Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Emergent Church (part 3) Emerging vs. Emergent distinction

Sorry about my mixing of terms, I'm still figuring this out myself. In this clip Mark Driscoll gives helpful explanation of the terms. An "Emergent Church" (as represented by the previous clips with Brian McLaren) is not the same as an "Emerging Church" (represented by Mark Driscoll here, though he subdivides this group three ways).

In future posts I will focus first on the "Emergent"McLaren strain, then separately focus on the "Emerging" strain.

Sorry for interchanging terms. They do not mean the same thing.


Mark Davis said...

Now that you point out the distinction, and that the "emerging" and "emergent" camps are separate, it makes more sense now. I did some research, and found a Wikipedia entry on the differences:

Not sure how accurate this entry is, but it looks pretty close. I have to say, I identify heavily with the fourth type, the new Reformed type, of the emerging church movement. The other three types seem to contain various problems of heresy, rebellion, and imbalance.

AJF said...

I think there is definitely a place for the so-called "reformissional" church as Driscoll describes and writes elsewhere about. It's not my particular preference, but I see it as having a place.

I'll get to analyzing these divisions eventually.

malcolm said...

what an articulate guy. Please enlighten us on who he is and who he is affiliated with

AJF said...


Mark Driscoll is a pastor in Seattle who is reformed and leading a church (Mars Hill) that is basically emerging, as he describes it. He's a pretty unique guy. He has said some pretty bold things and gotten in to some trouble for saying them. Here's a great quote from Driscoll-

There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a pride fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up. I fear some are becoming more cultural than Christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the Bible, we will have less and less Christians, and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of Christianity.

— Mark Driscoll, Relevant Magazine

Frontier Forest said...

A very powerful distinction! Mark Driscoll’s simple explanations really helps clear up some of the fog! So the way I understand Driscoll explanation of “emerging” is this: Emerging or change can be good, but only if the Supremacy of Christ, His means and His message is not altered to fit the culture. With this definition and understanding in place it would certainly fit in with Paul’s exhortation in I Corinthians 9:22-23.
“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I many become a fellow-partaker of it.”

AJF said...

Here's another classic Driscoll quote:

You have been told that God is a loving, gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, wonderful, and good sky fairy who runs a day care in the sky and has a bucket of suckers for everyone because we're all good people. That is a lie... God looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,' and we say that is deserved, right and just, and then God says 'Because of Jesus I will love you and forgive you.' This is a miracle.

Dustin Elliott said...

Hey pastor, I'm a big fan of Driscoll's. He gave an excellent lecture at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary you may or may not have heard on the emergent church, and what his reformed, emerging 'camp' is all about.

AJF said...

Thanks Dustin, I'll check it out. Obviously Driscoll shouldn't be lumped in with the "Emergent" crowd. His church looks like the popular mega-church model to me, but hey, I like what he says when he is teaching.