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23 Responses

  1. CM says:

    Regarding Robert Jeffress,

    I suspect his change in attitude is more due to survival and practical reasons. Remember this pastor has had his lips planted on Trump’s rear for years as a member of his Evangelical Advisory Board. I guess Robert Jeffress won’t be invited back on Lou Dobb’s show every Friday like he has been for the whole year for both of them to genuflect towards Trump. He will also be unfriended by Dobbs and whole lot of others.

    For those of you expecting Jerry Falwell, Jr. to say “President-Elect Biden”, don’t bet on it. He prefers to _watch_ others say it, because that is how he rolls.

  2. bob1 says:

    CM,

    Since no one really knows Jeffress’ inner being except him and God…

    I’m really glad he changed his opinion on the legitimacy of the recent election.

  3. CM says:

    Whatever the motivation of Jeffress, I am glad as well. That being said, expect him to get branded a traitor by the MAGA-cult members. I guess I can sit back with some popcorn and watch the show as the cult collapses and they eat each other.

  4. Bride of Christ says:

    ”When Political Prophesies Don’t Come to Pass’ Wow, very insightful article .I just viewed on tv an election official in Pennsylvania being interviewed. ” I understand that some people are happy about the outcome of this election, and that some people are unhappy about the results, but what I don’t understand is the appetite some people gave for untruths”. That pretty much explains what’s happening today , doesn’t it? Pray for those poor , beleaguered American citizens who are doing the hard work of counting the ballots and ensuring our votes are heard… And that all Americans will have a longing for truth, and not the untruths they merely wish to be true.
    .

  5. bob1 says:

    BOC,

    I read that article too. Fascinating. I think the author said he had some dreams that Trump would not be reelected. I really like the piece and liked the author’s insights.

  6. brian says:

    I get I should loath Jeffress and pray God will relegate him to eternal perdition where he will be tormented in the Presence of the Prince of Peace and His holy angels. Having been burned I can say I wish that on no person, to my eternal shame. I don’t want God to torment my perceived /actual enemies for all eternity so I can watch. Being the Satanic worshiper I am I don’t desire to see anyone tormented for all eternity. It has been pointed out to me that I should rejoice in such events but I can’t. Shame on me.

    Fire hurts, I can’t describe how it hurts but why would an all-powerful Deity wish that on anyone I don’t get. Michael maybe U can help me Why does God want people to be tormented?

  7. jtk says:

    I continually do not understand: when evangelicalism is criticized, WHAT IS THE SOLUTION outside of evangelicalism?!

    When one criticizes socialism, they usually intend capitalism and visa versa.

    The article is about evangelicalism is painful as it states towards the end, in part, shut the heck up.

    It just seems critical without many solutions.

    Please help me.

  8. jtk says:

    If someone said, let’s all return to the Catholic church, or X denomination, or all become mainline, I’d get it.

    If I criticize a burger joint, point out a better burger joint. Or recommend tacos. I do and don’t get the critical spirit.

  9. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    jtk, the implicit solution is “listen to the mainlines” instead, at least from, say, a non-evangelical Dutch Reformed perspective.

    That the Dutch Reformed tradition had its own role to play in white supremacist policies in South Africa would be another topic for another context but within the context of the United States its role is so comparatively marginal as to be a non-starter. Robert P Jones’ new book White Too Long is on my reading list and his case seems to be that white churches across the history of the US shaped white supremacist policies by lending theological arguments but that in the present era it’s a bit too easy to scapegoat evangelicals and religious conservatives in the last fifty years for endorsing views that were previously shaped by what have long since become the mainlines.

    It can be easy to compile the ways evangelicals backed Gulf War 2 and the War on Terror in the last twenty years but there are paradoxically new atheists such as Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris who, as John Gray noted about fellow atheists in Seven Kinds of Atheism, contributed nothing of significance to philosophy beyond backing American imperialism and the second Gulf War.

    What might be at stake is a set of debates about who the “real” Americans are, a la The Stranger’s The Urban Archipelago editorial of 2004.

    We could take Metaxas’ efforts to invent an evangelical rather than a neo-orthodox Bonhoeffer as an example of what evangelicalism has been trying to do in the last fifty years, or DG Hart’s survey From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin where he pointed out that conservative Christians in the United States have been fabricating a history in which the Founding Fathers were more evangelical and orthodox than they were.

