The Future of Evangelicalism Online

Evangelicals are neither loved nor respected in the American public square.   This is due in part to our enduring and principled commitment to truths and values the rest of mainstream society rejects, and in part to a tendency in media and academia to present a caricature of evangelicalism that elides its virtues and exaggerates its vices.  But it’s also due in part — in large part, we must confess — to a thoroughgoing failure amongst evangelicals to represent themselves, their views, and their vision of the Christian life in a manner that’s intellectually compelling, meticulously informed, and suffused with charity and grace.

What has long been lacking is a kind of Op Ed Page for evangelical America, a gathering place for the best evangelical public intellectuals to reflect on matters of common concern.  Younger generations of evangelical writers can be identified, cultivated and projected into the most important conversations of the day.  Where Catholicism has organs such as First Things and a longstanding tradition of thoughtful reflection on policy and society, evangelicalism has neither.  It should have both.  And if our intentions for the Evangelical Channel at Patheos are realized, it will have both.

The time has come to re-envision the Evangelical Channel at Patheos: what it can become, what it should become, and how we can get it there.

History and Opportunity


Launched in May 2009, Patheos sought initially to be a WebMD of religion, a trusted advisor in the space of religious thought, and so it constructed a library of information on over 100 religious traditions and sects.  It also created a series of portals that presented content by and for members of particular religious traditions.  It soon became clear that the most extraordinary vitality in the site, and the potential for the greatest growth, was not in the objective, encyclopedic library section (although the library is excellent and draws steady traffic from searches from individuals all around the world), but in the robustly confessional portal content.  Against expectation (given the plenitude of other Christian media sites), the Evangelical Channel at Patheos thrived and led the way in recruiting bloggers and columnists and building mutually beneficial partnerships with other media groups.  It quickly became one of the most popular sections of the site.  At first, the whole of Patheos would receive tens of thousands of pageviews over the course of a month.  Now, the Evangelical Channel alone receives 1.2 million pageviews per month.

It is far more difficult to grow from 0 to 1 million pageviews than it is to grow from 1 million to 3 million pageviews.  The Evangelical Channel at Patheos is broadly appealing, dynamically growing, unburdened by denominational constraints or the weight of tradition.  It is poised to become, Lord willing, the most significant source of evangelical commentary online.

When my role changed from managing editor of the Evangelical Channel to Director of Content, with responsibilities over other sections of the site in addition to the Evangelical Channel, my energy was directed elsewhere.  It’s time again to refocus on the Evangelical Channel and to think strategically about how it can represent the very best of evangelical public intellectual engagement with current issues in church and culture.

Rebranding

It’s difficult to build a sense of excitement, identity and loyalty around “the Evangelical Channel.”  There is a movement afoot, just gaining momentum, to build a more persuasive and more culturally profound evangelical presence in the public square, but “the Evangelical Channel” is too diffuse, too ill-defined and too uninspiring to serve as the engine for that movement.  We have sought the right opportunity to rebrand.

We are considering new titles presently.  Suggestions are welcome.

There is more to a brand, of course, than the name alone.  There is the excellence and integrity of the content.  Evangelicals of all people ought to pursue the truth openly and fearlessly, ought to represent opposing viewpoints with fairness and painstaking honesty, and ought never to permit rhetoric to outstrip the strength of the evidence or to betray our primary obligation to witness the love of Christ even as we profess his truth.  Our intention is for the Evangelical Channel to become known as a model for the highest level of thoughtful and charitable conversation on the great objects of the day.  Even those who vehemently disagree with our standpoints should recognize that here they find the finest representation of evangelical commentary, and indeed some of the finest commentary, period.  So we wish to fashion a better representation of evangelical engagement in public discourse, a conversation in which Christians earnestly listen and humbly engage, rigorously scrutinize their own proposals, prejudices and presuppositions, hold themselves to the highest standards of argumentation and declare their convictions with courage and clarity.

Repositioning

The center of gravity of the Evangelical Channel presently rests just left of center.  While the Evangelical Channel will continue to support its current roster of writers fully, it will seek to fortify its offering in Reformed and Baptist writers, and in culturally-savvy center-right social commentators.

There is not now a single venue that attracts compelling commentary from young, conservative evangelical public intellectuals.  While maintaining our strengths in center and center-left writers, then, we’re eager to extend our strength rightward on the spectrum.  This is partly to represent American evangelicalism better, partly to give a new generation of conservative evangelicals a voice, and partly to form a more thoughtful approach to social and cultural engagement amongst conservative-leaning evangelicals.

