How absurd! Just when we though denominationalism was almost dead, here comes division in Emergent. Now some are claiming to be Missional and not Emergent (something I would content is possible but not the way it is being characterized). My real problem is the use of labels and name calling– some are calling the Emergent folk theological revisionist. It is denominationalism all over again. Recently, Robby Mac has been posting about how he is a friend of Missional now. He wrote about Len Sweet and containers and content (something from Aqua Church). Here was my response to him:
I find it very interesting that you quote
Len Sweet with his content & container idea. Indeed in Aqua church, Sweet
makes such an assertion; however, elsewhere in Sweet’s writings Len seems to
indicate another point of view– something more like Marshall McLuhan’s classic
idea. It is impossible for the content to not be affected by the container.
Every method impacts and even changes the message in some way. As McLuhan said,
the medium is the message. I think this is the point of Emergent (revisionist as
you call them– not sure why you call them that since they are just picking up
on less than dominant themes from Christian history). Many at Emergent Village
realize that the container does change the content in some way. The Missional
concept also acknowledges such a viewpoint as well. Indeed, the grandfather of
the missional movement– Leslie Newbigin– definately realized that there is no
universal content and that every context changes the gospel in some way (whether
positive or negative).