I'm not an Emergent Christian.
Part of my reason for being non-Emergent is social. I'm simply not cool, hip, or fly. I don't even try to be. I do not dye my hair different colors. (I'm a guy. I have never dyed my hair. The frost on top is 100% natural.) I don't hang out in coffee shops or pubs, because I don't care for the taste of coffee or alcohol. I don't know half the names of the famous people I see on the TV or movie screens. Furthermore, I get bored of engaging in a "conversation" (the Emergent word for "argument") with someone who either does not believe in the existence of truth or does not believe it can be known. What's the point? Why do people who do not even believe in the existence of truth argue? Are they trying to convince me of their "truth" that truth does not exist? It's even more annoying when they use the Bible that they don't believe is trustworthy. Talk about being "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" (as Shakespeare would say).
However, I do have a few things in common with Emergents.
1. I am not interested in being enslaved to legalism. I was forced out of a legalistic church about 15 years ago, and I have no interest in returning to such a system.
2. I am interested in social issues like poverty, racism, and human trafficking.
3. I agree with the need to be involved in a community (church).
4. I appreciate the emphasis on living like Jesus.
While I have a few things in common with Emergents, I do not fit in with their movement. This is why:
1. I believe that truth exists and can be known...not exhaustively, but adequately.
2. I believe that God has revealed his message to us in the Scriptures in a manner that can be comprehended.
3. I believe in the existence of right and wrong.
4. I believe in biblical inerrancy.
5. While I join with Emergents in confronting problems like poverty and racism, I will not ignore the sinfulness of homosexuality and unnecessary abortions. It's cool for Emergents to confront social problems from a liberal perspective, but they tent to shy away from doing the same from a conservative perspective.
6. I believe in the reality of heaven and hell. I don't believe they should be ignored or dismissed.
7. I don't believe the point of the Christian's journey is the journey itself. The point is the destination: the new heavens and new earth in the presence of God.
8. I believe that sound doctrine leads to sound faith, sound thinking, and sound living.
9. I believe in following Jesus as the only way to get to the Father.
10. I believe that the Christian's journey has a beginning point: a faith in Christ that prompts one to follow him in repentance, baptism, and a life committed to honoring him.
11. I believe that the death and resurrection of Christ is the heart of the gospel, rather than his ethical teachings (as important as they are). Since I fail in living up to his ethical teachings, I need the hope of forgiveness, grace, and new life empowered by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Being a "red letter Christian" is inadequate for imperfect people like me.
As a disclaimer, I know that some Emergents will agree with me on some of my points.
For a good review of the Emergent Movement, please check out Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. It is available in bookstores and at amazon.com.