A good description of "postconservative evangelical"

A good description of "postconservative evangelical" April 13, 2011

I’ve begun reading a relatively new book (2010) by one Steven B. Sherman entitled Revitalizing Theological Epistemology: Holistic Approaches to the Knowledge of God (Cambridge, UK: James Clarke & Co.).

The author begins with my category “postconservative evangelical” and defines it thus:

“Basically, they [postconservative evangelicals] compose a loose coalition of thinkers who are seeking to facilitate a number of ‘beyond’ moves, theologically: beyond the agenda of the modernist/fundamentalist dichotomy toward what they see as a more holistic theology; beyond classical foundationalist epistemology toward alternative concepts of knowledge; beyond concentration on rationalism toward incorporating additional ways of knowing; beyond inerrancy debates and concerns toward an instrumental use of scripture; beyond academy-centered theologizing toward ecclesial and community-oriented thinking; beyond gatekeeping on boundary-setting doctrinalism toward a generous orthodoxy with pietistic emphasis; and finally, beyond what they view as a fixation on the concerns of modernity often motivated by a fear of liberalism, toward a more positive view and selective appropriation of postmodern insights.” (9-10)

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

The only addition I would make is that “postconservative” does NOT mean “anti-conservative.”  “Post” added to a word does not indicate rejection but sublation.  (Please don’t ask me to define sublation; look it up!)

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