In case you missed it, Dan Kimball wrote a post at Out of Ur, and like many others, I responded. Then Dan responded to my response. Other great points in this discussion are made by Julie Clawson, David Fitch, and Erika Haub, including front-line reports from missional churches. (I found myself defending missional theory.) Once you read his followup comments, you realize that Dan’s original post was edited in a way that shifted its emphasis somewhat. I said right off that he had a point, and with the updates in mind one begins to to understand better — he isn’t as polarized on this issue as the original post makes him sound, and his questions are genuine. In fact, Dan is involved in starting a new missional network. Even so, Dan’s questions raised some further issues and highlighted some differences of opinion which nevertheless remain.
Perhaps I’ve said my share already as I’ve seen the comments that others have been making about the shift — for some — away from using emerging/emergent terminology. Having had a couple of my posts picked up and linked around, I thought I’d be done, but it turns out I’m not — even if it turns out I’m saying more than my fair share. I’ve been pondering the bigger picture of it though, and late last week something clicked as I began to see the whole matter from a different angle, and I’ve decided there’s an alternate interpretation to be applied. This post, I think, is my most important observation of the discussion, and one which I hope time will prove to be accurate. And as I’ve said before, language is important to me, even if others tire of the talk of words. Eventually I do as well though, so hopefully this week will wrap up all that I feel I need to say about this battle of words. And anyway, I’ll point out that it’s not about words anyway, nor is it about people de-friend-ing one another.