Ed Stetzer gets it

Ed Stetzer on understanding the emerging church.

According to Ed, some are:

– Relevants and Ed thinks they rock.

– Reconstructionists and Ed will put up with them.

– Revisionists and Ed does not have to agree with them

Typical Baptist to come up with 3 “R”s. But hey . . . I have read a lot of criticisms of the emerging church and I say that Ed gets it. Well done, Ed!

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Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

14 Comments

  • i really appreciate his attitude to engage and dialogue without judgment and he says he can learn from us. His last category, Revisionists, i think needs a little more research. He says, “But, we can and must speak prophetically to revisionists that, yes, we know the current system is not impacting the culture as it should — but the change we need is more Bible, more maturity, more discernment and more missional engagement, not an abandonment of the teachings of scripture about church, theology and practice.” I agree about maturity, discernment, missional engagement and more Bible, but it also includes rethinking what the Bible and God are really saying and not always being so darn sure we have all the answers.We are not abandoning teachings of scripture but old interpretations and being okay with questioning, doubting, paradox, and mystery. Thanks Andrew, for posting the most kind and balanced view of someone outside the emerging church.

  • Interesting article. I think he sort of does see what’s going on. As you might say too, I’m not sure I fully agree with his conclusions but the way he approaches “us” is respectful.
    I just had such a positive encounter today Andrew – you might be interested – with a class from Southern Baptist Seminary in Kentucky – they came to my house and we had lunch and a good Q&A session about the emerging church.
    I agree with you Scot – about the liturgical renewal in the emerging arena. I’m definitely right in the middle of that. I’ve called this segment of the phenomenon the “emerging catholic church.” This bunch might usuall fall into Stetzer’s middle category (perhaps slightly sometimes into the third).
    On the mixing – is the substit. atonement incongruous with having a view of gender roles as complementary? I think that’s what he was referring to – to complementarian gender roles. Peace.

  • Is it suprising at all the Mr. Stetzer likes the evangelicals in sheeps clothing approach of the Relevants (his definition of which is spot-on) and that he grows increasingly less tolerant with the Reconstructionists and Revisionist?
    By the way I felt his editorializing in the article to be kind of bizarre making it read more like blog than a professionl article.

  • Is it suprising at all the Mr. Stetzer likes the evangelicals in sheeps clothing approach of the Relevants (his definition of which is spot-on) and that he grows increasingly less tolerant with the Reconstructionists and Revisionist?
    By the way I felt his editorializing in the article to be very judgmental (although not malicious) and kind of bizarre for a professionl article.

  • I personally found the Stetzer article one of the simplest and best written pieces I have read to date on the EC. It is a good Class 101 intro for those of us who have a hard time giving a 60-second response to what the emerging church is all about. I also clicked on the link in the article to the John Hammett response to an invitation to dialogue with the EC. Both are helpful to building up the Kingdom as we all seek to work together to fulfill the Great Commission. I took the liberty to post the article on the South American Church Planting Forum as well. This forum is made up of mostly missionaries who are all involved directly in church planting. Will be interested to see their response.

  • Guy
    we have had great events in South America with emerging church leaders from many of hte countries down there. Let me know if you want me to throw some links your way.

  • Scot
    i think in terms of the 3rd group in question – the Revisionists – there is what the critics say they say (which is not always true but stays around a long time) and what that groups actually says they believe.
    the two are often different things. unfortunately.

  • Andrew Jones wrote:
    Guy–we have had great events in South America with emerging church leaders from many of hte countries down there. Let me know if you want me to throw some links your way.
    YES, PLEASE SEND LINKS TO guymuse@bigfoot.com

  • I think that Ed has given the most charitable modern reading of the emergent church that I have yet seen (I haven’t seen many). My problem with his reading of the EC is his criticism of the Revisionism that he points out within the emerging church.
    Being a Christian has always been about revisiting our beliefs in light of scripture, tradition, and culture. That is exactly what the early councils were about. Revising current teaching with what the gospel would have us say in the current context.
    Ed, it seems to me, is still under the impression that there is an unchangeable, uncontextual kernel in Christian teaching-which there very well may be, but he does not show that the emerging church is revising such set-in-stone teachings. He just generalizes about the revisions being made in the emergent church.
    nice try

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