I find it rather interesting that you fault the emerging church for being a boys club and then harp on about masculinity and testosterone and then rip on the first book about the emerging church by a women(sic) that featured the perspectives of women.
So are you saying that just because it's written by a woman it shouldn't be held to the same standards as other books? The fact that it was "written" (see my first post for what I thought about the format and content) by a woman is completely immaterial. Is it really the first EC book by a woman? Wouldn't Phyllis Tickle count? Diana Butler-Bass? Both interviewed in the book. What about Anne Lamott - revered by EC folk everywhere?
Just to summarize my main beefs with the book:
- Zero content from author - where is any summary or analysis?
- Questions totally random - at least ask a couple of the same questions of everybody so some kind of comparison can be made
- Stale content - at least two major interviews were from previously published material
- Self descriptions of interviewees far too twee - need substance of why they were chosen, what have they done to merit inclusion
- Cross-reference would be useful - how can I find all the places where a person is quoted?
- Clean up the IM transcriptions and the typos. It may be more pomo to leave them in, but it is supposed to be a book, so it's OK to clean that up.
I liked Rising from the Ashes and think it deserves a better treatment than reducing it to a two page interview with a guy you obviously don't like. I disagreed with a few of the perspectives in the book as well, but was able to appreciate the book for what it was nonetheless.
You obviously didn't read my review of the book as a whole in the aforementioned first post. The Tony Jones interview was merely a follow up on the most egregious content.
As for the women in the emerging church issue - I will be the first to admit that I have one more than my fair share of complaining about the lack of women's voices there. But I am still a part of this conversation and find much of value in it. I choose not to jump ship just because the EC isn't perfect, I choose instead to do what I can to help make things better.
First, let's make a distinction between the emerging church (lower case), Emergent (capitalized) and Emergent Village. The first is an amorphous, organic, loose affiliation of people doing new things with and within churches. The latter are related organizations formed with specific (well, they could be a lot MORE specific) goals in mind. It is to the latter that I address my objections - in large part because they've evidently hijacked the "conversation" and represent themselves as the "governing body" of the emerging church.
I'm not saying that the EC is for everyone, but that it isn't fair to those interested in the movement to just complain about it without doing their part to help out. There is still a lot that needs to happen for women to feel welcomed in the EC, but there are also many women in leadership within the movement as well who are out there making a difference already.
So why aren't some of these women on the EV board? I know many possible candidates and few of them are as generous as you in their assessment of the status quo. But being vocal just gets them labeled (I'll leave just what and how to your imagination), so they carry on anyway. One thing they don't do is apologize for the poor performance and behavior of the EV leadership.
And are you assuming I'm not helping out in some way? Is quietly acquiescing really helping out?
As to the "hard questions" and homosexuality issue, I don't think it is quite fair to assume that just because someone doesn't respond to a question posed by someone with an obvious agenda doesn't mean they haven't dealt with the issue. just about everyone I know in the EC has had to "deal" with the homosexuality issue. They don't all come to the same conclusions, but they have pondered the hard questions. For a leader to remain silent on a controversial issue allows for more people to truly have the opportunity to work through it themselves. Sure it avoids getting trapped by either side out to condemn whatever the leader chooses to say, but giving a non-answer to such people isn't a sign of weakness.
I'll give you a certain amount of that, but leadership IS about saying what you think. Does EV believe in and stand for the full inclusion of women and the gay community in the church leadership?
"We're not sure", is a crap answer that I believe exposes them as leadership frauds. It's still mostly about being afraid of pissing off the Evangelical hierarchy.