Our content will focus in these areas:

  1. Representing the gospel well with Patheos’ multireligious marketplace of ideas.
  2. Hosting and nurturing the conversations shaping the future of the church.
  3. Projecting thoughtful evangelical commentary into the public square conversations shaping the future of our society and culture.
  4. Applying the scriptures to existential and pragmatic questions.

This is a broad field for commentary.  While we have spoken well to the first and fourth areas, our hope is to strengthen substantially our offering in the second and third.

Replenishing

Replenishing our offering of writers means adding new bloggers, columnists and periodic contributors, as well as building a network of partnering organizations and individuals who wish to further the work and the impact of the Evangelical Channel.  Our immediate intentions are these:

  1. To establish a Board of Contributors who offer periodic content.
  2. To feature a separate column each weekday.
  3. To add new bloggers who share in our vision.
  4. Finally, to form a network of partners and sponsors who will help us produce new streams of content, commissioned articles and reports, series and symposia, online lectures and courses, instructional videos, and so forth.

The nature and different levels of these partnerships and sponsorships are explained in a document available on request.

Looking Forward

We have reached 1.2 million pageviews a month without budget.  With a small budget built from partnerships and sponsorships, I believe we could reach 3 million by next September.  This would make us the largest evangelical commentary site on the internet by far, and would give us the reach we need in order to produce the kinds of positive changes we envision here.

American evangelicalism has made extraordinary strides in the last two generations in cultivating top-shelf evangelical intellectuals.  The scandal today is not that there is no evangelical mind.  The scandal today is the inadequacy of the evangelical voice.  Speaking personally, I belong to a whole generation of young evangelical intellectuals who are a product of American evangelicalism’s recommitment to scholarly formation.  Like many in that generation, I emerged from academia to find that there was no mouth for the evangelical mind, no organ to represent the voices of the new evangelical public intellectuals.  I want to be a part of creating that, and am glad to be joined by so many fine brothers and sisters of like mind.

You’ll see many changes at the Evangelical Channel (including the name) in the coming month, including a handful of new bloggers to be unveiled this week.  But the changes begin today with the addition of the fantastically gifted Joe Carter to our stable of bloggers.

There are outstandingly talented evangelical writers, artists and thinkers who can render an honorable and essential service to the church and to society with a dynamic, powerful, creative platform behind them.  We believe that we are on the verge of becoming that platform — and can become that with the help of a phalanx of like-minded writers, partners and sponsors.  We believe the presence and persistence of a distinctively evangelical voice, professing the gospel clearly, witnessing the love of God both in what is said and how it is said, reflecting on church and social matters in light of what God has made true and good and beautiful, would be enormously valuable both for the community of believers and for our culture as a whole.  

About Timothy Dalrymple

Timothy Dalrymple was raised in non-denominational evangelical congregations in California. The son and grandson of ministers, as a young boy he spent far too many hours each night staring at the ceiling and pondering the afterlife.
 
In all his work he seeks a better understanding of why people do, and do not, come to faith, and researches and teaches in religion and science, faith and reason, theology and philosophy, the origins of atheism, Christology, and the religious transformations of suffering

  • Brantley Gasaway

    Tim,
    I congratulate you on building up Patheos’s evangelical content. In light of your previous post on who qualifies as an “evangelical,” how are you approaching this definitional and boundary issue? At one point, I believe, Tony Jones was part of the “evangelical” as well as “progressive” lineup–was the change his decision or an editorial one?

    I think this matters–and I’m quite sure you’ve thought this through–for it will affect the character of the “evangelical voice” that you are hoping to guild and to amplify.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      There are authors we featured on the Evangelical Channel in the past who are no longer featured there, in large measure because I agree with you. David Sessions, for instance, overtly disavowed the title of evangelical for himself. That’s fine. It obviously doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. He’s a great writer and I like him personally, and it’s not a question of whether he has a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. But I spoke with him and Jonathan Fitzgerald about it and we agreed that they should move to the (then-new) Progressive Christian Channel. So that’s one example.

      I think the lineup of bloggers we have now, and are shaping, will give you a good sense of where I’m drawing the lines. It will be a matter of prudence and discernment. We have bloggers who are a bit further on the left, like Scot and Karen and Kurt Willems and Pete Enns, and then we have bloggers who are more on the right, like myself and David French. So we have a spectrum and want to maintain a spectrum. You might call it the 80/20 rule. If 0 is extreme conservative and 100 is extreme liberal, we probably go for the majority in the middle, between 80 and 20. Always willing to bring in new and different and challenging voices, but not necessarily to feature them regularly. Hope that makes sense.

