Saturday, May 10, 2008

Confirming My Prejudice

There are times when I thank Tony Jones for what he says and then there are times when he says things that cause me to think he may have worn a bicycle helmet to school.
When asked the difference between "emerging" and "emergent", Jones replied that such distinctions are essentially the product of "hyper-defining line drawers."
Like who Tony? The folks at Websters and the Oxford English Dictionary? Should we just fall back into pointing, grunting and stomping you Weezer wannabe?
He knows all too well that many, including those who, by his own admission, were inside the "Emerging Church movement" from the beginning (which means before he arrived) have made the distinction between "emerging" and "emergent" from the day "Emergent Village" was formed, which was roughly 7 years ago!
"Emerging" church types are concerned about contextualizing the Gospel for all post-moderns as well as large segements of Gen-X and Gen-Y (i.e., John Burke, Dan Kimball, Mark Driscoll, Brad Cecil, etc.) while "Emergents" are those who want to redefine the Gospel while utilizing the tools of evangelicalism (i.e., distributors, publishers, etc.). These folks include Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Jay Bakker and..well...Tony himself.
To assert that there are no differences between these groups is naive at best and just plain dishonest at worst.
Why does Tony object to such "hyper-defining line drawing"? Is it because it could cost him and his pals a good chunk of the Christian market they often mock but lust after at the same time? You be the judge.