A New Kind of Christianity: from a Pentecostal reader

A reader from New Zealand writes:

I just wanted to say a big thanks for A Generous Orthodoxy, Everything Must Change, and A New Kind of Christianity (the three books you have written which I own and have read). Thanks for being brave enough and passionate enough to stand in the face of criticism, cynicism, and all sorts of opposition and writing and teaching and inviting into conversation as you do. I appreciate it immensely and always find your work full of grace, life and hope. I don’t agree with everything you write about but I certainly don’t disagree with everything you write.
Without a shadow of a doubt the issues you raise are indeed issues that need serious conversation. Having grown up in a Pentecostal environment (which to me is praxis heavy but theologically light) many of these issues have never been discussed. As the answer to these questions ground praxis though the conversations are essential although not easy at times, welcome, or appreciated. Thanks for getting the conversation started for us though.
If you have time to answer one question I’d appreciate it. Living in NZ I am not terribly familiar with Reformed churches. It seems to me though that the two sides of most arguments going on (involving the ’emergent’ church) in the ‘blogosphere’ are between the Reformed thinkers on one side and Emergent thinkers on the other. Most everyone else seems to kind of sit in the middle. Is this simplified conclusion accurate? Not really the case at all? Only true in some cases?

Great question. Here in the US, the term Reformed covers a wide span of understandings – from people who appreciate Karl Barth to people who can’t stand him, from people who believe wholeheartedly in five-point double-predestinarian Calvinism to people who don’t but who emphasize the Lordship of Christ over all areas of life, from the “Truly Reformed” who hold strictly to traditional formulations to the always-reforming who see the need to question those formulations at times. To complicate matters, there are also Reformed Pentecostals, so categories overlap. Many on the conservative end of the Reformed spectrum tend to critical of the work my friends and I are involved in, as they often are of Pentecostalism. More moderate and progressive Reformed folk are active and engaged conversation partners.
I’m encouraged to see dialogue among folks in the emergent conversation and Pentecostals … which Tony Jones has been blogging about for several days, most recently here. Worth checking out! Also worth checking out – Sam Lee’s blog.