DA Carson, Emergent, Conservative, Liberal, NASCAR?

Today in my old age, I find myself thinking about the differences in my thinking as the years have gone by. While I was at the Desperation Conference, I was flipping through my lecture journal and saw that 2 years ago that day, I was listening to DA Carson teach out of John 3 up at Camp of the Woods, Speculator, NY. I was eager to hear him at the time, although I was a little bothered on how critical he was towards the emerging church discussion. Back in those days, his book, Becoming Conversant had been released but I was hoping that things were going to turn out differently. He is obviously extremely intelligent, very articulate, admired by many and desire to be in the center of God’s will. But today, I feel differently about him.

My frustration with my fellow evangelicals (and I consider myself to be fairly conservative) is that every time we deem an idea/person to be “liberal” or “unbiblical” or “dangerous” or “slippery” we dismiss, condemn and break fellowship.

I’m not sure what the right word here is. ‘Hurt’ is too dramatic of a word, and ‘bothered’ and ‘disappointed’ sound too snobby and condescending towards Dr. Carson. How about – It sucks that Dr. Carson is a critic of the emergent conversation instead of a big brother. Why not be a Dallas Willard or a Scot McKnight instead of being another Jay Stowell?

Some have labeled the emergent conversation as the new liberalism (or “liberalism repackaged” which is so off base if one understands the idea of postmodernism). But here’s the thing, if all the conservatives leave the table, then those remaining default to being the lone voices and eventually, they’ll sound the same. I’m looking around my life wondering who am I a DA Carson to? I am not Pentecostal or Reformed or Baptist and although I have significant differences with them, may I always treat them like a loving brother in Christ should. My closest friend loves the Boston Red Sox. If I can accept him and love him, why do I care that you are a Calvinist? Like my Red Sox friend, you simply are susceptible to bad ideas. You probably like NASCAR too. Anyway, and I write this with seriousness, may I be held accountable to that aspiration so that I may be another humble servant working arm in arm for the cause of the Kingdom.

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