Thursday, April 13, 2006

three types of emergers

Ed Stetzer has published a piece where he analyzes emerging church conversation participants into three groups:

Relevants: I believe that some are taking the same Gospel in the historic form of church but seeking to make it understandable to emerging culture;

They are simply trying to explain the message of Christ in a way their generation can understand.

Reconstructionists: some are taking the same Gospel but questioning and reconstructing much of the form of church;

The reconstructionists think that the current form of church is frequently irrelevant and the structure is unhelpful. Yet, they typically hold to a more orthodox view of the Gospel and Scripture. Therefore, we see an increase in models of church that reject certain organizational models, embracing what are often called “incarnational” or “house” models.

Revisionists: some are questioning and revising the Gospel and the church.

Revisionists are questioning (and in some cases denying) issues like the nature of the substitutionary atonement, the reality of hell, the complementarian nature of gender, and the nature of the Gospel itself. This is not new -- some mainline theologians quietly abandoned these doctrines a generation ago.

I'm not sure at all that most Revisionist Emergers are denying the Gospel (as one might surmise from reading this). I think that many Revisionists are exploring what it means to work in Kingdom.

Nevertheless, I think this analysis is insightful and his story is worth reading. His categories somewhat overlap the three categories I had suggested some time ago, though I didn't explicitly address the theological component.

We don't want more dividers, but I think Stetzer's treatment is a pretty good categorization of what's actually happening on the ground in our conversation.

ht: David Wayne

1 comment:

Joe said...

I found this excellent and passed it on to a friend who is a filmmaker wanting to produce movies with a gospel message. It is important for him to know his audience according to the method he chooses.