Kluck's chapters are usually written in the sort of highly conversational "story" type way that should be right up the average "emerging" Christian's alley, while DeYoung (Kluck's pastor) writes with a more studied, theological emphasis. Both contribute to a meaty critique of the major issues raised by the emergence of the emerging church. Among their criticisms are:
- Many in the emerging "conversation" seem to feel that dialogue is an end, not a means, thus they are content to engage in it for its own sake. In this way, they are like the Athenians on the Areopagus, "who spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas" or those the NT describes elsewhere as "ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth."
- Often the emergent cultivate ambiguity on issues about which God has spoken clearly, such as homosexuality and the authority of the Scriptures over a believer's life. Truth has become "truth" for far too many emergents. Truth can be more than propositional, but it is never less than propositional. Indeed, it cannot be.
- The emerging desire to draw a distinction between Jesus and Christianity, or even between Jesus and the apostle or between Jesus and the OT. It's a failure to realize that without the OT, there is no Jesus worth mentioning. Without the apostles, nothing is known about Jesus or his teaching. Without Jesus, there is no Christianity. While the emergents may not like every aspect of who Jesus really was or about the "movement" he founded, that's more a problem with them than with Jesus. There simply is no Jesus worth mentioning sans doctrinal formulations, propositional truth, rationality, and Truth. After all, Jesus got crucified for stating in propositional, hard categories some truths the Jewish religious leaders disliked. Jesus didn't start conversations for the sake of conversations, but to help people find Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, apart from belief in Whom there is no salvation.
- The emergents' tendency to focus on the way something is said rather than the truth of what is said. That is, when you talk to emerging Christians, often they will say "Well, so and so is just so nasty in how he says things" as if 1) that constitutes a refutation of what was said; and 2) harsh criticism doesn't count.