NewsLeak: Response to Criticisms


Just out: Here is a document called Response To Recent Criticisms (PDF) that some of you have been waiting for and I hope will bring some clarity and peace. Best place for discussion on it will be the Emergent Blog, as soon as they post it.

[Update] – its up now at “Official Response to Critics of Emergent”. It will be the place to hang out today, for sure.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Dan-D from Canada says:

    I posted the following at emergentvillage as well, but just to make sure andrew sees it…
    I have this irresponsible urge to quote Yul Brynner from ‘The Ten Commandments’ – “So let it be written. So let it be done.” Sorry, everyone.
    After reading this post I feel very encouraged. All of the names attatched are of people who have stuck their necks out time and again, waiting for the axe of fundamentalism to attempts numerous messy haircuts. As a fellow Christ-follower in this crazy world of ours, I say thank you. The encouragement you pass along to countless believers who have needed to hear your words is an example to us all.
    This is an excellent, gracious response to the critics of emergent. Thanks again, and may God help all of us to extend grace the way you have demonstrated.

  • Very well articulated and filled with honesty and humility. Thank you!

  • andrew says:

    ahhh shucks
    i would love to take all the credit . . but i should say that the Emergent guys in USA wrote it up and sent it to me a few days back – i told them it looked good and was willing to put my name on if it would help. And they did.
    And i am honored. I just love these people. I dont agree with everything they come up with, but we are on the same team – and some of my happiest memories in the past decade has been our events and chats and coffees together.
    There are a number of emerging church networks in USA but EmergentVillage seems to get the bulk of the criticism – probably due to the fact that their conversation spills into the publishing world – and i guess a lot of the response is dealing with some of those books and the critiques.
    I am happy to stand with them because i know their hearts and because i have invested a lot in them. I am also standing with networks in many other countries as they try to bring the church along with them into the 21st century, and I stand with the Seeker-Mega churches, as they bring the church into the 1980’s (just JOKNG!!) and i stand with the new-media theoblogian-geeks who are making space in their back yard for a the church to find a voice . i preaching now?
    . . i will shut up.

  • My Response to the Official Emergent Response

    Of all the odd things I had in mind to blog on tonight, this was least expected. The Emergent-Us blog has posted an official “Response to Recent Criticisms By Tony Jones, D…

  • I just posted my offical response. I have two more personal questions though:
    1) Is that an outdoor urinal pictured?
    2) What’s a “First Nation”? That term is completely new to me.

  • andrew says:

    hi roger
    i will pop over to A-Team and read your response in a little bit (have to get kids off to school)
    1) yes. this is amsterdam and that is my son Samuel on the left. its possible i might be in that photo somewhere.
    2) First Nation refers to tribal groups or “host” cultures, in the case of USA – the Native Americans

  • Gotta love the global internet. I still haven’t made it to bed yet and you’re already starting the next day.
    1) Fantastic. Of course, being the obsessive-compulsive American that I am my first concern is where to wash my hands. But I had that problem in Thailand as well.
    2) That’s great! Frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone talking about preaching Christ to Native Americans- or other First Nations for that matter. I’ll join with y’all in proclaiming their importance.

  • Mark Berry says:

    mmm will be inetersting to see what EmergentNO make of this… for my part I think is an excellent response and unlike Roger feel that considering the bile that has been spouted by many about the emergent conversation it is extremely charitable and balanced… Well done all and thank you from one not so articulate.

  • Roger, my good friends, Pete and Marcia Mason have been working with First Nations people in Colorado, facilitating the forming of Sacred Gatherings and Native American Concern- basically a church modeled as a Christian homecoming for Native People. I have been blogging their progress on my blog if you want to take a look- I have just posted an insightful update by Pete. You can read their story also if you click on the Masons on my side-bar

  • fernando says:

    like every man and his dog i’ve posted a response (and I don’t even have a dog). my hope, however, it that this sort of leads to create and positive uses of energy and not counterproductive ones.

  • andrew says:

    thanks mike. i think there are many occasions when the first nations are preaching christ to us.the reconcilation movement that has been sweeping USA for the past decade has its roots in the Maori justice system from New Zealand.
    I have visited some reservations and have seen the great work that YWAM have been doing – and Rich Mullins was living that out also.
    My wife is part Cherokee.

