You Might be an Evangelical Reject if you…

From Kurt Willems

  • You’re uncomfortable calling other branches of Christianity “apostate.”
  • You worry that those who cling to terms like “orthodox” often do so because they believe it to be synonymous with “Neo-Calvinism.”
  • You have significant questions about controversial theological “hot button” issues of the days and are some-what comfortable with the subsequent cognitive dissonance.
  • You’ve been asked to leave a church leadership position for philosophical / theological reasons.
  • You had a “love wins” sticker on the back of your car before the book controversy was even thought of.
  • You read theologians from all across the spectrum.
  • You think that science and scripture both reveal God’s truth in complementary ways.
  • You think that what we believe about the so called “end times” actually matters for how we do mission today.
  • You know that living the truth is more important than defending it logically.
  • You recognize culture wars as pathetic attempts for Christians to grab for power.
  • You don’t use the word inerrancy to describe biblical authority because its too rigid a definition and a modernist categorical imposition on the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures.
  • You think women should do anything BUT be silent in the church. (Can I get an AMEN from my sistas?)
  • You think that postmodern philosophy helps theology more than it hurts it.
  • You drink alcohol sometimes (in public).
  • You endorse someone that has been deemed a heretic by apprising.org
  • You believe that there are significant parallels between the Roman Empire of the 1stCentury and the United States of modern day.
  • You believe social justice is central to the gospel of the Kingdom.
  • You throw up a little in your mouth every time someone says that “the rapture is coming soon, so what’s the fuss with taking care of the planet?  Lets save souls!”
  • You’ve said “I’m not that kind of Christian…”
  • You considered or actually voted democratic in the last two elections.
  • You think that African American Activists have valid points when it comes to justice issues.
  • You have gay friends.
  • You’ve been in a conversation where the other was appealing more to theconstitution of the USA than actually biblical theology.
  • You’re also an Anabaptist
About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://inchristus.wordpress.com Paul D. Adams

    LOL! Love it!!! Jeff Foxworthy, MOVE OVER!

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    Doesn’t everyone think all of that?

  • http://www.MannsWord.blogspot.com Daniel Mann

    I think that these concerns need to be balanced out with concerns from the other side. Orthodox Christianity has lost its universities – Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia…- along with many of its institutions and the mainline denominations to to apostasy. We give our churches away almost as fast as we build them. Almost every venerable old stone church building has turned against its Biblical roots. Don’t we have a right to be concerned?

    We loose 80-90% of our youth to universities intolerant of the Biblical faith as they preach tolerance for everyone else. Their young minds are molded more by the media and their 30 hours weekly of school than they are by their families. Do you not think that this tears at the heart of their parents?

  • http://ecclife.net Stacey Littlefield

    So THAT’S what I am!

  • http://communityofjesus.wordpress.com/ Ted M. Gossard

    Don’t agree entirely, but yeah.

  • http://thecreationofanevolutionist.blogspot.com Mike Beidler

    Great. Booted out of another group. Thanks for that.

  • ted

    How about you might be an Evangelical Reject if you censor blog comments that don’t fit the party line?

    Glad you keep the place open for conversation Scot.

  • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

    Thanks for reading Scot and others. You may want to also read my follow up post on this called “An Evangelical Reject that Refuses to Reject Evangelicals.” http://www.thepangeablog.com/2011/06/14/an-evangelical-reject-who-refuses-to-reject-evangelicals/

  • rjs

    Ted (#7)

    You can disagree and give opposing views as much as you want. Viewpoints are not censored at all. You just can’t make ad hominem accusations (where I use the term in the common, not technical sense).

  • http://conthis.blogspot.com Joe Sewell

    So would I be a Jesus Creed reject if I said that I have no idea what you’re talking abut with some of these? :)

  • Penny

    You are really making the rounds with this one Kurt!

  • http://cramercomments.blogspot.com D C Cramer

    A true Anabaptist wouldn’t have voted Republican or Democrat in the last two elections, but otherwise, spot on.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    Far, far too many labels in Christianity and far, far too much criticism of those who don’t “believe the right way.” Every single individual has his/her own relationship with God and we have no right to judge each other (and, no, I am not judging here–I’m restating what Christ said). I think if we concentrate on cleaving to God (loving Him with everything we have and seeking Him for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom) and on treating those around us with patience and kindness, a lot of the contention in the body of Christ would dissipate. Our focus needs to be on God–because that’s why Christ died–and not on each other.

