The Acts 29 Network (and Coram Deo along with it) often gets categorized as part of the “emerging church movement.” There are strands of this movement that we are happy to embrace, such as the vision to plant churches which are culturally relevant and immersed in the life of the cities they represent. There are other strands of this movement which are dangerous and unbiblical and which A29 and Coram Deo wholeheartedly reject. The challenge lies in delineating the good from the bad.
Last week Mark Driscoll finally addressed this matter head-on at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. If you have iTunes loaded on your computer, this link will take you directly to the iTunes podcast (if you don’t have iTunes, sorry, I haven’t seen a standard mp3 link for this message, but I’ll keep my eyes open for one). If you’re wondering how A29 is or isn’t related to people like Donald Miller, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell, this message will make everything clear for you. (If these names are foreign to you, then nevermind.) Driscoll shows how the initial “Emergent” crowd diversified into 3 strands: Relevant, Revisionist, and the New Reformed. His lecture is helpful for making sense of the landscape of American evangelicalism as it stands today.
This message is also Driscoll at his theological best – gracious and charitable yet firm and clear, with enough Driscoll-esque humor to keep things interesting. Mark has his rough edges, like we all do. But the clarity and charity of this message shows why I’m honored to work alongside him and follow his leadership in the planting of new churches across the world.