One of the worrying hangovers of the reformation was that many large denominations are based upon a reactionary movement. A good example of this would be the Church of England and its early definition of “we’re not Roman Catholic”. This is seen in the 39 articles of faith as laid down at the time.
Many fledgling movements define themselves as being “not what has gone on before”. This seems to be a trend running through the emerging church movement as it finds its feet. This is especially true when you hear prominent emerging church leaders declaring that the emerging church will “kill off the institutional church. And that is a good thing”. If the church is to be defined by what it stands for rather than what it stands against, how should the emerging church assert itself in the positive?