  • Tommy

    This list is brilliant!

  • Grupetti

    #12 Comment by D C Cramer — June 18, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    “A true Anabaptist wouldn’t have voted Republican or Democrat in the last two elections, but otherwise, spot on.”

    That sounds like the No True ScotsAnabaptist logical fallacy!

  • larry s

    wonderful list (i have a glass of white italian wine beside me as I type) and have no fear of consuming same in public.

    this post would be a lot better if it wasn’t written from an American perspective. It appears to assume all readers of this wonderful blog are American.

    I’m a Canadian Anabaptist evangelical reject.

    I have a bit of quibble with this one: “You know that living the truth is more important than defending it logically.”

    perhaps its my age 57 but i’m just slightly uncomfortable with letting that one stand.

  • http://cramercomments.blogspot.com D C Cramer

    Probably so, Grupetti; probably so. :)

  • http://spirit-cry.com Cameron

    Heh. I had a person quote the US constitution to me as if it were Scripture. Which was amusing, because we’re both Australian.

  • Kristen

    The Internet Monk site helped me learn to describe myself (when a label is required, but I try to avoid labels) as a “post-evangelical.” I find I said “yes” to 99% of this list, so I guess I’m as much an “evangelical reject” as I am an “evangelical rejector.” *grin*

    I’ve annoyed many complementarian blog sites by refusing to “be silent,” (yes, sometimes I’m sure they’d prefer if we shut up in more than just church meetings!) so I’ll definitely add to that Amen!

    But I also have, in addition to gay friends, many evangelical friends, and I think my church would self-identify as evangelical, so I’d better go read Kurt’s other post!

  • Watchman

    Yep, I’m indeed an Evangelical reject.

    I would also add these items:

    - You think the Emergent Church has something to offer to the church.
    - You like Brian McLaren, Donald Miller, Brennan Manning, and Rob Bell.
    - You’ve been called a heretic.
    - You no longer resonate with Piper, Sproul, or MacArthur.
    - You don’t talk much about Hell.
    - You don’t support the U.S. wars in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
    - You can care less about politics.
    - You don’t own a gun.
    - You’re a pacifist.
    - You don’t quote a bunch of dead theologians.
    - You’re a missionary.

  • gingoro

    “apprising.org” is the kind of reason that I no longer consider myself an Evangelical. While it is sad to give up the term too many fundamentalists are now changing the meaning of the term Evangelical.
    Dave W

  • Susan N.

    :-) I’m still trying to figure out if I should just lose the evangelical label altogether or go to the trouble of fighting to defend it’s true meaning? The term is so culturally-loaded nowadays that I can see why many have just chosen a new “label.” Plus, what’s even more comical, of course I don’t line up exactly with the evangelical reject descriptive list… (Curse you, non-conformist tendencies!)

  • Jason Lee

    I differ with people like Roger Olson. I don’t think the “evangelical” label is salvageable or worth saving. It’s a conversation stopper if you claim that label in politically liberal circles. It’s neutral or positive in politically conservative circles. My point is that whether we like it or not, its been turned into a political label. Though you may be talking about some sort of theological core, that’s not what others think you’re talking about. They either think politics or just think about people who have an evangelizing demeanor (not in a good way). So if you’re someone who still wants to use that term to describe yourself, fine, but realize that you’re communicating that you’re a Republican Protestant that leaves tracts as tips at restaurants.

    I don’t know why people don’t just use moderate Christian, moderate Protestant, or moderate Baptist/Lutheran/Mennonite, etc… These terms don’t have near the political meaning for people.

  • http://missourimule.blogspot.com Larry Barber

    That list certainly describes me to a ‘T’, except the part about voting Democratic. The Democrats are just as sold out to Wall Street and the Military-Industrial Complex as the Republicans are so I see no reason to vote, or be tempted to vote for them, either. I quit voting years ago, when somebody runs that I can vote for without holding my nose I will consider voting again, in the meantime I will not validate a corrupt system by participating in it.

    This is the first of heard of apprise.org, I certainly wish it had gone on being unknown to me. It makes it very hard for me to consider traditional evangelicals as my brothers and sisters knowing that a lot of them think that way of me. It wouldn’t be so bad if they had any substantive criticisms, then there would be something to talk about, but they just yell “apostate”, “heretic” and so on and thinks that settles the issue. Give me a honest new atheist any day.

