Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another reason I love blogging

This is blogging at its best. Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert wrote a book titled What Is The Mision of the Church? This book, published in September of this year, has now been reviewed and discussed many, many times over. I first saw it reviewed by Eric Carpenter and was pleasantly surprised that it was largely a positive review. Then I read a post by Trevin Wax, 5 Nagging Questions about DeYoung/Gilbert's "Mission of the Church", that raised some crucial questions about what they had written and whether it was too narrow a view. DeYoung and Gilbert responded and then Ed Stetzer weighed in with a survey post and then a very in-depth review for Themelios. DeYoung and Gilbert responded to Stetzer and on and on. Trevin Wax wrote this morning:
In the end, I think DeYoung and Gilbert’s blog posts are better than their book. I now understand better the kind of missiological thinking they think is wrongheaded, and I get their reason for putting such a strong emphasis on proclamation. I still think they downplay the non-didactic elements of making disciples, but I have a greater understanding for why they do so.
That is pretty high praise indeed. It is true that the blogging world can often be banal and silly, sometimes even scandalous and a stumbling block to the Gospel. It is also true that done properly it provides a heretofore nonexistent medium for worldwide discussion, taking important conversations out of the world of academia and theological journals and making them available to every Christian. It used to be that you wrote a book, published it and waited for the reviews but now the review process is interactive and alive, allowing readers to ask questions and authors to sharpen their thinking in ways that perhaps they didn’t think of before.

If you haven’t done so, you should check out the conversations that are happening about this book and more importantly about how we should think about the church. It is a conversation well worth having!


Alan Knox said...

And now Ed Stetzer has responded again here: "A response to a response..."

The most interesting part of this latest response is the next to last paragraph:

"So, we disagree. They've made their case and I've made mine. But, this is a disagreement between brothers of close theological kin. My hope is that there is not a rift growing as some have concluded (which I talked about here, a link I think is worth reading in the current debate)."

Why must so many Christians assume that disagreements must necessarily result in "rifts" between brothers and sisters in Christ?


Arthur Sido said...

I can't even keep up with the back and forth!

I am afraid that we assume that because the reality has often proven it to be the case. If you and I don't agree (i.e. you don't come to my way of thinking), we must part ways. Perhaps it is a symptom of the combatitive nature of so many blogs with a winner takes all mindset.