[continued form yesterday’s post]

C. Wess Daniels (Quaker-aligned, Mennonite-lovin’, recent Fuller Seminary grad) responded to McKenna’s post with his own observations, supportive of the idea that Anabaptism is a wide tent capable of organizing diverse emerging traditions, while connecting new movements with a powerful historical witness:

I too have witnessed in my interactions with people from various traditions that many … are looking for some kind of new (or different) lens from which to understand our faith …. Anabaptism as a tradition is all encompassing and contains within the intellectual framework to bear the weight of an influx of many traditions into it’s vision.

I particularly agree that new emerging Christians would benefit by articulating some connection with a specific tradition so rich in historical integrity. I know it’s been extremely helpful for me.

Legendary emergent blogger Tall Skinny Kiwi chimes in with a post around the same time reviewing the contributions he’d like to see from multiple international Anabaptist flavors. He’s especially enthusiastic about Canadian Mennonites. His post is also helpful because of the books (real, paper books!) he references.

Anabaptist-friendly minister and prolific Brit blogger Graham Old disagrees! Responding to McKnight’s original post in summer ’05, he asks:

What of being a church for the poor? Or radical ecclesiology and anti-Constantinianism? Or communal hermeneutics, or a genuine committment to peace and nonviolence? What about being a church on the fringe, in a long line of such marginalised groups? (And not because it was cool to be “radical” and fly below the radar, but because you weren’t invited to the party.) I would have to say that such features are far from characteristic of the emerging church.

And then later, following up in his comments he clarifies:

I just completely disagree with the idea that the emerging church has an emphasis upon the poor. It may be that particular churches and/or groups of churches do – but I don’t see them doing so because they are emerging. That is, I don’t think it is characteristic of the emerging church.

Of course, I delight in those aspects of the emerging church that do seem anabaptist-ish, but I don’t think there’s enough of them to suggest that the two movements have a similar spirit.

This has been a summary of conversation I’ve found interesting and helpful. More of my own opinions at a later pint in time.