Better than an altar call in which someone makes a one-time decision and then puts their trust in that decision for the rest of their life is the simple proclamation of the gospel and subsequent exhortation to all to believe and live by the gospel. We’ve become convinced in evangelicalism that noone can be saved without praying a prayer. This is simply not true. Our assurance of salvation does not root in the subjective moment we recall as signaling our… Read more

The invitation system has achieved almost sacred status in a certain corner of evangelicalism. To those in this corner, being mainly traditionally conservative Baptist churches, to not give an invitation is to not present the gospel and also to prevent people from being saved. This latter effect is what is often most stridently argued and also most heavily flawed. Such thinking stems from an ironclad belief that salvation depends on the actions of men. Not in the sense that works… Read more

Today marks another installment in the “Evangelical Eccentricities” series. I hope it’s been somewhat interesting. We look now at the “invitation system” or “altar-call” mentality of many evangelical churches.Evangelicals have preached what they call the “gospel” for many years. The gospel consists of the proclamation that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and very God Himself, came to earth from heaven, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross to wash away the sins of a rebellious people. His… Read more

One of the weird traits I’ve noticed of evangelicals is our propensity for lowest common denominator Christianity. In our beliefs, we often gravitate toward the simple and basic. This is in some ways a positive thing. It’s good, I think, to emphasize the essentials and major on the most important. Such action stirs up unity and reminds us of our basic identity: we are Christians.But this tendency has its drawbacks, too, namely that we tend to cling to what it… Read more

As an evangelical, it’s interesting to describe the work of missions to religious outsiders. Lots of people in this day are somewhat familiar with the fact that Christians try to tell other people what they’re about. That’s fairly well known by the culture at large. But many people are not familiar with the idea that people voluntarily (and passionately) pack up their belongings and hopes and dreams and move far away with the sole purpose of communicating the Christian faith…. Read more

Having looked at the strange, conference-oriented nature of evangelicals, we turn to examine their propensity for symbols. Evangelicals have long felt the need to litter their lives and spaces with all manner of symbols. The cross, the icthus (the little fish thing), and the trinity symbol are just three examples of symbols popular among Christians today. Take the fish for a minute. For some reason, we put the fish everywhere we can. Now, obviously I know that we do so… Read more

One of the most hilarious aspects of evangelical culture is its love of conferences. It’s well established that adults love conferences. After all, conferences are sort of what adults do when it’s not cool for them to go to festivals anymore. But one of the funniest things about evangelicals and conferences is the tendency of young evangelicals to conference. That’s what we’re exploring today.This thought came to mind after a friend of mine and I were talking about the fall… Read more

Enough blathering about romance, romantic systems, and all that sort of thing. It’s time to change gears, and instead blather about evangelicals and their weirdnesses. This series has been brewing for a while, and I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s all done in good humor and fun and isn’t intended to be any sort of harsh critique.Of all the sociopolitical and socioreligiousethnic groups out there, evangelicals have to stand as one of the more fascinating to study. I don’t think… Read more

How important it is that we as Christians take pains to guard our hearts. It is right both for ourselves and our romantic interest that we do so. Yet we cannot forget that the pursuit of love always involves risk, and more than this, that God has built risk into the process for the continuation of our sanctification. Today, we’ll look briefly at the ways in which a man and a woman benefit from risking in romance.A woman benefits from… Read more

One of the common arguments I often hear in defense of courtship is that it helps to cut out much of the heartbreak that comes with dating relationships. Dating, goes the line, often involves a high level of emotional involvement, often to the point of attachment. Because there is no greater goal to which the couple is working, this tendency is quite unhelpful and even sinful, particularly on the part of the man, who is responsible for leading the relationship… Read more

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