What type of Emergent Church are You?

Ed Stetzer (part of Acts 29) wrote an article, FIRST-PERSON: Understanding the emerging church that classifies 3 types of people in the Emerging church movement:

Relevants– A group whose focus is to make their worship, music and outreach more contextual to emerging culture.

ReconstructionistsРThe reconstructionists think that the current form of church is frequently irrelevant and the structure is unhelpful. Yet, they typically hold to a more orthodox view of the Gospel and Scripture. Therefore, we see an increase in models of church that reject certain organizational models, embracing what are often called “incarnational” or “house” models. They are responding to the fact that after decades of trying fresh ideas in innovative churches, North America is less churched, and those that are churched are less committed.

Revisionists– Revisionists are questioning (and in some cases denying) issues like the nature of the substitutionary atonement, the reality of hell, the complementarian nature of gender, and the nature of the Gospel itself.

Related Reading: I wrote an article dealing with some of these things two years ago, Tension in the Emerging Church.

  • Jim

    January 7, 2006, 4:18 pm


    I enjoy reading your blog. Please note that the paragraph defining “revisionists” is the same as the “reconstructionists.” What is the definition of reconstructionists?



  • D. Goodmanson

    January 7, 2006, 10:27 pm


    Thanks for the catch. I edited it. btw- I’d recommend Ed’s article [The first sentence includes a link to the full article] it goes into more detail.

  • Aaron

    January 9, 2006, 5:12 pm

    At first I was a little disappointed that you weren’t going to be writing for the Reader anymore, but if this frees you up to write more articles like “Tension in the Emerging Church”, then it is for the best. Two very good articles, even if they may have been a little too “squishy” concerning the Revisionists.

  • D. Goodmanson

    January 9, 2006, 5:22 pm


    Thank you for your compliment but I only wrote the ‘Tension’ article. The other more ‘squishy’ one was by a gentleman named Ed Stetzer.

  • dave

    January 10, 2006, 3:33 pm

    The article is rather critical of the “reconstructionists”, but then I’d expect that from someone in a formal denomination.

    I think the revisionists definitely go too far (what’s the point of reaching people with a gospel that’s not really the Gospel?) but the relevants are probably limiting themselves in terms of the structural changes they are willing to make. “Church” as it stands is a pretty middle-class, Christian-upbringing kind of place – there are a lot of people that won’t fit in, no matter how “relevant” it is.

    What’s your take on this? Is there really a big demarcation between the first two groups and do you share the article’s concerns?