Emerging, Emergent, Evangelical, etc…

I am totally stealing these awesome pictures from Michael Patton and giving him FULL credit…
This is cool!:
Anyone who has read my blog knows that I read Parchment and Pen theology blog a lot, in fact, my blog would be significantly different (maybe even non-existent) without his blog (and influence of such!) So thanks Michael!

Today I am examining some cool drawings/graphs from post ” Will the Real Emerger Please Stand Up?

The post is real long and has a lot really good detail and insight. I highly recommend you go to his sight read it and even download the PDF as a resources for future teaching/preaching and or reflecting.

These graphs are only a very small portion of the entire post:

Here is the idea! This is the template. To differentiate between Emerging, Emergent, Evangelical, and Fundamental – Michael charted dotes that represent how each group sees theological issues. It does not have to do with where they land theologically. It has more to do with how much focus each group places on certain issues.


For example, the perspective or angle of a fundamentalist is ” “If it is in the Bible, it is absolutely essential, and we are certain that we are right!”
Very dry cut, black-and-white, and clear.
They spend their time on essential issues, yes…but they also make EVERYTHING (in the Bible) an essential.

And here, we see that Evangelicals have a place for everything. This is more balanced. We spend a lot of time deciding what is essential what is not essential. What is important and fun to talk about but is not essential, etc.

We see here, emerging, begins to drift away completely from the center.

And here you can even begin to see a difference between Emerging and Emergent camps!

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Top ten reasons why the emerger didn’t cross the road?

This was a post by~ Michael Patton ~ on his blog before it was hacked. This post is no longer found on his blog but it is still some funny stuff!

The Kruse Kronicle wrote a brilliantly funny post about why the emerging chicken did cross the road, so I thought that I would write why the emerger did not cross the road.

10. Because he did not want to be labeled.

9. Because he was not absolutely certain that he could cross since in order to get to the other side, you would have to go half way, and in order to go half way, you would have to go half way to the half way, and in order to go half way to the half way, you would have to go half way, ad infinitum.

8. Because it was not a labyrinth shaped road.

7. Because only arrogant people cross roads.

6. The liquor store was on his side. ( 🙂 Come on, lighten up!)

5. Because they don’t ordain women or homosexuals to street preaching on the other side.

4. Because everyone crosses the road, it must be wrong.

3. Because to cross the road you have to go West.

2. Because it was a one-way street.

1. Because he did not want to be accused of J-Mac-ing.

Baptist/Calvinistic/Evangelistic?

one of my friends had this label on Facebook for his “religious beliefs”:

Baptist/ Calvinistic /Evangelistic.

At first I just laughed and smiled. It is interesting that he choose three categories to classify his beliefs. But then the more I thought about it the more I admired his classification and his beliefs. In fact, I think that Baptist/Calvinistic/Evangelistic fits me quite well.
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I recently read another Michael Patton article called “Evangelical for a Reason.”In this article Michael tells us why he is Evangelical. He discusses the flaws with Evangelicalism but then he also suggests that Evangelicalism is probably the best answer,

“I am an evangelical. I am not an ignorant evangelical. I am a learning evangelical. But over the last ten years, as I have studied Scripture, history, the enlightenment, and the early church, as I have traveled to other countries, engaged in gracious reflective dialogue with Evolutionists, Arminians, Egalitarians, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Emergers, mystics, new-agers, the New Atheists, and those who know no labels, I have become more of a Reformed Evangelical than ever. True, I would not die for every aspect of my theology like I once would. True, I don’t think “the other side” is as ignorant as I once did. But I am more convinced based upon my studies than I ever was.”

I suggest reading some of his posts and watching some of the free theology classes on his website, there is a lot of great stuff there!

Personally I am still learning so much about these things and can’t make such a confident claim as Michael does. I am not quick to jump on the latest and newest theology bus or trend. I like to do research before putting belief in anything.

As far as the emergent church, I also agree with Michael: I honestly think the heart of the majority of the emergent is right. They are after souls for Christ. They want to engage culture and display Christ to people in this culture. They want to be relevant. And in some ways this is great. But we have to be careful and draw a line somewhere. I personally am agianst “flexible theology and doctrines” the you hear about in Velvet Elvis.

And also we need to be careful when engaging the culture. We cannot let ourselves be so engaged that we are invisible, of the world, and no different than the useless Hellenistic Jews. (No offense to any Jews who are still celebrating Alexander the Great out there…)

In general, I still have lots to learn…I am also trying not to classify all of my beliefs. The most important things I am learning right now is deciding what is essential to my faith and what is not. I still have a lot to learn. I agree whole-heatedly that we need to have critical minds when studying these things.

Core Training 3 – Passions, Holy Discontent

At the Core Training (by Youth Specialties), we learned about Bite Back, which is an operation put together by Compassion International. I posted about this recently.

Today’s post, I wanted to share a few other topics that we learned about at Core. The reason I bring up BITE BACK Campaign again, is because it is built on some great truths.

Today’s youth, Gen Y, are very passionate. They are not too concerned with what older generations have said about “the way it is supposed to be” or “how it always has been, always will be.” It is a generation ready for change. And they want to bring this change.

In the past (for about 100 years or so), Christian camps have divided on theology. Conservative theology v. liberal theology. Conservative theology was founded around saving lost souls. While liberal theology was based on “helping people, showing God’s love.”

The beauty of Gen Y, is that they are not concerned with in-church fighting/debating. they see that both “saving souls” and “showing God’s love to everyone worldwide” as both being equally important. For the most part, Gen Y, does not take a side or fight about it. These young, Christians want it all. They want both. They are passionate enough to take it on and do the work too! There are countless stories across the country of young Christians taking on large -scale projects in to fight for their “holy discontents.”

They stand up for the things that really get them frustrated, fired up, and ready to take action for CHANGE. They feel discontentment about certain issues. And this discontentment is a holy one, because it is frustration and love for teenagers who are worlds away, in unfortunate situations. Bite Back is just one campaign where we are looking not only to save souls, but help defeat Malaria.

We met a young girl who puts on “fashion shows” to fight cancer. All of the models were cancer patients. 🙂 Her passion was administrating this event. Her heart was for the cancer patients. her love was Jesus Christ.

My youth group is working a few strategies to fight Malaria.
First we are going to put on a worship event. At this event, there will be a cover donation. We will explain the Bite Back campaign. We will rock out for God in worship, it’s our passion. The attendees will donate for the Bite Back campaign.

Second we are going to run a fund raiser in the school system. Yes, even people in the secular school will be on board to give money to fight these social issues. And by offering the community an opportunity to fight for this we will have a chance to seek local relationships and see people come to Christ!

Anyways the idea is that our generation is ready for CHANGE. We have Passions and talents. We want to use them not only to save souls (which is of the utmost importance) but also to help the change the world, fighting our holy discontents, and social issues that are not fair.

Where are you in the theological spectrum?

Find out at :
http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2008/02/28/from-fundamentalism-to-liberal-spectrum-of-thought-in-the-western-church/

I am still digesting this. I have seen these ideas before, but I never put it all together and figure out exactly where I stand. I have remained skeptical of some of the emerging church ideals I have heard but there are some things we can learn from them as well. I really love reading deeper theology, but I also want to be relevant to the culture.

I think I am somewhere between Reformed Evangelical and Historic Evangelical. But as I said I am still learning.