Monday, October 31

MacDonald and McKnight

There's a lot of stirring going on over at

Two of the writers that I respect most are getting out some deep disagreement with each other. Here's a quick recap...

Pastor James MacDonald wrote this article for his ministry's website, which became a full-blown two-part article (1 and 2) in Leadership Journal.

Scott McKnight posted a critique. MacDonald has posted a very gracious response on the blog, and I can tell you that it really is Pastor James -- no psuedopigraphia here. The dialoge has started nicely enough, but then McKnight said, "I’d like you not to roll over so easily. "

James then posted this:

lose the superior “your a busy pastor what could you possibly know about the emerging church” tonality. I’ve seen it often in the professors I know I like to call them P-Bic’s ie proffessor of big intellect can’t (hear) syndrome. Of course I don’t judge you for that, you’ve just had so many ministry wannabees lined up hanging on your every word for so long hoping their butt kissing will get them a good grade, it’s just easy to forget what it’s really like to account for your ideas outside the enclave of arrogance that is Christian higer education. (I’m saying all this with tongue in cheek, you at least used to be one of the exceptions to that all to common rule)
As the benefactor of many conversations with Pastor James, allow me to inform you that he has thought about this issue more than McKnight is currently giving him credit for. A lot more. Should be very informative to watch.

In one sense, it sadly reminds me of this Justin Taylor insight:
In my view it seems like there is almost a shell-game going on with some Emergent proponents, such that it's impossible to offer valid criticism. If you criticize Paggit on a theological issue, the response is that he's not a theologian but a practicioner. If you criticize McLaren for an off-the-wall comment, the response is that he's merely making you think. If you offer a generalized critique, you're told there's no movement. If you make a specific critique of an individual, you're told that he doesn't represent everyone. The flip side of it, though, is that evangelicalism is caricatured as walking lock-step, such that sweeping generalizations are made whereby all of its members appear isolated, anti-intellectual, fundamentalistic, etc.

Just a few thoughts for you.

IRITATING SIGN OF FUNDEMENTALISM: my antiSMUT guard will NOT let me see McKnight's website any more... I keep having to ask my wife to type in the password (she's the only one who knows it), and she's beginning to watch me funny. . .

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