      • Brantley Gasaway

        Thanks–it does make sense. As both a scholar and an evangelical, what concerns me is the unstated assumptions that guide the decisions of who is allowed a place at the evangelical table–especially if your ambitions to become “the most significant source for evangelical commentary online” become realized.

        Regardless of my own leanings, I do think you have done a good job of including more progressive voices, and I agree that you need more conservative ones if you want to properly represent American evangelicalism (and not only its academic members). Not that you need my opinion, but I’d encourage you to be wary of excluding self-identified evangelicals who you (or an editorial board?) seem to believe fall outside of that 80/20 rule–for that’s 40% who have been excluded! My sense is that, for better or worse, Christianity Today has taken this rough approach. That’s fine, but I think that voices on BOTH margins often have much to contribute that evangelicals in general need to consider.

  • http://www.schottsy.com SchottsyMusic

    I look forward to the new emphasis and am so grateful for those who are willing to live out the gospel in every arena of life. May we not be satisfied standing on the sidelines waiting for the Kingdom.

  • http://derekzrishmawy.com Derek Rishmawy

    I like it. I’m already a fan of the Patheos Evangelical page and follow a number of the bloggers closely. The standards actually give me something to shoot for with my own very small, new blog. As for suggestions, I think someone like James K.A. Smith would be interesting to pick up in the Reformed camp. He offers very sharp, nuanced, and helpful commentary. I don’t know if he counts as conservative, at least not politically. Russell Moore might be a good Baptist voice.

    Also, congrats on picking up Christ and Pop Culture. They do good stuff over there.

  • http://karenzach.com karenzach

    Smiling at the thought of being left of center. In Oregon I’m considered a Jesus Freak. In Georgia, they are praying for me. I guess that puts me in the middle of something evangelical.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      I probably shouldn’t speculate, Karen. I’ve seen where you stand on *some* matters, and it does seem to the left of the center of evangelicalism. But I don’t know where you stand on a whole host of issues. I do apologize if I misspoke.

  • Susan

    I’m supportive of changing the name, but I’d personally rather see this channel represent the true middle (40-60?) instead, with the 0-40 writers on a Reformed Christian Channel and 60-100 being on a Progressive Christian channel. Either way, I appreciate the effort to bring more Reformed/Baptist writers into the mix here, and you for your good work.

  • Bo

    As I read it, evangelicals are not liked because they are out of step with the rest of society. Some degree of respect and acceptance can be captured with careful media manipulation. Is this cynicism one of the enduring truths you mention in your opening line? There is a chance your plan will work, but only so long as you are successful in hiding the puppeteer.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      It’s not about cynical media manipulation. It’s about bringing more informed and gracious voices into the public square.

      • Rupaul

        Would these informed and gracious voices also act as though they had a monopoly on “principles” and “values”? Because that’s pretty much what you imply in the first sentence of your post. Maybe your ear isn’t tuned to the same frequency as those outside the Evangelical fold, but after hearing about 20 years of the most conservative voices constantly claiming to be the ones with the “values”, I’m rather sick of that kind of language. “Values Summit”, stuff like that.

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          Not at all. No such implication is intended.

          • Rupaul

            I think you must be so used to saying things like this, that you don’t see how it sounds to outsiders. It is just like “They hate us for our freedoms”, i.e. it’s basically lying by omission.

            The mainstream society (and many Christians) resent Evangelicals for trying to take over; not because they have different “values” (what values are these, that are not shared by Episcopalians for example?) Just think of how the non-religious were pushed out of the Boy Scouts, for example. Or how Evangelicals are in the forefront of keeping *other* religious denominations (like mine) from legally marrying their same-sex couples. This is not a “principled stand”, it is just bullying.

  • Tom Trevethan

    As a Reformed Christian with moderate instincts I welcome what you are proposing heartily. Thanks. I wish you success. May I add two more substantive proposals: edit the comment threads and edit out the tired and crude and thoughtless and graceless commenting that characterizes so much web posting. Personally, I have decided to not follow comments on almost all web sites. It is not controversy I am avoiding, but mindless and harmful banter. In theory the controversy could be illuminating, but for it to be so, you must actively screen the comment threads. I am impressed by the stated criteria and practice of Alan Jacobs. Indeed, he would make a wonderful addition to the conservative kinds of voice you are seeking.

