Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What Is the Emerging Church Movement? Part 1

First, we need to make a distinction that will serve to clear away some of the confusion. I’ve found it very helpful to make a distinction between “Emergent” and “Emerging.” Emergent is an organization (, with Tony Jones now serving as the first national coordinator in the U.S. Emerging is much broader. All that is Emergent is Emerging, but not all that is Emerging is necessarily Emergent. In other words, there are those that want to retain the Emerging label—or who have Emerging characteristics—without necessarily being identified with or even supportive of Emergent as an organization. As Scot McKnight writes, “A distinguishing feature is that Emergent tends to be the more philosophically-oriented and theologically innovative branch of the EM [Emerging Movement], while many that are Emerging are not willing to dance with [the] theological innovations of Emergent.”