Emerging Church

“It’s a junk drawer category for all kinds of different people.”

Mark Driscoll (ht Stephen Shields)

I’m just sitting here in my pajamas thinking about this.


26 thoughts on “Emerging Church

  1. Hmmm…Without going to read the original, my first thought was, “Cool! That sounds EXACTLY like the people Jesus hung out with and came to save!”

  2. This statement was confusing to me as it sounds like he was slamming the emerging ‘drawer’ but clearly puts himself in this group in the comments that precede it. Was he just saying that it is a collection of people and ideas like a junk drawer is a collection of random things? Not that it is junk but just a bunch of different stuff in the same drawer?

    And grace, is there anyway that you can add the thingy on your page here where you can sign up to get comments as they are posted. Maybe you have it somewhere but I can’t seem to figure out how to get them.

  3. So true Jim!

    Not that I have ever understood Mark, but I think he is saying it is not useful as a category. He no longer identifies himself with emerging, just Jesus.

    In some ways I agree with him. It might not be useful as a collective noun. However, I believe it is still useful as a verb describing what is happening in the church.

    Under Meta in the sidebar, I have comment RSS. I don’t know how or if I can add email notification to comments. I couldn’t find an option to do so.

  4. “P.S. Everything Mark says sounds like a slam.”

    very true.

    I kind of like that actually – so thanks MD for the backhanded compliment.

  5. I read the article. MD is really a great communicator and gifted teacher. He truly is. I respect his difference of opinion and theological concerns about the emerging church movement. Truly I do.

    Critics are great people to have around. They help keep us in check. They will be the first ones to point out mistakes and flaws and weaknesses. In this way, critics can become a part of the sculpting process of our lives. (this metaphor totally stolen from Graham Cooke, btw!).

    I want to pay attention to what the voices of dissent have to say. I might learn something from them, no matter how brusquely they might put it, or how much I cringe at the way it is said.

    God bless MD. He really is a gift to the EC. Really. I’m not being snarky about that. He is the dissenting voice that makes EC’ers pay attention and get talking about stuff and exchanging ideas and thoughts. He forces the EC towards some healthy evaluation. I’m not suggesting that MD has the EC’s interest at heart, but really, he is not the only one who has grave concerns about the theological and spiritual progress this movement is making. And that’s ok.

  6. I completely disagree, I don’t think he’s done any “good” critique. And I don’t think he’s helped emerging or Emergent.

    there are other critics that I respect, not Mark.

  7. It is valuable to have a dissenting opinion or many dissenting opinions or different views. Like others I welcome that as well. For me, the issue is how does one express that dissent or difference. Just because someone can get others’ attention by the way in which they express ideas does not mean that is a way a follower of Jesus can most effectively speak or act. More and more I am convinced that kindness in our interactions is the way of Jesus. While I am most certainly not perfect in this regard, my conviction and the Holy Spirit’s work in my life leads me more down the path of generous, loving kindness in all my words and actions.

  8. Well, I think that sentence alone is a great description for what groups of Christ-followers should be. In fact, I’m seriously consdering using it as a by-line on my blog. It fits perfectly!

  9. Ah, just applying a bit of my prophetic discernment ;o)….

    Mark is saying that those who are not explicitly Reformed, are not systematized, and, ergo, are stygmatized in his thinking.

    “Stymatized”…reminds me of “stigmata”, which reminds me of something Paul said “Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”


  10. I don’t know why people feel he meant “junk drawer” in any disparaging terms… my junk drawer is where I keep all my coolest stuff. Besides, he clearly places himself in that drawer when he speaks of being one of the lanes of the “emerging highway”. His rant is against identifying primarily as emerging instead identifying primarily with Jesus.

  11. I don’t ask “is it prophetic”, “is it apostolic”, “is it emerging” …. I ask “is it Saul”? (1 Samuel 8:11-18)

    Right now in the body you have “prophetic Sauls”, “apostolic Sauls”, “emerging Sauls”, “mega Sauls”, “micro Sauls”, “community Sauls”, “house Sauls”…

    Our junk drawer is full of all kinds of things that we can’t throw away because we’re quite sure “it” will be useful someday. And often times “it” is. Problem is we have no idea what, or when….

    That’s exactly how most leaders see the body of Christ. Someday given the perfect set of circumstances maybe these people will be worth something, but for now lets just throw them all in a box and see what comes up… God will pull out each piece as it fits something He needs….

    A big prophetic ‘yuck’ on this comment.

    God’s people are precious stones each one to be perfectly set in a temple inhabited by a King, a beautiful bride anxiously waited on by an adoring Bridegroom. We are God’s field, God’s building, God’s army, God’s temple, God’s bride….

    We are not God’s junk drawer :(

  12. Sort of like “alternative” has no real meaning in the music world — it’s such as catch-all phrase that it no longer says anything.

    But that’s only an issue if we’re (A) trying to put people into little categorized boxes, or (B) trying to find/assert our identity through adopting the latest label.

    But maybe I should get out of my pajamas before attempting any dry wit. :)

  13. Great comments.

    I don’t really have anything to say about Mark. (at least not anything constructive)

    Like many of you, I don’t know if emerging as a label is helpful. The process of emerging is an important transition in the church, but I don’t believe it should be a defined category like a denomination.

    I also agree that there are many useful items to be found in a junk drawer. :)

    Just for the sake of disclosure, my pajama-blogging schedule is as follows…

    Early morning – pajamas, lots of coffee, blog reading and/or writing
    Mid morning – gym clothes
    Afternoon – street clothes
    Late evening – return to pajamas and blog reading

    (In other words, my entire life does not revolve around pajama blogging.)

  14. emerging is what it is ;)

    seriously though, it’s a HUGE OVERARCHING label that’s not supposed to be a denomination or a monolithic entity … i can’t imagine it will change and I’m not about to toss the term for it’s very useful

  15. Mark Driscoll’s manner which he ‘expresses’ his faith+practice definitely a postmodern response to the people he is attempting to reach. How he does it has elements of emergening or emergent flavor, but his theology is definitely Protestant Reformist orthodox. How he ‘does’ church is what he champions, not how his theology has been deconstructed.

    He is not about to emerge out of historical Protestant, conservative, orthodox belief or application. He is not shaking the foundations of theological convention. And he is controversial on how he expresses himself, no doubt about that…

    But he is not a spokesperson for anything emergent or emerging. No need to get in a tizz because he is boistrous or crude or rude. He fits in with all the conservative, Reformist, orthodox Protestant types. He just couches it in a postmodernish type expression. He does not respresent what I would consider theologically challenging of the status quo, so I do not pay him any attention. But others obviously get bent-out-of-shape with his antics. Is this justifiable?

  16. ok grace, you’ve inadvertently instigated something. go see for yourself to the bit of tweaking Heather, Erin (erinword.com) and I have done to our blog headers in honor of the junk drawer.

    We just might start a new movement…!

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