I have a question and I’d like to precipitate some discussion in comments:
“The emergent church is part of the Emerging Church Movement but does not embrace the dominant theology of the movement” (emphasis mine).
In contrast, in the lively discussion section of the ever evolving emerging church definition on wikipedia, one of the participants commented:
“While I agree that there is a portion of the emerging church does not idenify with emergentvillage and those they label as “Emergent”, the size and distinction of that group is small enough that it does not warrant its own article. Their definition and distinction of the terms emergent and emerging are not shared with many others and should not dominate their use in this article” [sic] (emphasis mine).
My experience has been that most of those that embrace the emerging church but don’t associate as much with emergent village make that choice because they are not theological revisionists (to use Ed Stetzer‘s term without endorsing everything he said in his recent article – which I commented on here). (And – to be fair and just to make matters even more complicated – not all those who do associate themselves with emergent village would consider themselves revisionists, as Tony Jones recently pointed out).
But what I don’t have a good handle on is the size of this group. Now, the majority doesn’t rule on this question, but of the two quotes above, I don’t feel that I know enough of the space to definitively state who’s more correct – and I’ve been swimming around in the ec space for about as long as anyone.
So here’s my question: are non-revisionist emerging church conversation participants so rare and so far away from the emerging church mainstream, that they just confuse people by claiming to be emerging church at all?
In other words, is the distinction of “emerging church” and “emergent” being made by so few of those in the emerging church conversation that those who maintain the distinction just need to face up to the fact that the dictionary definition has already been written by means of prevailing use and just give up on making a distinction?
(fwiw, I heartily embrace emerging church reconstructionism, but my own journey into emerging church revisionism has been far more nuanced, which I detail here.)