this post is skipable if you don't care about petty squabbling among protestant christians about who gets to be the cool hip thing that is happening now who has the way forward.
once upon a time a few people, with some access to power, became almost accidentally branded as "emergent" christians. emergent sort of meant something new, something natural, something surprising. these people cared about finding a faithful and beautiful faith, and not so much about the word. to the extent that the word made it possible for people to search for and find this kind of faith, they were happy to be called "emergent"
once upon a time, people who have been trying to do things which are new and different for decades and decades got pissed off at the emergent people. why did they get all the press? where was their blood, their broken bones, their long suffering?
once upon a time, the people who know exactly what christianity is, who spend all their time defending christianity against new ideas, because all new ideas are really evil in disguise, noticed "emergent". these people had access to more power and more money than the people who became branded as "emergent". as a result, it became advantageous to trash "emergent" christianity. money and influence became available to you if you just threw emergent under the bus.
so it became very unfashionable to be emergent. you have people from two different directions claiming that anything under the "emergent" banner is automatically not interesting.
recently there is this new word, "convergence", and it seems like people are spinning in circles in excitement about how great this new word is.
i am trying to not say anything bad about this, because if that word helps people find a way of faithful living which is generous and good, hallelujah.
i am going to say this. i don't think "convergence" is a particularly great word. it implies a center, a place where jesus really is, and i think that idea is the opposite of what was beautiful about "emergence". which suggested a series of non-centered outbreaks which might have a common center deep at the roots, but would necessarily disburse and distribute once they hit the real world. this distinction is why i prefer the unfashionable label of "emergent" to this shiny new "convergence" thing.
[ Postscript: I really like Anthony's different spin on this same topic of the power of labels, it is mentioned in the comments, so I thought I would include the link ]