    2.

  • Bobby B.

    This going to be really fun. Before too long the evangelicals will write something and the semi-, former-, and pseudo-evangelicals will attempt a witty take down. The snarks have begun to circle their prey.

  • http://djchuang.com DJ Chuang

    Thank you for carefully articulating what this Evangelical Channel will be about, and providing a space and platform for “evangelical public intellectual engagement” and “thoughtful reflection on policy and society.” I wonder though if it’s more consistent for a majority of evangelicals to be more separatist and disengaged from society, and a historical bias for anti-intellectualism from fundamentalist influentials within the broad umbrella of evangelicalism, that is actually representative of the evangelicals’ civil disengagement.

    And, would it be fair to say that the other Patheos faith channels here aren’t exactly those faith’s thoughtful reflection on policy and society? Why impose this on evangelicals? For instance, is the Buddhist channel about the thoughtful Buddhist public intellectual engagement? (granted, I’m speaking a bit out of ignorance, since I’m new to the Patheos community, so I’m not familiar with the ethos of all the various faiths and channels)

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Hi DJ, thanks for the comments.

      Each channel at Patheos is free to find its own vision. I hope it’s clear that when I refer to public square or public life, I’m not only referring to public policy, but I do refer to public policy as one important topic, and I believe evangelicals would be helped by a more thoughtful approach to public policy questions, both evangelical progressives and evangelical conservatives. But some of the channels at Patheos refer more to current events and public policy, and others less. That’s perfectly fine.

      Evangelicalism differentiated from fundamentalism in the early part of the twentieth century precisely because it wanted to be more intellectually engaged and less separatist. But I do think there was a kind of retrenchment and a withdrawing of evangelicals into their own academic cloisters that proved, in the end, to lead to anti-intellectualism and an awkward reengagement with the political sphere in the 1970s and 1980s.

  • Craig

    “The center of gravity of the Evangelical Channel presently rests just left of center.”

    That’s unexpected. How are you identifying the center? How are you identifying leftness?

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      How about this, Craig? Rather than asking me to do all the work (as you have in quite a few comments today), why don’t you go ahead and survey all of the bloggers at the Evangelical Channel at Patheos. Give me a detailed breakdown of their theological, social and political points of view. Then develop a definition of what is left, what is right, and what is center. Then give me your assessment of where the center of gravity of the site lies. I await your response.

      • Craig

        Tim, you’re the one making the claims. While I understand why you would want someone else to defend your dubious claims, it’s not a reasonable request.

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          I wasn’t asking you to defend my claims. I was asking you to present and defend your own.

          But listen, I’m not going to make the comments on this post, of all posts, divisive. I love our bloggers, whether or not they agree with me. They’re all sincere believers, and outstanding writers and bloggers, and I support them fully. My point in the post above is that we are much better represented in other areas than we are in Baptists and Reformed. And much of the social commentary, with the exception of myself and David French and Thomas Kidd, comes from left of center. That’s perfectly fine. I recruited these bloggers. They did not come here by mistake. I stand behind them. But I would also like to add some voices on the right. That’s partly because I think we need to fill out our offering, partly because I think there’s not a good place presently for those voices to speak into the public domain, and partly because I think conservative evangelicals need to cultivate a more thoughtful voice and approach. I would think you would agree, at least, with the last reason.

          Any more comments in *this* thread that go off topic will, I’m afraid, be deleted. But please feel free to continue raising these issues in other threads.

  • BabyRaptor

    “Evangelicals are neither loved nor respected in the American public square. This is due in part to our enduring and principled commitment to truths and values the rest of mainstream society rejects…”

    Nobody hates you because you choose to believe certain things. People “hate” Christians because your side refuses to not attempt to force everyone to live by your beliefs. And the way you whine about your rights being denied when really your privilege is being challenged.

    If you would actually show everyone else the respect you howl so loudly for and let us live our lives how we see fit, instead of the general attitude of “My god says this, so EVERYONE should have to do it,” people would rag on you a lot less. And we’d all be happier.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      I understand you believe that, BabyRaptor (nice name, by the way!). I simply don’t agree. But the purpose of this post is not to get into those arguments. You can find many posts on those issues elsewhere on the blog. Thanks!

      • Lisa

        Most of my friends and I totally agree with Raptor. George Bush and his supporters were a large reason that I left Christianity and have become quite hostile to the evangelical agenda. I vote against it at every at every opportunity and make sure none of my money goes to organizations who support the evangelical desire to control everyone else and shove their views down the throats of people who aren’t interested As I said the large majority of my friends and colleagues agree with me, even those who have an over all conservative out look on life.

