I went to a party today. The hostess told me, "We LOVE Rob Bell!" I haven't read enough of Bell to make an extended critique - nor do I intend to as he makes my teeth hurt. What I have read is all sentiment and little content, sort of like cotton candy. This whole Emergent thingy strikes me as being one more neoEvangelical fad - and we'll find its effectiveness in making genuine disciples rather than mere sycophants is on a par with Willow Creek's (per their recent admission). The problem is, it takes us far too long to admit these failures. Do you really think there are enough Purpose-driven lives out there to justify Warren's sales figures? Remember the Prayer of Jabez?
And now we'll have to endure endless genuflections at the altar of emergence - until the next fad comes along.
To quote a wise man who lived not so very long ago, "I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid."
He also said this, "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around."
We really ought to read more Chesterton and less Bell.