Watch Evangelicals Lose Their Young

Two posts of note today.

I don’t often re-post stuff from Rachel Held Evans, mainly because I assume that you all read her already. Her posts are, almost without exception, worth reading. But today’s post was, I think, a watershed post for her (and probably for many post-evangelicals). The talk for many years has been around Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. His conclusion: There isn’t an evangelical mind.

Well, that was nearly 20 years ago. Evangelicals have done their best to mitigate that, starting Books & Culture and academic societies and the like.

But, Rachel tells us, that’s not the real problem. That’s not what’s driven her from evangelicalism.

Rachel leaving evangelicalism because evangelicalism lacks a heart:

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Andrew Sullivan and the Future of Blogging

Andrew Sullivan may change the face of blogging. Or maybe not.

Last night, Courtney and I watched Downton Abbey. I find it little more than a soap opera in tuxes, but I enjoy it. However, what we both commented on at the end was that, thanks to its airing on public television, we were able to watch a two-hour show, uninterrupted, with nary a commercial. Same goes for other great shows in recent memory, like The Wire and The Sopranos (both on HBO). Be it a donation or subscription, viewers are supporting the production of these shows by paying a monthly or annual fee.

Last week, premier blogger Andrew Sullivan announced that his online real estate, The Dish, would be moving away from ad-driven hosts (he’s been with TIME, The Atlantic, and, most recently, The Daily Beast/Newsweek). He’s asking for an annual contribution of $20, and in less than a week, he’s raised half of the $900,000 budget that he needs:

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On Missing the Memes

As I wrote recently, I’ve been a bit down recently. Part of the consequence of that is that I just can’t keep up with all of the inputs in my life. I can’t both read and write, for instance. Another consequence is that big blogging memes have passed me by.

I’ll admit, it’s hard to see Rachel and Scot and Fred weigh in on Ross Douthat’s ignorance about liberal Christianity, John Piper’s latest idiocy, and the recent offense by a “complementarian.” Hard because they get big traffic and tons of comments. These topics are red meat for you, dear readers. And they are for me, too.

But I cannot always keep up. I cannot always weigh in on the breaking news in the theological world.

I don’t want to be a bloggy ambulance chaser, taking every chance to drop the names Piper, Driscoll, and Bell, even though when I do my traffic spikes.*

So I’m going to keep at it. I’m not going to beat myself up when I miss a meme. I’m going to keep blogging every day — sometimes about Piper, but more often about God and prayer and theology.

And, while I’m on the topic, I’d love your ideas on themes you’d like to see explored here.

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“Women In Ministry” – I’m Over It.

She seems quite happy to be in ministry.

Kudos for RHE running a week-long series on mutuality.

And to Scot McKnight for his repeated posts on this topic.

But seriously.

As I sat over my coffee this morning, reading the morning paper and smelling the garlic parmesan sourdough bread that I had in the oven, I thought about RHE’s series and wondered how I could write something that would help her convince “complementarians” to become “egalitarians.” And I’m completely stumped.

It is simply unfathomable to me that entire versions of Christianity today — be they Roman Catholic or Southern Baptist or Amish — restrict ministry to men. I grew up in a tradition that long had women preachers — beginning in 1853, with the first modern ordination of a woman, Antoinette Brown (I preached about that here, in my first (and likely my last) ordination sermon).

The fact is, as I preached in that sermon, God ordains, not man. The process of ordination is simply a human recognition of a divinely given charism. If God has ordained a woman to ministry and you deny or reject that ordination, woe betide you! For Jesus taught unequivocally that to blaspheme the work of the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin.

Let me interpret that verse for you: If the Holy Spirit has given the charism of preaching or teaching or pastoral care to a woman, and you deny the authority of that charism because of some head-in-your-ass biblical hermeneutic, you are committing an unforgivable sin.

Let me interpret it more pithily: The work of the Holy Spirit trumps your biblical interpretation.

Chew on that, Complementarians.


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