I found this critique on emerging church over at Commentary8. You may want to give the article a read as it is very interresting.
If we look closely at generational history we might find that there is actually nothing new at all with this desire to seek a closer walk with Christ, a closer relationship with the Lord and with the brethren, but every 30 to 50 years or so, a new generation of believers wants to step beyond the modernistic view to a post modernistic view, the old to the new, a new paradigm or model, if you will, but in reality, nothing here is new at all. Most of our dissatisfaction with our walk in the Lord is just that, a problem with our relationship to and with our Lord and Savior rather than our relationship with the Institutional Church, wherever that may be.
....This leads me to the point that I really wanted to make. In the young people that I have spoken with from various backgrounds and various fellowships, there is a keen lack of discernment for the dangers that we all face as believers, from the many false teaching which are being introduced with greater frequency to this movement and to the IC, to the New Age concepts of Contemplative Spirituality and Contemplative Prayer that I find being infused, to literal occult experiences being accepted and practiced without testing the spirits.
While the entire article is rather well written, it appears that the author is looking more at the externals of the emerging church movement(?). Does he engage emerging theology? His concern seems to be with what he sees as “New Age concepts blending with today's contemporary church.” This is seen in the contemplative approach to spirituality in the emerging Church according to the author. It is the old question of syncretism (being so culturally relevant that you lose your message) once again.
The author’s concerns are valid yet I must ask myself, “What is his theological viewpoint?” While he champions being biblically grounded, what does that mean? Is he referring to being grounded in biblical theology, classic Christianity or traditional doctrine? The term is meaningless to me as there is no longer a single understanding of term among those who confess Christ.
I would agree that syncretism is a danger when we seek to embody our faith within any cultural setting. (see my post "Emerging Church, Evangelicalism Redux") I also take his warning about the Jesus Movement, which he was apart of, very seriously. The cyclical nature of institutional formation is always in the forefront of my mind. Yet I do not believe that every emergent church is doomed to fall into it, even though many will.
In every "christian revolution" there will always be pockets that are not co-opted and will preserve the spirit and ideals of its genesis. Does this happen by accident? I think not. I would propose that groups who continue their revolution are those who have thoroughly questioned and engaged their theological and doctrinal assumptions. As Martin Luther once said, "Others before me have contested practice. But to contest doctrine, that is to grab the goose by the neck!"