Advertisement

A Fear of Whales

A Fear of Whales

The Emergent Emerging Church

I’m just going to come right out and say it. Mark Driscoll can be pedantic at times.
But not nearly so much as his followers.

This has never been so obvious as with the distinction between “Emerging” and “Emergent.”  Driscoll has drawn a massive cultural distinction about a group that dislikes categorization between a difference of three letters and based apparently upon his say so.

The Emerging Church, say Driscoll’s followers, is the community of people that is asking about how to make the Gospel relevant to the next generation … while attempting to communicate the message of Christ in biblically faithful and culturally meaningful ways.

The Emergent Church, on the other hand, is a specific group of well-defined people who are part of the Emergent Village. They are hard to pin down doctrinally. Suffice to say, they are probably all a bunch of post-modern heretics. “So,” say the proud Driscollites, “I might be emerging but I am certainly not emergent.

Well wait a sec… Who says?

You know I’ve got a book here written by Dan Kimball, a part of the Emergent Village, published by Zondervan’s label “Emergent YS” and called The Emerging Church wherein Kimball identifies himself as emergent and makes no distinction. So if Kimball says there’s no difference, and he’s the expert who (quite lieraily) “wrote the book” on the Emerging Church, Where did Driscoll get the idea there is such a clear difference?

Is he just being very picky about the dictionary’s definition of the words?

e·merg·ing
–adjective
See: emergent

e·mer·gent
–adjective
1. coming into view or notice; issuing.

Apparently Mr. Webster (7th Collegiate Edition) is just as confused as I am.

The truth of the matter is the fact that nobody wants to admit. There is no difference.

Worse than that, there’s no way to draw a difference. Right now, the culture of the world is just beginning to undergo some massive and unprecedented changes the likes of which have not been seen since the Enlightenment.

The church is responding to them with some equally important changes the likes of which have not been seen since the Reformation.

In the middle of the fray are a lot of big ideas, some of which are great, some of which are messy.

We don’t have any good way to sort the heretics from the heroes.

Emergent, Emerging, Postmodern, Post-Postmodern, Post-Evangelical, Relevant, Reconstructionist, Radical… They are all words for the same thing.

They describe the group of Christians that is trying to get a hold of this THING in the culture, whatever it is, and glorify God with it.

Why so many words?

Because everytime a new Christian author wants to talk about how the church needs to address the pressing needs of the next generation, they feel the need to clarify that they’re not one of those other [insert your favorite term here] heathens over there.

No, no, over here we’re [insert your other favorite term here]

Stop making up words.

It’s confusing people. The community you are describing is already confused enough by the shifting definitions. Just jump in the chaos with the rest of us and prepare to be in a league with radical thinkers.

Or else stay on the sidelines with the traditionalists and prepare to be left behind.
emergent pronunciation

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment



Previous Posts

Voy A Mexico
Today I am leaving for Monterrey, Mexico. People keep asking me if it’s a mission trip or a vacation. I like that they have to ask. It’s mostly a vacation. I have a friend down there, and I live nearby, and I like tacos. But the more I think about why people keep asking me if it’s missio

posted 9:59:45am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Theologically Correct
Lord I lift your name on High Lord I long to sing your praises I'm so glad you're in my life I’m so glad you came to save us You came from heaven to earth to show the way from the earth to the cross my debt to pay from the cross to the grave from the grave to Peter, and then to the 11, an

posted 12:17:00am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Majority Of Scholars
There is a phrase I have been hearing a lot, which I have come to detest. “The majority of scholars agree that…” It is raised in bar rooms and classrooms, it comes up in discussions about every subject, at seemingly every level. It is a useless thing to say. I understand why a person would be

posted 10:55:15pm Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About “Troublesome Lesbians”
There is an article Here (I hesitate to link it lest I help propagate the popularity of the article) it is titled “When Two Lesbians Walk Into a Church Seeking Trouble” and features the story of a wonderfully loving and accepting church and how their Christian nonjudgementalism softened the hear

posted 12:19:45pm Mar. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Ghosts
Last year at this time I was sitting in Varsity Donuts trying to make sense of living in Rural Kansas while not actively working for InterVarsity (My term ended February 2013) Today I’m back in the same Donut shop to visit, a Seminarian, still making sense of my experiences here, many of which I w

posted 8:23:00pm Mar. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.