Excuse the silly title, but I am intrigued by an recent article doing the rounds about the influx of young evangelicals into liturgical churches. The article is Young Evangelicals Are Getting High at The Christian Pundit.
Young Christians are going over to Catholicism and high Anglicanism/Lutheranism in droves, despite growing up in low Protestant churches that told them about Jesus. It’s a trend that is growing, and it looks like it might go that way for a while: people who grew up in stereotypical, casual evangelicalism are running back past their parents’ church to something that looks like it was dug out of Europe a couple hundred years ago at least. It’s encouraged by certain emergent leaders and by other “Christian” authors whose writings promote “high” theology under a Protestant publisher’s cover.
As one who has recently come out of the Anglophile closet and formally become a neophyte Anglican – Darth Anglicanus – I can resonate much with this article. Many desire a creedal faith that places them in a communion of saints that is 2000 years old rather than throwing their lot in with theological superstars of the sectarian kind or jumping onto the latest fads which have the theological depth of a car park puddle. Many hunger for something that is aesthetic in their worship, rather than just intellectual or emotional. Many seek a sacramental encounter with God in the Eucharist so that one receives the blessings of fellowshipping in a community that feeds on Christ – a sharp contrast to the empty memorialism in so much evangelicalism.
In my forthcoming Evangelical Theology, I propose an agenda for the evangelical churches along several lines:
1. Developing a thicker ecclesiology with a biblically shaped liturgy and a high view of sacraments.
2. Recovering the revivalistic preaching ethos of the Puritans and Weslyans that pursues gospel-driven evangelism.
3. De-platonizing Christian spirituality and returning it to its apocalyptic roots in the invasive story of the gospel.