The Post-Modern Post-Emergent Post-Evangelical Post-Charismatic Post-Fundamentalist Post-Label

tatteredbluetag.jpg It’s gone so far now that we’re blogging about how we’re tired of talking about the topic we’re blogging about. Again. Oh, don’t worry — I’m no better. So here we go again, but this time it’s Scot McKnight posting on the latest bruhaha with some new info, or new perspective on old info. I bring this up not because we need to say it once again that there’s discussion about the continued use of the term “Emergent,” or for that matter, “emerging.”

What I found interesting about Scot’s piece was the history he outlined for the word “Fundamentalism” and the word “Evangelical.” Both words have undergone a change in meaning culminating in its abandonment by some who no longer identified with the revised meaning of the term. In this fashion, it makes perfect sense that the emerging church would undergo the same shift, and that missional will follow. Already in the missional conversation there are some moving away from the term as no longer helpful — despite a 50+-participant synchroblog on the meaning of missional, the word remains a bit slippery.

Emerge-ed? — Further Thoughts

emergentvillage_logo.jpg My little Emerge-ed? piece really seemed to strike a cord with some people, and maybe hit a nerve with others. As I’ve thought about this over the last little bit, I decided that an addendum might be in order.

Even Brian McLaren is clarifying statements about him having “moved past” Emergent, (Tony Jones goes defensive over different issues with the article, getting a response from Marcia Ford) but I did like what Brian said:

For what it’s worth, I have no interest in arguing who is and who isn’t emergent, emerging church, missional church, postmodern, new monastic, etc., etc., etc. It’s just not the way I think, and in fact, drawing branding lines to define an in-group or out-group makes me itchy. Besides, for some people, having emergent sympathies might be like working for the CIA – the people who are deepest in could be the last to admit it for lots of good reasons.


I believe I ordered the LARGE cappuccino You have to read that title with a Mike Meyers beat poet voice like in So I Married an Axe Murderer (a true classic, directed by Thomas Schlamme of West Wing fame). I don’t know if we’re all “emerge-ed” now — I doubt it — but it looks like we’re dropping the name. Some of this appears to be distancing from Emergent™ and some looks to be simply distancing from labels that are confusing and misleading to some. Often people get a certain idea of what the term “emerging church” means, and the idea has a lot read into it that shouldn’t be there. No doubt some of the reading-in is caused by the poisoning of the waters by some critics who essentially critique a caricature rather than an accurate portrait of the emerging church itself. In some cases, I gather the caricature becomes so pervasive that some distancing from the term itself needs to take place. I hate when this happens with the really good terms.

Random Acts of Linkage #38

car-on-map.jpg Where have I been this week? Well, with a major site relaunch (don’t miss the Seabeck video), I was short on browsing/blogging time, but nonetheless…

    Advent — Stuff from folks besides the Johannine Advent Bloggers:

  1. The Old Bill: prayer of Mary the refugee
  2. Rachelle Mee-Chapman: Nativity Tales for Children
  3. Father Jake: Advent Begins
  4. Ron Cole: Advent…creating quiet space…waiting
  5. Advent at Mars Hill
  6. Advent Waiting: “This is a space set aside for some Parents looking to jump with our young kids into the story of God’s justice coming near as we wait for Jesus’ birth.” (via)
  7. Don’t forget to stick with us daily as a group of us blog through Advent.
  8. Other — the regular hodgepodge of linkage:

The Rattling of Swords Grows Loud in My Ears

Bugs Bunny Slapping Bull Yesterday I sat back and didn’t comment — I was busy with other things, including some writing, but it seems to me that something needs to be said about this whole Mark Driscoll flap. And right off, this isn’t about Driscoll, or Pagitt, or Bell, or even Don Carson or the matchstick boys. It’s about criticism. And I hardly know where to begin… but challenges have been issued, and though most of them aren’t directed at me personally, I think I’ve got something to say (alright, I always have something to say, whether or not I should say it). There are times when criticism deserves a response, as do certain kinds of responses to criticism. I said yesterday that I probably had things to say that could get everyone upset with me… and while that’s not my intent, there are things that need saying. And I’m just dumb enough to be the one to say them.

NOOO-BODY expects The Spanish Inquisition!

Monty Python: The Spanish Inquisition I’m thinking today about criticism. Not in the fine sense of the word, like “literary criticism” or critique as in “peer review.” But then, today everyone’s thinking about criticism, I think. I have some stuff to say on the matter, but I haven’t finished counting to ten yet. I’m deliberately counting s…l…o…w…l…y. But when I’m done, I’ll probably open my trap and say something. I’ve already been quoted (nicely, thankfully) as commenting upon this whole critical debacle. I’m glad it was something good that I said. I’m omitting all the links from this post, saving them for a future one… but I’m still going to offer some preliminary to think over while I mull over some more prepared words. I find I’m disagreeing with both sides to some extent, so yes, I’m disagreeing with some of the people I’m supposed to agree with… which isn’t to say I’m exactly agreeing with the people they disagree with. If you know what I’m talking about, the commentary below will be apropos, and you don’t need the links. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, links will be forthcoming, and I’ll explain everything — but the preliminary commentary I offer here is important background. I think we all need to stop and consider the following.

Random Acts of Linkage #20

…and other trivia.

Thought for the day: There are two kinds of people: those who can count to ten, and those who stand in front of you in the supermarket checkout line.

July 28: on this day in history, Thomas Cromwell was executed by order of Henry VIII (1540), Sir Thomas Harriot introduced potatoes to Europe (1586), World War I began with Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (1914), Benito Mussolini resigned and FDR announced the end of coffee rationing in the USA (1943), a US Army B-25 bomber accidentally crashed into the Empire State Building (1945), Walt Disney released “Alice in Wonderland” (1951), Terry Fox was born (1958), and Keith Green died (1982). My random links won’t be quite as noteworthy as any of these… but as remarkable as your average potato, perhaps.