Andrew Jones updates us by saying here at Are We A Threat to the Gospel? (Restored) “This is getting a little unwieldy. Can we keep in mind that this is not a matter of baptist church VS emerging church but rather Mohler VS McLaren. And remember that Mohler does not speak for all Baptists, just as McLaren does not speak for all in the emerging church.”
Now, I hope we don’t import any “battles” here to Malaysia. I see Brian as a friend (long before he was a big deal) and a voice worth listening to and engaging from a worldwide point of view – kind of a in between scholar and lay person way. To be honest I never heard of Mohler until this year (opps!), I suppose I’m more familiar with Lutheran giants then Baptist giants. Or maybe I’ve just been hanging out with Lutheran and Baptist misfits 🙂 I have heard Don Carson in a Bible Exposition context in Malaysia, and from the response there is an obvious hunger for what he shared during that time. I’m also more aware of a growing interest and alignment with more “reformed”-“calvinist” theology in my personal contacts. More than one I’ve met probably might be called post-pentecostals or post-charismatics (for lack of better terminology). So, i read it as a kind of pendulum swing for some. I suppose I was swinging there as well but had a more Arminian-Methodist theology lecturer who was also frustrated with the “captivity of ecumenical and evangelical Asian theology to enlightenment and modern categories” and a wonderful Christian Spirituality lecturer that introduced “the best of Roman Catholic contemplative traditions”. And maybe in my subconscious hidden Lutheran mind somewhere, I’ve always been biased when it comes to Calvin and his decendants. But then again, I love to quote Calvin’s “The human mind is an Idol Factory”.
Of course, my deeper hope is that we in Malaysia (and Asia) will enourage more of our own to speak up and allow our voices to be heard and in the process mutually learn from the best that the east and west, north and south have to offer – we may be post-western in the words of prof. Lammen Sanneh but we are not anti-western. I know this sounds idealistic … but there’s a whole lot of realism that goes with that hope.
Whatever it’s worth, Thanks TallskinnyKiwi for another alternative voice … I was pretty fascinated also by how emerging southen baptist church leaders wrestle with this here. I find myself eavesdropping in the discussion but cautiously refraining from getting sucked into any “battles”. Need the energy to “construct.”