While I was in Chicago earlier this month speaking at the Pastorum conference, I was interviewed by The Christian Post on my take on young Evangelicals and how they are processing their faith. (“Young Evangelicals” is simply commonly used short hand for recurring generational restlessness within Evangelicalism. It is not to imply that one need be “young” to feel this way.)
The interviewer did a good job of capturing some of the tenor of what I was trying to convey, although I feel I come across more negative and denunciatory than it felt over a pint or two at the hotel bar while watching baseball highlights. As with all interviews, decisions need to be made and some nuances were lost.
Still, the main point holds, and it is as old as the hills. There are unofficial yet powerful gatekeepers whose job it is to be ever vigilant about what passes in and out of the movement they feel charged to protect. This protective posture does not encourage the kind of hermeneutical and theological self-reflection that some others–professors, pastors, students, lay people–feel is necessary to bring to the table, on issues like: inerrancy, Canaanite genocide, homosexuality, date and authorship of biblical books, evolution, historicity of the exodus and conquest of Canaan. etc. The list is long and hardly needs elaboration for those involved in the struggle.In case you are not familiar with it, I recommend to you the book I mentioned in the interview by theologian John Franke, Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth, which lays out relentlessly but also accessibly the diverse theology of Scripture and of the people of God throughout history and today–which is not good news if one is trying to protect a theological system.