        (Just so you know I’m not a libertine with an agenda to destroy the country, I say this as a 50 year-old, former Christian faithfully and happily married for 29 years, 3 straight kids, two are in the military.)

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          Well, this explains in part why I believe that evangelicals — and especially those who lean to the right — need a place to develop a more thoughtful approach to social and political matters. It ought not to be the case — and I say this as a conservative evangelical — that you are made to feel as though accepting Christ entails enrollment in the Republican party.

          On the other hand, one ought not to leave Christianity because of the misbehavior of one subset of Christians. Christianity properly understood is about trusting and worshiping the God made known in Christ — it’s not about liking Christians, much less approving of the political agenda of one subset of Christians who are, on the world-historical scheme of things, but a thread in the tapestry.

          On the phenomenon of people leaving “Christianity” because of their frustration with the political agenda of many Christians, I need to write soon. Hope you come across it.

  • Jeremy Forbing

    Tim, I think a lot of us are surprised to hear you refer to the Evangelical Portal as tending to be left of center, because the voices that seem central to our experience of the site, especially the more outspoken ones, really seem to issue from the right. I certainly don’t think David French could be called near the center of anything! If he were, then we’d have to label just about all the bloggers here left-wing types. But obviously, when I refer to someone’s “experience” of this part of Patheos, that is a highly subjective thing. I think you are being honest in expressing your perception of how this site slants, and that is doubtlessly a deeper perception than just about anyone else’s given your position. Also, your own ideological identification with the right must have its effect on your perception of where the “center” is in the first place. So I take issue with anyone who attacks your motives in what is undoubtedly your sincere attempt to attract Evangelical voices you see as under-represented here. While I completely understand people being shocked at the notion that this site needs more of a Conservative perspective (I know I was), what you describe is in line with the other goals you state in your original post, and I hope more people will withhold judgment until they see how you implement these goals and stop seizing on the political categories inside your much larger plan.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      I understand why questions are being raised, and I’m aware of my own biases. Our most influential bloggers within evangelicalism, however, are more centrist or center-left, like Scot McKnight, Pete Enns, Kurt Willems and Roger Olson. That’s not to mention some who are more focused now in the Progressive Christian Channel, like Tony Jones and James McGrath. But that’s all I’m going to say. Apart from David French and myself, even our more conservative-leaning folks like Mark D. Roberts are quite moderate and rarely comment on political or social issues, or they’re idiosyncratic like Ben Witherington, who is pro-life but also against the death penalty and a pacifist. I think you’re focusing too much on David French and me if you perceive the channel as a whole — which has several dozen bloggers, remember — is right-leaning.

      But again, I don’t want this to disintegrate into yet another Left/Right argument. Let’s keep that on the other posts.

  • http://fidesquaerens.livejournal.com Marta Layton

    Hi Tim,

    First – all the luck with this endeavor. I’m a Methodist myself but with half my extended family being Southern Baptist (and having grown up in the Carolinas, where the Southern Baptist/evangelical tradition is quite prevalent) I have a definite respect for what the tradition is capable of. It makes me sad that so often the evangelicals discussing thing in public are overly focused on political issues and seem to have a simplistic theology that doesn’t admit to orthodox disagreements of interpretation. I am sure better voices are out there, your blog being one such example, and I look forward to seeking what you can do with it.

    Second – I am genuinely confused (and a bit concerned) with your talk of being center-left now and hoping to move center-right. One of the greatest dangers to evangelicalism –and I say this as an outsider– is that evangelicalism situates its identity in terms of political issues, whereas other types of Christians (at least their public intellectuals) tend to start with interpreting the tradition, working out general principles, and then apply it to specific issues. Blogging being topical, we may present it the other way, but I think behind the scenes the issues rest on a non-political foundation. Invoking talk of right, left, and center suggests your very identity is based on political issues. That strikes me as precisely the kind of problem with evangelicalism in the public square you want to stay clear of, if you want to give evangelicals a voice that people take seriously.

    (I’m also confused on what your reference point is. Do you mean center-right of the halfway point for evangelicals? Evangelical intellectuals? American society as a whole? What exactly?)

