Evangelicalism is collapsing and… It should
In 1994, Mark Noll wrote a book to encourage reform with his fellow evangelicals. He titled it, “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.”
Now the pews are emptying. A mass exodus is underway. And many observers say the real scandal is the political mind of the religious right.
Are the critics correct?
Bill Protzmann and I had a long, wide-ranging discussion.
And it led me to praise the burning down that’s happening. I even call for the end of the institutional churches.
I do so from a unique vantage point…
I grew up in fundamentalism. I admire the father who raised me in it. I recognize the good in the people still holding those views.
This perspective-taking is an essential part of the practice of Grace.
It also means I’m in a unique position to offer an honest critique.
This VERY wide-ranging discussion goes through several historical touchpoints, including the conservative evangelical approach to…
- Science (flood geology)
- Politics (from Moral Majority to Ralph Reed)
- Foreign Policy (dispensationalism, from Scofield to LaHaye)
We also cover an event from 19 years ago that demonstrates just what a bad deal it was to sell out the kingdom for the pottage of politics.
Yet, we are balanced enough to cover how the secular, political left contributes to the fears of evangelicals because too many people want to believe it’s all one side’s fault.
We fairly and justly explain the roots of fundamentalism, but not in a vacuum, because…
It not only doesn’t have to be this way, but also the community of faith wasn’t originally designed this way. We explain what happened and how we can live in a world that doesn’t feature this fight.
If you’re not a member of the evangelical camp, you’ll come away with a better understanding of these people.
As for the members of this tribe, who might be frightened by the subject matter, I empathize with your concerns. But don’t you think you should be open and honest about why the younger generation is deconstructing, leaving the church, and ultimately departing the faith?
Pew, George Barna, and others have made you well aware. But almost every answer from inside the evangelical camp blames outsiders. A few offer a program called apologetics — which is supposed to be a more rigorous catechism. Maybe that makes some difference at the margins. But what about dealing with the eye beam?
If you already have a foot out the door, then maybe before you listened to this episode you couldn’t quite describe everything you were feeling.
Well, this episode will be most comforting to you. I am a Done, as in done with attendance. I want you to know there is life and there is even faith after you leave this institution!
THIS EPISODE, The Decline and Fall of the Evangelical Empire is sweeping and thorough. It’ll likely require more than one sitting. So, listen while you work or drive on these podcasting platforms: Pandora * iHeart * Google Podcasts * Spotify
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ZAP The State and have a nice day,
Host, Gracearchy with Jim Babka
Co-creator, Zero Aggression Project