  • Fish

    WWSS?

    What would Spurgeon say? LOL.

  • AHH

    I had never heard of apprising.org until this blog post.
    After looking at that website, I feel nauseated. [In some Woody Allen movie there's a line like "If Jesus came back and saw the things people are doing in his name, he'd never stop throwing up."]

    Like some others here, I prefer not to abandon the useful designator “Evangelical” to the neo-fundamentalists and political culture warriors who seem to be hijacking it. But that seems to be getting harder to maintain, despite the coining of useful modifiers like “postconservative evangelical” which is how I might label myself these days.

    For Jason @23, I’d resist “moderate” labels for 2 reasons:
    1) Can make it sound we only moderately love Jesus.
    2) Sounds like an intermediate position between liberal and conservative, when many of us are aiming for “Third way” approaches that don’t fit on the old one-dimensional maps.

  • Allie

    Its funny that on the so-called Reformed boogeyman sites I never see such smug mockery and reactionary commentary on what everyone is against.

    It is almost an obsession for some on here, as they give comments on here on how they have broken free or have evolved from antiquated evangelicals.

    And the irony is that on the big Reformed sites much more of the energy is poured into what they are about, who God has made them to be, and living out their faith.

    Sad really, as even one comment on here is how she takes glee on going to complementarian blog posts and stirring things up. Hope that works out for you.

  • http://carsontclark.wordpress.com/ Carson T. Clark

    “You worry that those who cling to terms like ‘orthodox’ often do so because they believe it to be synonymous with ‘Neo-Calvinism.’”

    Clearly I’m not Calvinistic in the least, so there’s a sense to which I passionately concur. Yet I must acknowledge that I’m equally troubled by those who are, at best, apathetic about the term “orthodoxy” or, at worst, hostile to it. Especially within our present theologically-hostile evangelical context, I can hardly think of two more important concepts within christian theology than orthodoxy and adiaphora.

  • DanS

    This post makes me want to weep, but not for the reasons the author intended…

    Quotes like “You throw up a little in your mouth every time someone says that “the rapture is coming soon, so what’s the fuss with taking care of the planet? Lets save souls!”

    I’m not much into end-times discussions, but does anybody in that camp really make a direct link between the return of Christ and being ecologically irresponsible? I’d like to see some names of somebody who really teaches that and some quotes to interact with. Else this is rumor mongering at best and false witness at worst.

    Or “You recognize culture wars as pathetic attempts for Christians to grab for power.” Really? All those folks who work in crisis pregnancy centers, who find rampant pornography destructive to individuals and society, who believe that children should have a mom and a dad, all those folks are just grasping for political power? Those folks are engaged in “pathetic” endeavors? Yet “social justice”, a politically loaded term, is “central” to the gospel? I don’t mean to just escalate the rhetoric here, but this smacks of a double standard to me. Christian Conservatives involved in politics believe their faith calls them to certain policy positions. Engage those viewpoints instead of dismissing them as “pathetic” or reading “power” motives into the whole conservative impulse.

    Or “You don’t use the word inerrancy to describe biblical authority because its too rigid a definition and a modernist categorical imposition on the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures.” Really? As if none of the church fathers ever said that scripture is inspired and true regarding matters of both faith and history? “For it cannot be remotely possible that the authority of the Scriptures should be fallacious at any point.” – Augustine. It is so easy to dismiss a view as a “modernist” capitulation (rather than engaging with real arguments and positions). Ironic that “modernism” is supposedly a corrosive element while great value can be found in the influence of post-modern philosophy on theology.

    Or “You think that science and scripture both reveal God’s truth in complementary ways.” Has the author ever read anything from the other side? Is he completely unaware ever the most ardent YEC advocates would say there is no conflict between science and scripture, that the conflict is between naturalism and scripture? That ID proponents would say the same thing – that Nancy Pearcy has recently written extensively on the role of Christianity in the birth of modern science. The “anti-science” stereotype trotted out yet again. So easy to dismiss rather than honestly debate.

