Another Tony Speaks

On April 3rd, in a post about a visit to River Valley Community Church in Aurora, I made a statement that divided the emerging church movement into two camps -- the evangelicals and the mainliners.

Others have sought to categorize this new movement differently. Ed Setzer of the Baptist Press divides the movement into the relevants, the reconsructionalists and the revisionists.

Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle divides into evangelicals and liberals.

And now Tony Jones speaks to the matter. He rejects any attempt to divide the emergent church into political or theological categories that separate the emergent church into little compartments. Here's what he says:

  • The problem with all of these critiques is that they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of Emergent Village. We are a group of friends—about 20 in 1997, and now in the thousands—who are committed to doing God's Kingdom work together, regardless of our theological, ideological, and political differences. Are we friends with Jim Wallis? Yes! And are there Bush-loving neocons among us? Yes! Emergent is a loose collection of folks who feel that true, robust conversation about issues that matter has been chilled out of modern Christian institutions (seminaries, mega-churches, denominations, and para-church groups, to name a few). We're trying to make a place to bring conversation back.

There it is again -- conversation, dialog, learning to appreciate the validity of another's opinion and be able to share the love of Jesus in the midst of it.

Now if we can just get the title "Emergent" to go away and simply call ourselves the Church.

But wait . . . I am not at all insinuating that the emergent church is something dangerous to the fabric of Christianity. Tony's very eloquent in his followup post about emergent and truth.

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