, including all sorts of issues, not the only of which is epistemology.
More particularly he dives into a nice survey of the postmodernist turn in epistemology, and makes a major piont that objective knowledge through direct perception of objects, which is inherent to modernism, is not dealt with often enough by the critics. Mills comes out with an epistemology chastened by the postmodernist turn. Language and interpretation are involved, as is the knower’s context.
In the end he thinks the complaints are sometimes misplaced: it is not denial of truth but affirmation of narrative/story. Belonging is central to believing.
The piece does not sparkle, but it is a solid reminder that the emerging folk are not unaware of what they are talking about, and any talk about denial of truth or relativism (as is often said) is misinformed and using a rhetorically-effective but unfair labels.