    For the record, as a layperson, I do try to keep up with the views of those I don’t agree with, I am not a tea-totaler, I don’t think the earth is 6000 years old, I don’t think other branches of Christianity are apostate. But I have not voted for a Democrat in years (nor will I anytime soon) and though I care about the poor, I have a problem with the connotations of the term “social justice”. I guess that alone makes me worthy of casual dismissal with pejorative terms, derogatory labels and half-truths in some camps. I guess that makes me a “reject” too.

    The divide is real. Evangelicalism is fracturing. But to point the finger at the conservatives while using words like “pathetic” to describe their activities hardly helps matters. I’m sorry the author has been mistreated by some who should know better. But the response is full of the same judgmentalism he decries.

    I fear only God himself can sort this out. I weep because the Evangelicalism I have been involved with for most of my life is fracturing in a multitude of directions. The center is not holding because there are no longer any real boundaries. Instead the center is simply moving and the edges are dissolving. It is a tragedy unfolding before our very eyes. Lord have mercy,.

  • Allie

    Wow DanS that is what I call hammer meeting the nail. Also for as much criticism ID folks get on this blog for being hopelessly committed to a worldview that has no scientific basis, it should be noted that prominent atheist, Dr. Nagel recently wrote in a scholarly journal about the possible merits of ID and science…

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1088-4963.2008.00132.x/abstract

  • Randy Barnhart

    This post is too cute for me, having spent my career in a mainline church in which “orthodoxy” is no longer merely suspect, but often flatly rejected.

    It brings to mind something Stanley H. once wrote. My rough paraphrase is, “Every opinion is acceptable except for the opinion that not every opinion is acceptable.”

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    DanS#29, “But I have not voted for a Democrat in years (nor will I anytime soon) and though I care about the poor, I have a problem with the connotations of the term “social justice”.”

    Sir, really? It would be far more generous for you to draw the line at pro-life, or something else like that if that is the thing you support, but to draw the line at Democrat? Why?

  • pam w

    And you are going to the Wild Goose Festival this week
    or
    you are friends with someone who is going to the above festival!

    Oh wait, we’re covered under
    “You endorse someone that has been deemed a heretic by apprising.org” – pretty much the whole line-up at Wild Goose

    DanS – “Quotes like “You throw up a little in your mouth every time someone says that “the rapture is coming soon, so what’s the fuss with taking care of the planet? Lets save souls!”

    I’m not much into end-times discussions, but does anybody in that camp really make a direct link between the return of Christ and being ecologically irresponsible? I’d like to see some names of somebody who really teaches that and some quotes to interact with. Else this is rumor mongering at best and false witness at worst”.

    For many years I have been speaking on the intersection of theology and environmental, economic and social sustainability. I have had those words used against me saying I was not committed to the Gospel because i was an environmental activist. They absolutely make a direct link directly link saying ‘the rapture is coming soon, and it is written in Scripture that things will get worse on the earth as we get near the end, so our job is to save souls, not save the earth.”

    It has driven public policy. I had someone say that to me in an environmental policy course I was teaching at the White House Conference Center. I facilitated a panel on ‘business and the environment’ for a Christian conference at one of our elite business schools and a prominent Christian business man (Oil Exec) made that exact link and argument as part of the panel discussion.

  • Christine

    Why the digs at evangelicals, here of all places? By that I mean, this often is a place where Scot calls for an irenic spirit. It’s a bit wearisome. According to the list, I’m an evangelical reject, but why must we stoop to these caricatures here? Oh, and I DO consider myself an evangelical. Let’s be careful to not paint so broadly with these stereotypical swipes.

  • Rick

    I have to agree with many of the comments here: there is a sense of piling on with this post and other recent posts, and even more with some of the comments.

    I am all for evangelicals looking at themselves in the mirror, evaluating, and maturing in Christ. But there is a tipping point in which too much negativity, especially painting with a broad brush, prevents correcton and building up. It simply results in tearing down- both of the entity being criticized and its relations with others.

  • DanS

    DRT 32. My parents were lifelong Democrats and I would love to be able to consider options politically. But even if I drew the line at pro-life, I can count on one hand the number of pro-life democrats in Congress. There are a multitude of reasons I can’t vote for Democrats these days, social, economic, foreign policy… and most of the reasons aren’t even related to faith issues. Big issue right now is the Dems willfully functioning for two years without a budget proposal during the worst economic crisis since the depression. Not a lot of Republicans I care for either, but the left is lock-step on a lot of issues I disagree with.

