See the earlier post for some background discussion based on Tom Sine (The New Conspirators) and David Dunbar‘s Missional Journal.

After my first post I was left running a structural taxonomy in my head, so I scribbled it on paper last night. What this requires is some kind of consensus on essential characteristics of each stream. In some ways, this is like trying to describe a face. You know your brother-in-law when you see him, but if you didn’t know what he was wearing and he was average height and build, it would be difficult to offer a short list to a stranger to assist finding him in a crowd.

Ah well. Fortune favors the bold (and angels rush in…) Here goes. If we take the Missional conversation to be characterized by an emphasis on..

the Missio Dei
the Gospel of the kingdom
Leadership
Covenant Community…

And we take the Monastic movement to be characterized by

Vows
Place
the Poor
Prayer..

And we take the Emergent conversation to be characterized by

Place
Participation
the Arts/Mystery
Alternative/Subversive concerns…

Then we can begin to think about how these various conversations will look as they cross pollinate. My particular interest is the unique contribution of each conversation and the convergence zone between the conversations. It’s intriguing to me as I write this list that traditional hot topics like “charismata” and “worship styles” don’t enter my head.
A helpful approach would be to think about each movement or conversation in terms of particular foci. So, for each conversation, what are essential..

* theological and philosophical emphases

* practices

Remember that Pete Rollins made a helpful observation when he remarked that the emergent conversation is a revolution of the “how.” He wrote, “This is not then a revolution that seeks to change what we believe, but rather one that sets about transforming the entire manner in which we hold our beliefs.”