I am a big fan of the counterpoints series by Zondervan. I find it interesting and challenging to read viewpoints of people I see eye to eye with as well as people I respect, but do not agree with. Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches is a book in the tradition of the counterpoints series. In this book, Dr. Robert Webber gathers five pastors who are all in the thick of emerging church ministry (emerging ministry being ministry to those 35 years old and under, NOT emergent ministry). All of these pastors are church planters, three are evangelicals and two are emergent.
Each of them were directed to write about three topics and how different aspects of theology effect those topics. The three topics? Scripture, the atonement and the Trinity. The different aspects of theology? Biblicist theology, incarnational theology, missional theology, embodied theology, and communal theology.
Each of the authors writes their chapter and then has each of the other four write a response to it. All five of the writers are familiar with one another, if not good friends, and the remarks reflect that friendly attitude, even when the writers vehemently disagree. The reader can tell that this is a discussion many of the writers have had with one another in person and will continue to have in the future.
Each of the writers have presented very good chapters and both the writers I do not agree with and agree with made me stop and search the Scripture myself and confirm for myself what the Bible says. I also agree with John Burke's initial response to Mark Driscoll's chapter - "I think Mark just made this book worth buying." And although I do agree with that - I would strongly encourage you to read the rest of the book. Especially the pastors you might now agree with. I always find it good to read something that makes me think, makes me reflect on what and why I believe, and each person in this book does that.
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