  • Steve McCoy says:

    AJ, I think it’s a helpful and thoughtful response. It’s frustrating to see some critics already ripping it to shreds. And I knew from the first line that some would say “I thought it wasn’t a movement?” Frustrating.
    But I think it needed to be said, was said well, and I believe it will draw clearer lines between those critics who are being overly critical and those who have honest disagreement and know how to talk about it, and who are helping the EC in their criticism.

  • Emergent Collective Response

    Doug Pagitt writes,A number of us have been working for a few months on a collective response to criticisms that have been made about us and Emergent.

  • andrew says:

    thanks steve
    and your emerging SBC leaders site rocks – and its soooo helpful for people to have this conversation inside a denomination.
    As for the movement thing, i believe that we are seeing the begining of a movement – with various groupings and networks taking shape in many counties.Emergent village is one of those groups and yes, it is a conversation . . . but it is also a part of a much larger movement.

  • Emergent Collective Response

    Doug Pagitt writes,A number of us have been working for a few months on a collective response to criticisms that have been made about us and Emergent.

  • Dan-D from Canada says:

    re: outdoor urinal – That’s it. I am officially moving to amsterdam.
    re: first nations peoples – being from Canada (as the name suggests) I can tell you that here we are beginning to take reaching/helping the native peoples seriously. Unfortunately this comes after centuries of abuse and cultural destruction that white folks like myself have inflicted upon them. Walking down in the downtown area of where I live, the majority of the homeless there are from the first nations peoples. And until recently the attitude of the local church was one of dismissal – ie. “If they really wanted to, they’d get a job/clean themselves up/etc.”
    So I ask you all – please pray for us. We have blood on our hands from a murdered culture, and the first nations have been trying to recover from our sins for many years. Pray we would be able to aid in the healing of those we have damaged so much. Thanks, all.

  • Emerging Church critique, review, response

    From Andrew comes a link to a Tennessee newspaper’s take on the emerging church. As far as newspaper accounts go, this one is pretty decent. Here are a couple of issues I have with the article: – It is a

  • robbymac says:

    Winnipeg Centre Vineyard has been doing work among the First Nations people of downtown Winnipeg for ten years now, including the “lepers of Winniepg” — the glue-sniffers.
    It’s been hard on them as a church. Many people wanted us to move to the safe suburbs where the church would undoubtably grow numerically, but they have stayed the course and committed themselves staying in the middle of the so-called “war zone”.
    If you can find any of David Ruis’ teaching tapes on ministry to the poor (David was the founding pastor of this church), I’d recommend them, as well as John Dawson’s excellent book “Healing America’s Wounds” from YWAM, which is part of the reconciliation movement that Andrew mentioned a few comments back.

  • andrew jones says:

    i met john dawson in austin (98) and i met david ruis in pasadena (94)
    john’s stuff on healing wounds was a big help. is is a Kiwi who has done much towards reconciliation among American Indians.

  • robbymac says:

    I’ve never met John Dawson although I’ve read several of his books and really appreciated his insights.
    I played bass for David Ruis here and there around Canada, as well as being a part of his church plant in Winnipeg, but when we first met (1995), we were notorious for being the peanut gallery in Vineyard Canada’s worship leader track at the regional conference, and for giving wedgies (David more than me) to unsuspecting worship leaders.
    Aside from the wedgies, what I’ll always remember and treasure about David is his earnest focus on the poor and marginalized, his abilities as a worship leader, and that he was one of Vineyard Canada’s finest preachers.

  • andrew jones says:

    i met david ruis in the mens toilet.
    sounds bad to start that way . . . but it was the Mott Auditorium in pasadena and the Toronto team was making their first attempt to explain what was going on to the Americans. David was a song leader then (jan 95?) and when he led worship – it was absolutely incredible – he really had the ability to shift your attention away from himself and towards God and it was as if he disappeared in the process – i had never really seen a worship leader do that until then. i was really impressed. and when he talked about his baptist heritage, i suddenly realized why i understood him when he talked – he was speaking in my mother tongue.
    but enough toilet talk . ..

  • This must that core emergent doctrine all the critics have been searching for- remember Steve Taylor likes to wifi from the toilet…

  • Andrew,
    Thank you guys so much for getting that out there. Living in the Bible Belt (East Tennessee) I’m expecting to take a few ‘beatings’ for looking to follow Christ a little differently than my other brothers and sisters here. But a statement of this nature is very helpful. Not to mention your very gracious response to D.A. Carson a little while back.
    BTW, my wife is part Cherokee as well!
    Rich…glad to be your brother…

  • Cool,
    My wife, Janelle is Danish/Native American. Interesting socio-genetic experiment, that one!

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