    Finally – I’d like to offer my help. As I said I’m not an evangelical and I can be a bit liberal on social issues (which I’m happy to keep off the blog), but I do have a certain understanding and respect for Reformed theology. I’d be happy to participate in dialogues, write guest posts to offer counterpoint, whatever you like. Speaking selfishly, I’d love the exposure and the experience, but aside from that this is a project I’d be more than happy to support. Email me (mlaytonATfordhamDOTedu) if I can ever do anything to help you guys out around here.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Thanks so much for these comments, Marta. I agree with your basic point regarding evangelical identity, as I wrote in another recent post entitled, “When Do You Stop Calling Someone an Evangelical?” As I said there, social issues ought not to be considered the criteria for evangelical identity, since they are prudential applications of fundamental principles and not the fundamental principles themselves. When I speak of left- or right-of-center here, I’m speaking more holistically, saying that I would like to bolster our offering and cover the spectrum better on theological as well as sociopolitical issues.

      I will politely decline to set out a reference point (for “center”) here in the comments, since that would be a mighty labor, except to note that I’m referring to the center of evangelicalism and not the center of society as a whole. It’s just my educated opinion, and the opinion of many others who observe the channel. But I think we’re reaching a point of diminishing returns on the left/right debate, and it’s probably easier to say that I would like to have more writers to represent Baptist and Reformed traditions theologically, and I would like to have some who can make an intelligent and winsome case for many traditionally evangelical opinions on sociopolitical matters.

      Would you mind sending me a note at EvangelicalPortal@patheos.com in order to establish a thread?

  • Taylor

    I would look forward to hearing from some more reformed and baptist writers. The way I view the evangelical channel is, if I could borrow from Scott Thomas of Acts 29, using the closed handed theology and open handed theology. If bloggers agree with the inerrancy of Scripture, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ and the penal substitution atonement, we should openly welcome them into the Evangelical channel. That defines them as Evangelicals. Then, include writers that have a variety of different opinions on matters of baptism, eschatology, calvinism, etc. including Emerging (not Emergent) writers and those of established ecclesiology, too. I’m personally Wesleyan but I also learn quite a lot from our reformed friends.

  • http://www.theupsidedownworld.com Rebecca Trotter

    I think it would be great if you could seek out voices from our African American brethren to add. There’s a definite lack of color around here. I understand how it happens, but I think it would be worth the effort to seek out more diversity.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Yes, absolutely!

  • Dan

    I wish you good fortune and wisdom in your endeavour. It would be nice to find a site for intelligent interaction on cultural issues from a broad spectrum. Personally, I don’t know if I will visit very much. As evidenced by many of the responses to this post, civilized and gracious exchange will not happen. No, one need not call others names but there is a distinct air of hostility toward other Christians who line up to the ideological right. I have been visiting a number of the Patheos blogs you listed for quite some time now. I used to enjoy reading and interacting on some of those you identify as “left of center” but not anymore. There is such a hive-mentality that shows up. It is not as bad as being a conservative Christian on Reddit but if the topic is egalitarianism, homosexuality, pacifism, eternal destiny, politics or about other bloggers at sites like the Gospel Coalition, it certainly seems like it. After a couple forays into a discussion about egalitarianism or pacifism and one learns one’s lesson. Maybe it’s the anonymity of the internet that encourages the sharp comments one probably not hear if we all were at Starbucks. I’m at the point that I will just go to sites that deal with archaeology, biblical translations or history.

    FWIW, you have been very gracious in how you interact with folks who dissent. I’ve read your blog for awhile on a host of issues and you most always keep your replys restrained and respectful. A very good example to all. Perhaps as Tom Trevethan noted back up the line, if you stay engaged and actively moderate the comments there might be something constructive to come of this. One of the blogs you mentioned (but I should not) has very little direct interaction and moderation by the host-blogger and as a result that hive-mentality takes over. It is a real shame too because his feedback would be welcomed.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Thanks for these comments, Dan. Much appreciated. I suspect that any conversation with even a tinge of politics is growing more partisan and intense as the election nears. Let’s hope it’s temporary.

      I don’t always respond in the way I should, but thanks.

      God bless.

  • Larry Easton

    Tim,
    I’m late to this post, but delighted nonetheless t0 learn of the coming changes/additions. It strikes me as a sort of “Firing Line” … the weekly public affairs television broadcast hosted by William F. Buckley. I, along with millions of others enjoyed the program precisely because it devoted itself, whether presenting opposing points of view or in depth discussions of conservatism, to an intellectual rigor which both encouraged and survived scrutiny.

    I look forward to this expanded version of the Evangelical Channel and congratulate you on your continued commitment to intellectual and spiritual integrity.


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