One of the things about the Emergent Church movement that has always driven me crazy (even when I was attending the early gatherings) was the claim that Emergents are more "authentic" than the evangelical churches they left. I've been reading the dialogue over at Christianity Today online between CT Editor Colin Hansen and Emergent Village National Director Tony Jones and Tony often avoids answering any of Colin's tougher questions. How authentic is it to dance around direct questions?
Moreover, Brian McLaren writes "many of us don't know what to think of homosexuality" and proposed a moratorium on any determination about the issue until scholars and pastors had time to dialogue about it but then Brian turns around and begins baptizing openly gay people alongside Jay Baker in Arkansas.
Tony Jones, McLaren and others have said on the one hand that they have never denied penal substitutionary atonement but then they make fun of evangelicals for adhering to the doctrine.
D.A. Carson states that a "prominent member of the emergent movement" (most likely Rob Bell) wrote a 10+ page email to Carson challenging him in regard to his book "Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church." Carson responded with a 15 page email documenting everything he wrote in the book about this person and asked him (again, probably Bell) to point out where he was wrong. Probably Bell's terse response was "I guess we don't have anything to talk about." Well now, there's "authenticity" for you!
Everyone knows that Brian McLaren believes you can be openly gay and be a Christian. Everyone knows that Tony Jones doesn't believe in penal substitutionary atonement and Probably Bell knows that Carson quoted him correctly. When they admit it...then they can claim to be "authentic."