If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. – Augustine
Ultimately, I believe those involved in the emergent church generally can be divided into two basic groups: evangelical and liberal. -Doug Brown
(Note: Mark Driscoll makes this same distinction but further divides the evangelical wing into three “lanes.” Driscoll is following E. Stetzer’s three branches: the relevants, the reconstructionsists, and the revisionists (“First Person: Understanding the Emerging Church,” under, http://www.crosswalk.com/1372534/, accessed June 2, 2008)).
Emerging Churches define themselves as those:
1. Who take the life of Jesus as a model way to live
2. Who transform the secular realm
3. As they live highly communal lives.
Because of these three activities, emerging churches
4. Welcome those who are outside
5. Share generously
8. Lead without control and
9. Function together in spiritual activities.
Boiling it down to one sentence: Emerging Churches are…communities who practice the way of Jesus within postmodern cultures.
Comment: please notice that all of the above emerging principles are not about what Christ has done for us, but what we do for him. The true gospel is news about what Christ has already done for us as a Savior, rather than instruction and advice about what you are to do for God. The primacy of his accomplishment, not ours, is the essence of our faith. The gospel of Christ above all brings news, rather than instruction.