New Evangelistic Evangelicals

I previously mentioned Scot McKnight and Dan Kimball’s new network here.

The latest from Scot’s blog concerning their new network of evangelistic evangelicals who no longer want to be considered emerging…

“missional-evangelistic evangelicals who want to reach and speak and write for a postmodern generation as well as to the evangelical church at large”

It seems we already have a term for that.

…um, let me think…oh, I know…



15 thoughts on “New Evangelistic Evangelicals

  1. First thought upon reading this?

    “Are you kidding me?????”

    Second thought.

    “Seriously, how hard are they trying to hold on to something that ‘jumped the shark’ (a Happy Days reference for those of you old enough to remember when Fonzi jumped over a shark tank on his motorcycle and from that point on the ratings went down, down, down.)

    Third thought.

    “Kinda sad”

    Fourth thought (because my coffee is finally kicking in)

    “Solomon was right. There is nothing new under the sun and all is VANITY.”

  2. I get the motive. There really is a distinction between Kimball and McKnight on one side and Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt on the other.

    In a way, this reflects more emerging Evangelicals who remain Evangelical.

    But, it’s just term overload. It requires 5 paragraphs to explain what it means, and those paragraphs have to include other terms that likewise require explanation.

    Plus, it’s not catchy. Can you hear anyone saying, “Hey Everybody! Anyone want to go and start a new New Evangelistic Evangelical church with me?!”

    Add to the fact, that if I’m not mistaken, Evangelicalism was called neo-Evangelicalism when it started up in the late 40s, making this the new ne0-Evangelicalism.

    Now I sad about our generation’s ability to use the English language.

    “A new New Neo-Evangelicalism for a post post-modern generation!”

    Are we really that lacking for fresh words?

  3. First, let me say that I think that Scot and Dan are really great guys.

    Scot said today that people are jumping the gun in speculating about their network. However, since they made the news public, there is bound to be speculation. For the most part, what I have read is mostly based on things that either Scot or Dan have actually said concerning the network with little conjecture.

    I agree that there is a distinction between Scot and Dan and Emergent. I am pleased that they are emphasizing the respect and relationships that exist.

    Yet from their own mouths, one of their repeated claims about their network is that they do NOT want to be considered emerging.

    So if you have emerging evangelicals who say they are not emerging (or really missional), then what do you have? Evangelicals.

    And we need another evangelical network because?

    Based on their statements, it seems they want to contextualize evangelicalism for the postmodern church culture. I believe that Dan and Scot are both well suited for that endeavor, and it would appear that there are many churches eager to align with them.

  4. aweee…how sweet, they want to be special too….*tongue in cheek* so let me see if I have this straight, they want to be emerging evangelicals without being called emerging? sounds goofy to me. I guess I’ll withold final judgment until the network is final but I think all this “we’re not emerging” crap is sad … but whatever.

  5. A little bit of simple advice ( hopefully wisdom) – don’t listen to anybody in the religious world until they are at least 50 years of age (Jesus apart!).Don’t jump onto their movements or ditch your belief system for their’new thing’.There is nothing new under the sun – this is a wise and true saying.Here speaks one over 50 who has jumped onto many young men led movements in my early days only to later fall off or be pushed off!


  6. I can appreciate the inclination to avoid being pigeon-holed into a negatively defined box. No one wants to be misunderstood or made into that proverbial straw man that is used as fuel for any naysayers brandishing witch-hunt torches…

    The purpose is still the same whether or not the use of a new description is championed or the abandonment of an old one is called for. The essence of the broader scope ’emergence’ is not lost if one wishes to state they are not ’emerging’ or ‘Emergent’ or even re-emerging. Maybe it is a knee-jerk reaction, but I think the core commonality of what has been termed emerging will not be changing anytime soon.

    Emerging was never intended to be a noun anyway. I cannot truly be a neo-Christian no matter who trendy I wish to label myself. I am neither liberal nor conservative, evangelical nor charismatic. I do not get too bent-out-of-shape by those that want to categorize me for the sake of clarity or better understanding.

    In the long run, ‘Christian’ still works whether or not the adjectives are needed to help with identifying camp affiliation. But I do not claim allegiance to any one faith tradition or denomination. As such I use the term ’emerging’ to describe my own journey ‘out of’ something I wanted to leave behind. But it is always what I believe to be negative stuff that is the thing abandoned, not the focus of my faith. Or so I understand my own process to date…

  7. :) Katherine

    There is plenty of room at the white, male, institutional, evangelical table for everyone. ;)

    Scot and Dan’s network is actually more of a move towards the foundational, creedal expression of evangelicalism.
    And Scot is over 50. :)

    I understand their explanations about starting this network. I’m sure that it will be great for them and for the people who align with them. They are both sincere, Godly men.

    The only thing that I really meant with my post was that when you strip away all of the disclaimers about what they aren’t, you are left with the simple fact that they are evangelical, period. Which is fine.

  8. grace:

    My comments simply thinking out loud. I did not intend to defend nor denounce their desire to create a ‘new’ network.

    Being evangelical is a step backward then as you perceive it? Have they ‘de-emerged’ by going back in a sense to an evangelical Protestant expression? Is the creating of a new network simply an effort in futility? Something new which people of like mindedness can identify with but does not represent what ’emergence’ intended?

  9. joseph,
    My response was just thinking out loud too, and I can see that it wasn’t actually a response to your comments, but just further random thoughts in general. Sorry about that. :)

    My overall feelings about the whole thing are, “Good for them!” My observances are those of an outsider in that nothing about it really resonates with me. Different strokes, and all that.

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