I wrote my post, “Which Missional Church?” last week in order to further hone my thinking on the matter. It succeeded. Not only are there many good comments on that item (see particularly the comment by Craig Goodwin, whose forthcoming book is excellent), I also heard back from others via Twitter and Facebook. Based on the responses there, I’d like to amend the two camps I laid out last week.
First of all, on Twitter, David Fitch objected to being put in the same camp as Ed Stetzer:
I guess I hadn’t been paying close enough attention, because David wrote his own taxonomy of the missional church on his blog the week prior to my post (please forgive me that in my dissertation writing haze, I have fallen way behind on Google Reader). He says there are three missionals: the anabaptists (of which he is one), the reformed (Driscoll, Acts 29), and the pragmatists (Kimball, et al).
On Facebook, Tim Neufeld also thinks my categories need emendation. He writes,
If I had to choose two types of Missional leaders it would be #1) the theologians (Guder, Van Gelder, Roxburgh, Franke, etc (though this group could be broken further between pure academics and practitioners)), and #2) the hyper-modern church growthers like Stetzer, Stanely, McNeal and tons more (these folks are still talking about how we can get more people to church, be more relevant to the culture, etc.).
I think they’re both right, to a point. If anything, I should not have classified Stetzer with the other evangelicalish missionals. I don’t know Ed’s theological underpinnings. Those of Guder et al and Fitch et al are much easier to sniff out.
Now, there’s another good critique of my post, and that’s that I’ve done just what I objected to when, years ago, Stetzer came up with his Three R’s of the emerging church. If I’ve done to another what I don’t want done to me, I apologize. I don’t mean to box people in. I meant only to get my own head around the term “missional.”
Further, it’s clear in Ed’s writing that he considers his Three R’s to be on a spectrum from more theologically orthodox to less theologically orthodox. I don’t mean to do anything of the sort. In fact, I am almost completely uninterested in what Tim Neufeld calls the “hyper-modern” approach to missional. I am really interested in a theological debate between the Anabaptists and the (non-hyper-)Reformed folks. That is, between Fitch and Guder.
Can someone make that happen?