    The thing is, I find there can be a scapegoating pattern in white Christian leadership that has a lot to do with contemporary partisan politics, whether it’s Randall Balmer’s Politico piece on evangelicals and the religious right really starting in opposition to racial integration in schools or, a few years ago, Mark Driscoll saying Margaret Sanger was racist and that it has been the liberals who are the real racists in terms of policies about abortion and people of color. The problem is not that either of these cases are factually false so much as that its two white guys spinning history to make their team look better. Last I heard the American Episcopal Church has not issued a formal apology for its role in the Native American boarding schools that were designed to “save the man by killing the Indian”, although maybe the Anglican apology from the 1990s has a trickle down effect. Even Planned Parenthood has finally begun to distance itself from Sanger on the issue of her views on race but, as I was saying earlier, these are cases where contemporary partisanship inspires people to scapegoat someone as “the real racists” rather than contend with the ways racist legacies have played out across doctrinal and political spectrum lines.

    Evangelicals have been pining for years in which we’re taken seriously but the problem is often that the heroes of evangelicalism can be guys like C. S. Lewis who existed in what we’d call a “mainline” in the US, i.e. there was never some golden era of evangelical intellectual life a la Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, there has not been much of a mind, which can help to explain why someone like Metaxas can basically invent an “evangelical” Bonhoeffer.

    The death spiral of the mainlines is going to keep happening regardless of what folks in the mainlines say about evangelicalism, which is also on a downward trend. I just picked up a book recently looking at the demise of Christian activity in the West that has some contributions from theologians and pastors from Africa, Asia and South America I’m curious to read. I just finished a couple of books by Esther Acolatse recently and it’s curious to me how contemporary Americans debate about Christianity and Americanism in the United States as though the largest bod of Christians today isn’t in Africa.

    No conservative Protestants I knew of considered the POTUS being an antichrist until Obama got elected, but living in Seattle as I do I read a few United Methodist clergy willing to consider that W was the antichrist. I propose it makes the most sense to say the POTUS is “an” antichrist by dint of the nature of American power and that Exodus 22:28 and Ecclesiastes 10:20 are instructions to pray for whoever has the job. So whoever has the job in 2021 … we should pray for them and not revile them, even if reviling the leaders of the people is the most American thing to do.

  10. CM says:

    WTH,

    Though the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa has owned up to their past in may ways. The Belhar Confession that was approved in recent years was one of the means of addressing their past:

    https://www.rca.org/about/theology/creeds-and-confessions/the-belhar-confession/

  11. Duane Arnold says:

    PTK/WTH

    Back in the day I used an evangelical “escape hatch” and, like my friend Bob Webber, became a priest in the Episcopal Church. With other “escapees” we encouraged evangelicals wanting “something more” to join us. Many did, but with the passing of 40 years and the multiple changes in world-wide Anglicanism, most of us have found ourselves in the blind alley of the Episcopal Church or the fractured world of a divided Anglican communion. Those who made their way to PCUSA or UMC have largely found the same. I think the mistake may be looking for a “global” solution. I’ve come to believe that if one is tired of evangelical games, one should attempt to find a local body of believers which embodies those values (or at least a large part of them) that are consistent with your faith journey. The name on the front of the building does not matter. It may be Anglican, Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, Orthodox, etc., but it should be a place in which you can, in some sense, live out your faith.

    This is to say, barring a miracle, for much of what calls itself “evangelical” there is no solution… or at least none that I can see at present.

  12. JTK. I suspect your confusion is because of not knowing historical info.

    -What alternative? Whatever alternative you want.

    Eva iS AN ALTERNATIVE. The creaters just made it up as an alternative, because they rejected the then dominate, Fundamentalism. It was born out of struggle.

    – What alternative? I was raised in the defeated vestiges of one. An older form of American Christianity.

    I would reframe your question, and instead ask you this: What do you understand the foundation of Evangelicalism to be?

  13. filbertz says:

    I was moved by the article on the funerals provided by the Catholic Memorial High School. In my rather skewed & screwy former/sort-of still evangelical opinion it was a worthy read…and may provide a glimmer of potential for those of us who don’t really know how to proceed with adjusting within or without evangelicalism. No, I’m not advocating for becoming Catholic, though there are far worse options out there which some have embraced…instead, it is a willingness to learn from and honor others who are doing well in the name of Jesus.

  14. filbertz says:

    the exegetical parody was a fun diversion with a worthy pitch.

    WTH–much to consider in your 7:16 & some helpful references too.

  15. Eric says:

    The link for this page is phoenixpreacher.com/linkathon-300/
    That’s a lot of linkathons!

    I read about Carl Lentz’ scandal, which began in Domino Park. The next page I read had an ad for pizza (not Domino’s though).

  16. jtk says:

    Thank you for the answers!

    Wenatchee, you gave me a lot for references and a lot to ponder.

    This is a good day on the PP!

  17. jtk says:

    Nathan:
    “I would reframe your question, and instead ask you this: What do you understand the foundation of Evangelicalism to be?”

    I’m honestly taking for granted others’ use of the term and debating it based on what THEY label it.

