If you read yesterday's post, you know there's a squabble going on between the Southern Baptist Convention and the Acts 29 Network, an emerging church organization that plants churches nationwide.

The rift is nothing new -- it's in many ways the same back-and-forth between established, modernist denominations and the new, post-modern emerging church movement. There's plenty out in the blog-o-sphere about all this, and since I didn't plan on writing anything today I'll not rehash it all here. It would take more time than I have (although, like all other bloggers, I have an opinion ... and, yes, I'll be sharing in the coming days. You're welcome.) I am technically at work right now.

But as a sidebar to yesterday's news of the week item regarding all this and in response to a story that threatens to get bigger and bigger, Acts 29 released a statement yesterday that bears repeating here.

There's just too much misunderstanding about just what the emerging church movement is, what it hopes to accomplish and what its leaders believe. I can certainly understand the concern groups like the SBC has ... after all, some of the more radical leaders of the emergent movement (which is part of the larger emerging church movement ... I know, I know. It gets complicated. Read up on it ... you should be aware of what's going on in the 21st Century Church), make dangerous and heretical claims.

But Acts 29 is not a radical group by any stretch of the imagination ... at lest, not radical in the sense that they capitulate on critical areas of basic Christian doctrine. Indeed, the group is very, very evangelical and, in many ways, fundamentalist. After all, what is more fundamental than the fact that Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him? That's Acts 29's position. Interestingly enough, it's the SBC's position as well. How's that for common ground?

Anyway, read the Acts 29 statement here, and, while you're at it -- and, if you're interested -- check out a primer on emerging church courtesy of Scot McKnight, who writes the Jesus Creed blog that's listed under by blog roll and who wrote the invaluable, Cliff's Notes version of it all with his essay "The Future or Fad." I've also added my two cents a number of times here in this space, and I'd invite you to take a look back through the archives if you'd like (it just dawned on me that I should make a list of topics we've covered here and list entries under their respective headings ... I'll add that to the ever-growing list of things to do.)

Oh, and one other thing. Take a look at the SBC's list of basic beliefs, then read Acts 29's statement of doctrine. Once you read between the lines, there's not a lot of difference there. Sheesh, what are you guys fighting about? An elder in some Acts 29 church somewhere drinking a Blue Moon and a minister somewhere else serving a $9 Shiraz for the Lord's Supper?

I once heard a dear friend of mine, who is a Pentecostal preacher, give a sermon at the chuch where he grew up. This church ... well, let's just say it's not a Penecostal church. It's idea of being in the spirit is singing with your eyes closed.

Before his sermon, this preacher, a very smart and astute man with an understanding of his congregation, said that if he and the members of the church would make a list of doctrinal positions, putting them in sequential order of their importance, they would likely find themselves into the 50s before any disagreement.

The lesson? We're all on the same team here. It's a lesson the SBC and Acts 29 should take to their forgiven hearts.