Emergent Church Overview – Subdividing the EC Movement

Subdividing the EC movement (slightly)

As one might explore these criticisms by Emergents as well as responses to them by traditionalists, a fundamental question is: what then should be done?   How that question is answered, or better, what people are doing which provides a de facto answer to the question is very important.   My observation is that there are a variety of responses, but there is a sharp dividing line, based upon one’s view of the Word of God and the ability to properly interpret and apply the truth contained therein.  And that dividing line separates the EC into two broad camps: doctrine-friendly, and doctrine-unfriendly.

Certainly within these two camps there is great variation, and some observers have further subdivided the EC landscape.   For example, Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll sees four “lanes” of the EC highway:

  • Emerging Evangelicals — Updating worship and preaching styles as well as leadership structures to be relevant to post-moderns
  • House Church Evangelicals — Informal, incarnational , organic forms of meeting together
  • Emerging Reformers — Emphasis on missiology and spiritual gifts, aggressive church planting, fidelity to a Reformed theological perspective
  • Emergent Liberals — Can range from the fringes of orthodoxy to recasting or blatant denial of core Christian doctrines 

 Others have used different terminology:

  • Relevants – Updating ministry styles to reach post-moderns
  • Reconstructionists – Redefining how “church” is done; house church movement for example
  • Revisionists –- Compromising core doctrines, redefining the Gospel

 Much although not all of what we wish to address in this posting will of necessity deal with issues found within the Emergent Liberals or Revisionist camp.

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