    Pam W. 33. Do you have some names of those who say the return of Christ is a reason for not caring about the environment? That is different than saying “we believe the environment will get worse” because we believe scripture predicts judgment”. Growing up I read Francis Schaeffer’s “Pollution and the Death of Man”, very much about ecology from the perspective of stewardship. He was not a dispensationalism salesman, but a number of evangelicals do preach that we are stewards of creation. That does not make them environmentalists, but I don’t know of anyone who says we should just flat out ignore the environment.

  • Justin B.

    @ Dan S. (#29),

    You make a lot of great points, even if I disagree with a couple of your examples. I especially liked that you pointed out the charge about Christians being environmentally irresponsible because of their belief in the Rapture. I’ve heard this claim from several people and have never seen a shred of evidence to back it up.

    But again, thanks for posting. I think your response provided a good balance to the discussion here.

  • Jason Lee

    Justin B.,

    Here’s some data supporting the idea that people who believe in the rapture have lower concern for the environment:

    Among those who absolutely believe in the rapture, 35% disagree with the statement: “If we do not change things dramatically global climate change will have disastrous effects.” 21% for the rest of Americans. (Difference is statistically significant at p <.001)

    Among those who absolutely believe in the rapture, 27% disagree with the statement: "If we do not change things dramatically we will exhaust the Earth's supply of coal, oil, and natural gas." 20% for the rest of Americans. (Difference is statistically significant at p <.001)

    These stats are from publically available national data that have been used in refereed social science journals. Details here: http://www.thearda.com/Archive/Files/Descriptions/BAYLORW2.asp

  • Justin B.

    @Jason Lee,

    The parts you cited indicate that a minority of Rapture-believing Christians disagree with those statements.

  • Jason Lee

    Right, because a minority of people in general disagree with those statements of environmental concern. That’s not surprising. The interesting and important difference to note, however, is that rapture-believers are more likely than the general American public to disagree with those statements. In other words, those relationships in the data provide support for the idea that rapture-believers are on average less environmentally concerned.

  • Tommy C.

    I disagree with “Watchman’s” additional list. I believe the point of the article is to show how the line has shifted for those who still adhere to the major tenets of the “traditional” Christian faith, but have become a bit broader in their views and practices. I think it crosses a whole different line to say things like: they don’t resonate with Piper, “they quote from dead theologians,” are not interested in politics, or wouldn’t be a missionary.

  • http://thedesignspectrum.wordpress.com/ pds

    Do you need to use the new label “Evangelical Reject”? Seems like this is just describing “Theological Liberal.”

    Do you prefer the label “Evangelical Reject” so you can blame other people for rejecting you?

    Why do so many people here love bashing “Evangelicals”? Why can’t you just call yourselves “liberal” and live and let live? Ironically, Willems seems to be the one rejecting other Evangelicals who are more conservative than him.

    DanS #29,

    Well said. Especially as to the blatant political double standard.

  • Rick

    PDS-

    “Why do so many people here love bashing “Evangelicals”?”

    Great question. I am becoming more convinced that Scot could do a post on baseball and people would still find a reason to bash evangelicals.

  • http://www.spirithome.com/ Bob Longman

    I was taught by my church to be highly suspicious of evangelicals, Pentecostals, and fundamentalists. Only to discover that they each saved my faith in meaningful ways. And that was, and *continues to be*, true for many other people from the ‘liberal’ and ‘mainline’.

    A growing number of evangelicals, who were raised to be suspicious of ‘mainliners’, ‘liberal-church’ and Catholics, are making the same discovery about those they were taught to be suspicious about. Their faith is being saved by each in meaningful ways.

    Both discoveries bear the marks of the Holy Spirit. Which should make us pause before we use harsh words to distance themselves from other Christians, even in the needed effort to change ourselves. And then rethink how we say it.

  • Justin B.

    Except the majority of Christians in both cases don’t disagree.

  • http://www.spirithome.com/ Bob Longman

    @ Pam w, #33: One oil exec saying something does not make it a driver of public policy. I’m a public policy geek; it’s what I do, what I’m trained to do. And, in this case, the truth is plain as day. During the Bush years, the only force that ‘drove’ anything in energy policy was the administration’s determination to enrich the oil companies and their related contractors, suppliers, and consultants.