    It’s frustrating for me because it SEEMS lots of people come from a critical spirit and give no solutions! How it SEEMS at least.

    The irony is not lost on me, as criticism of a Calvary Chapel brought me here via a local pastor I prayed with at the time.

    Perhaps, based on your suggestion, there could be a NEW ALTERNATIVE to “evangelical” that currently is nameless…?

  18. Em says:

    Alternative to Evangelical? We should all be ready and willing to be evangelical (sharing the gospel message)….
    But, today since the term doesn’t mean what it means. …
    Church? Believers? Ambassadors for Christ? Hmmmm

  19. bob1 says:

    This definition by a historian, David Bebbington, is often cited as what it means to be evangelical.

    Conversionism: the belief that lives need to be transformed through a “born-again” experience and a life long process of following Jesus

    Activism: the expression and demonstration of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts

    Biblicism: a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority

    Crucicentrism: a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as making possible the redemption of humanity

    https://www.nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/

  20. CM says:

    bob1,

    By that definition, most of the people in the US who call themselves envangelicals, ARE NOT. Which is why the Evangelical Christian Right will irrelevant before too long (Trump was the final nail in the coffin). The Evangelical Christian Left has been irrelevant for decades. The term evangelical has been tainted, perhaps permanently. Maybe after a few decades of the US being like secular Europe then genuine Evangelicals can start using the term and it will mean was it is supposed to mean.

  21. I find that as I seek to pastor our church to a more Christ and Gospel driven model, the political and materialistic evangelicals in time jump ship. I’m resolved not to prop any cultural idols, instead putting ourselves under the example of Jesus and the instruction of the Word. This perspective came to me in Bible college in a class on leadership that offered nothing like the leadership principles of the world. I was introduced to Matthew 20:20-28 and forced to reckon with the teaching of Jesus that leadership is servanthood. The words of Jesus still ring in my ears when he described the worlds style of leadership (power/control/authority), then turned to his disciples and said, “Not so with you.”

  22. JTK. Evangelicslism (formerly called Neo-Evangelicalism) has been undergoing constant evolution since its late 40’s creation. What form it’s going to take next is anybody’s guess, but it’s morphed into a Trumpian civic religion since 2016. Perhaps a pietist element will soon emerge as well. Regardless of Trump’s 2016 rise to power, people where already looking for something with more substance then Eva often gives.

    This link is a transcript of Harold Okenga. Pasedena, CA 1947. I argue this is the founding date of Neo-Evangelicalism.(no endorsement of TGC is implied)
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/evangelical-history/70-years-ago-harold-john-ockengas-opening-convocation-address-to-fuller-theological-seminary/%3famp

    A convocational speech is hardly a precise form of communication. Parcing the text is required, because ultimately, words mean things. The tiny network of Neo’s are Fundamentalist, but also subversive militants. They had an agenda unveiled in the address, and also in the mentioned book: The uneasy conscience of modern fundamentalism – Carl F. H. Henry 1947.

    Bob1’s description is correct, because these roughly discribe Fundamentalism ideology, and the Neo’s where very Fundamentalist. Through idealogical struggle, they hoped to obtain these objectives:
    1.Defeat Modernism.
    2.Defeat Dispensationalism
    3.Gain control of all non-Catholic institutions in an pragmatic ecumenical movement.
    4.Engage global cultures utilizing united Christian efforts.
    5.Create a new World Mind as cultures adopt historical Protestant traditions.

    The 2016-2020 timeframe is a logical,
    although unforseen outcome. Eva has been both wildly successful and a failure. What that means to you, if anything, you’ll have to ponder. Personaly, I do not fit into this concept, and am left feeling a bit like a stranger, in a strange land.

    Calvary Chapel side note- Chuck Smith started his ministry career because he went to a Neo related event in High School. Billy Graham was an early employee of Youth for Christ. He was in the LA basin because Neo’s where connected with First Presbyterian Church, in Hollywood.

  23. bob1 says:

    NP,

    I don’t think there’s one “evangelicalism” anymore. There’ve always been different branches.

    I’m not so sure that Bebbington’s description is adequate, anyway. What about a creedal definition? That would be really important to me. So, I wouldn’t be described by his definition (not that I really care, BTW).

    The bigger issue is, “Why does evangelicalism and the label evangelical take up such outsize room in religious dialogue? “There are millions of folks who belong to mainline churches, and the Catholics, for example.
    I also believe there are millions of folks who might consider themselves to be ‘moderate’ Christians who believe in the Christian basics but aren’t onboard with all the cultural issues (and I’m not referring to the last four years here) like evolution, etc.

    Again, I think people like polarization and they like boiling things down to a bare minimum.

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