    Lots of other things (including W’s own end-time beliefs) gave it a nudge here or there, but the torrent pushing the policy was (to use a deliberately damning word in one of the few circumstances one actually belongs) greed.

    Oh, on another front: dispensationalists are clearly a minority among evangelicals. Always have been. And Evangelicals are a minority of the Church. Always have been.

  • http://www.spirithome.com/ Bob Longman

    (oops. forgot to close tag after “greed”…)

  • Jason Lee

    #44: “Except the majority of Christians in both cases don’t disagree.” Yes, that’s a separate issue and not surprising, right? But you said you’d never seen any evidence for a link between rapture-belief and low environmental concern. I provided evidence for such a link. People with low environmental concern are over-represented among those who believe in the rapture as compared with others.

  • http://www.spirithome.com/environment.html Bob Longman

    If I’m getting Jason Lee right, he’s saying that rapture-believers are less likely to grasp the gravity of our environmental mess.

    If I read Justin B. right, he’s pointing out that it’s still a minority, even of rapture-believers.

    Which is one of the key things to remember: much of what we’re talking about is *tendencies* within groups. There are few correlations that are strong enough to support most of the generalizations we use.

    In social statistics, it’s often said that most of the time, most groups (even evangelicals) over time tend to become more like the general population. Is some of what we see now a reflection of that? If not, are the seeds of that sleeping in all this new thinking? Too soon to know. I hope not. So far, the salt’s still there.

  • Justin B.

    Bob,

    You’re right, that is what I was getting at. Since we’re only talking about a minority of people who believe in the Rapture, then I don’t know if it’s fair to say believing the Rapture will occur makes you environmentally reckless. After all, the large majority of people who fit that category don’t disagree with the statements in the poll.

  • DanS

    Regarding the Environmental issue, the original post said “the rapture is coming soon, so what’s the fuss with taking care of the planet? Lets save souls!” The clear insinuation is that rapture believers don’t care about taking care of the planet BECAUSE they believe it is all going to end. I am not aware of anyone actually saying that, nor have I seen any quotes here to support that charge.

    The statistics cited show a correlation between biblical conservatism and skepticism about global warming, but not a causal link. It could well be, and I suspect it is the case, that pre-trib rapture folks do not trust the science behind global warming, but that does not mean they automatically reject stewardship of the environment out of hand. More likely, they believe the warming is cyclical, the man-made effect is overstated, and the policies proposed to counteract global warming will have a fairly small effect compared to the cost, so for reasons unrelated to eschatology, they don’t see drastic policy action as wise.

    The point being, the insinuation that a particular eschatology equals stewardship irresponsibility is still a charge without compelling evidence.

  • Justin B.

    Once again, I agree with Dan S. I myself was thinking that pre-trib folks tend to learn conservative, and conservatives seem more likely to question whether global warming is caused by the actions of mankind. But I’ve known plenty of those folks and I never knew any of them to refuse to recycle because they thought Jesus was coming soon.

  • Pam W

    Bob #46

    Your comment actually underscores my position though I didn’t elaborate. It was not one oil exec that made my point on policy. He had nothing to do with policy, but was a strong voice against environmental responsibilities with Christian MBA students at one of our top 5 (ranked, that is) b-schools. He used exactly the argument DanS says is not used : dispensational eschatology. You can’t simplify it it to “it is because of the rapture we don’t have to take care of creation”, but it is a frameworkfor understanding the end times that gives rise to the belief that. Environmentalists aren’t committed to scripture because they are focused onthe wrong things. Scripture says things are going to get worse int the end, we have no control over it, so we should be focused on saving souls.

    On public policy: I worked closely with the Bush Admin for 5 years. My job was leadership development for all public agencies (I was in the same position under Clinton for 5 years) I taught environmental policy with sr policy advisors from DOE, EPA, DOD,…
    I completely agree that the policy was driven by greed. But the way they got away with the greed in a strongly Christian administration, was many came from a dispensational eschatology. I had one senior policy advisor say to me (he didn’t know I was a Christian, but he was describing how he was surrounded by them) “these rapture people are crazy, but their beliefs are really helpful for what we want to get passed.”

    I also completely agree that disp, theology is a small percentage of Christianity. But after 10 years of these conversations fromthe white house to all forms of evangelical audience (reformed, covenant, anabaptist, non-denom…) I have concluded that the predominant framework (or a strong enough one to make it the loudest voice inthe room on env issues) in the pews is disp eschatology even if they attend a church that doesn’t believe in that framework. My theory: the disp’s are the only ones who have painted pictures, used story and art for people to understand revelation in our generation (for those in the pews who don’t read theology) Late Great Planet Earth, Left Behind Series….many other examples. You create cultural understandings through art and story.

    NT Wright has written an alternative understanding of eschatology, but he hasn’t reached the pews. When peole ask me to identify the greatest barrier to understanding the call to take care of the ecosystem God created to sustain life, I always say the same thing: eschatology.

    DanS asked for specific examples, so I gave one of many I could easily rattle off (with names, but I won’t here)

  • Pam W

    I want to clarify that I’m not saying a dispensational theologian would link their framework to environmental degradation. I’m saying that is how it has played out for those in the pews who I have come in contact with while advocating for creation care and environmental stewardship.

    This is not an attack on the system of theology, but a statement of experience in response to Dan’s comment that nobody would make that argument. I started a degree in environmental engineering 30 years ago and then did a grad degree at Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary (a lot of Dallas grads there). I’ve been debating this with people and seen the arguments for a loooong time!

  • http://thepangeablog.com Kurt Willems

    HI EVERYONE. THANKS FOR READING. AGAIN, THOSE WHO ACCUSE THIS OF BEING AN EVANGELICAL BASHING SESSION ARE MISSING THE POINT OF THE ARTICLE. PLEASE READ THIS FOLLOW UP…

    “An Evangelical Reject that Refuses to Reject Evangelicals.” http://www.thepangeablog.com/2011/06/14/an-evangelical-reject-who-refuses-to-reject-evangelicals/

  • http://thecommonloon.com Dan Stringer

    Maybe this is because I don’t live in the Bible belt or Midwest, but I don’t see why this list makes you an “evangelical reject.”

    I resonate with many of the items and I consider myself a regular old evangelical who attended Wheaton, sends money to World Vision and reads Christianity Today.

    I know of many other un-rejected evangelicals who would also concur with the items mentioned. Contrary to the sound bytes tossed around by political commentators, evangelicals are a politically and culturally diverse bunch who are defined more by theology and religious practice than voting habits (see Noll & Bebbington etc).

    Until a better one-word label comes along, this one is still the best fit. I understand the need for people to vent about some of our more vocal brethren on the conservative end of the spectrum, but in the grand scheme we have more in common than we’d often care to admit.

    Let’s not perpetuate narrow stereotypes by agreeing with them. It’s ok to be an evangelical. C’mon, you know you love us.

  • Jason Lee

    #56:

    -73% of evangelicals voted for Bush in ’04.
    -69% of evangelicals voted for McCain in ’08.

    Those aren’t small majorities. And this is why the media is so interested in evangelicals … in large part because they know evangelicals helped elect Bush in ’04.

    Historians can be slippery… better to look at data. There has been an increasingly tight correlation between being an evangelical and being a political conservative over the last several decades (see Putnam’s book “American Grace”).

  • Grupetti

    Jason, one of the most shocking bits of data I’ve seen in a long time was the Barna poll from a month ago or so that indicated a 94% disapproval rating of Obama among Evangelicals. This group of Evangelicals was using the 7 point evaluation that Barna uses – I think of that group as “Barnavangelicals.”

  • nathan

    Actually, 150k people in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, voted for W in ’04, putting Ohio’s electoral votes in the Republican column and thus electing George Bush.

    This “evangelicals got Bush elected” thing is a story generated by the media on par with the non-Mosque that’s not actually in Ground Zero being called the “Ground Zero Mosque”.

    It helps reinforce the “narratives” the media has bought into, but it doesn’t actually help us really understand what’s happening in our country.

    Just say’n.

  • CJW

    Grupetti – “Barnavengelicals“: I like that. Especially as his definition of evangelical often seems unlikely to include non-white Americans, let alone non-Americans.

  • http://distractionary.wordpress.com Meagan

    omg this is my new favorite web post =) thanks for not being afraid to bring it!!

  • http://carsontclark.wordpress.com/ Carson Clark

    Miniblog #70: Is American Evangelicalism’s Culture Shifting?
    http://bit.ly/qgkDwd

  • Tim Marsh

    Love this! Thank you!


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