#ReimagineCHRISTIANITY...in America


10432353488?profile=RESIZE_584xStruggling with Evangelicalism

Why I Want to Leave and What It Takes to Stay

by Dan Stringer

Foreword by Richard J. Mouw

The IVPress Interview:  The Good, the Bad, and the Future of Evangelicalism


Maybe you’re struggling with evangelicalism too. If so, it could be for any number of reasons. Perhaps you’re disillusioned with the political platform that’s been confl ated with Christianity into a package deal. Or you’re grappling with how a seemingly 18 STRUGGLING WITH EVANGELICALISM Christ-centered apologist like Ravi Zacharias could have sexually abused so many victims by using his ministry as leverage. Even if you’re not surprised when famous Christians get caught doing terrible things, your revulsion may stem from a particular church environment that turned you off from evangelicalism by the way someone close to you was treated. The dissonance you feel could also stem from how the evangelicals you know have (mis)handled subjects like science, sexuality, singleness, or supernatural gifts. Perhaps it’s all of the above. You’re not alone.

Coastal cliffs are a mixed bag, offering breathtaking views but also hazardous landslides. In a similar way, evangelicalism can be simultaneously life-giving and dangerous. Much of the recent commotion surrounding the evangelical label reacts to one of these seemingly incompatible characteristics. On one hand, cynicism has swelled because hypocrisy, injustice, and abuse repeatedly harm those Jesus commanded us to love. Cynicism’s negative filter makes it increasingly difficult for some to see any hope for evangelicalism’s future. At the spectrum’s other end, conversations tend to focus on evangelicalism in its ideal form, emphasizing what it should or could be if we lived out our values faithfully or recaptured the best of our heritage. This idealistic approach sets a high bar with good intentions, but, like cynicism, it tells an incomplete story by failing to describe evangelicalism as it really is: a mixed bag.

This book proposes a third way that is neither idealistic nor cynical. In order to take the mixed bag seriously, I believe we can neither disavow evangelicalism on account of its brokenness nor minimize its complicity in ongoing patterns of idolatry and injustice. By grappling with a more realistic account of evangelicalism experienced from the inside, this book aims to cultivate appreciation for the gifts God has given us, even as we learn to repent for our collective sins. As we come to terms with a complicated space, we must neither yield to the status quo nor oversimplify the mess we’re in. Beginning in the next chapter...

Until we engage evangelicalism’s good and bad in an integrated way, we won’t come to terms with our mixed feelings about this influential space where so many have encountered Jesus in direct and personal ways. Whether you’re on the brink of leaving evangelicalism behind, strongly committed to staying, or somewhere in between, I desire to help you make an informed decision about your relationship with evangelicalism moving forward. Are you ready?   

•Read the complete excerpt here>>>

•Read the IVPress Interview: The Good, the Bad, and the Future of Evangelicalism

Posted @ IVPress

•From the Foreward:

"Dan Stringer was once my student, but now he has become my teacher. I learned a lot from this book, about both the brokenness and beauty of the movement that I love. He also offers many wise, practical lessons about how to go about the necessary repair work. May it happen!"

Richard J. Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary, from the foreword

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  • "Evangelicalism...glosses over the fact that global Christianity is far bigger and more diverse than White American evangelicalism.

    Less than 3% of the world's Christians are White American evangelicals.

    One third of American evangelicals are people of color; including nearly half of evangelcials under the age of thirty."

    Dan Stringer 

    Struggling With Evangelicalism



    Why “Orthodox” Rather than “Conservative?”


    Quotes from Roger E. Olsen

    Posted in Patheos.com



    Call me an “orthodox evangelical” meaning, not liberal, not fundamentalist, not conservative among evangelicals. Among American evangelicals “conservative” tends to mean adhering to biblical inerrancy and plenary verbal inspiration and an overly literalistic interpretation of the Bible.


    In “The Case for Orthodox Theology” E. J. Carnell, then a leading evangelical theologian, stated that “conservative” is often equated with “fundamentalist” and fundamentalism is “orthodoxy gone cultic.” He preferred to be called “orthodox” rather than “conservative” even though he admitted to being conservative compared with liberals and even neo-orthodox.


    I have called myself “postconservative” but always explaining that does not mean non-conservative or anti-conservative. It means wanting to transcend the elements of fundamentalism that remain within and among American conservative evangelicals such as (IMHO) The Gospel Coalition. It means wanting to keep the constructive task of theology open, not guided by culture but by fresh and faithful interpretation of the Bible. I explained all this very clearly in “How to Be Evangelical without Being Conservative.”


    Read more though-provoking content:

         America: a National Conservative Faith?



         Has Trump Become a Christ-figure?


  • Meanderings 


    Beth Barr has an important essay this week:


    For more than five decades, evangelical theology has been teaching an increasingly restrictive gender hierarchy, arguing that God ordained male headship and female submission. This theology, repackaged as complementarianism in the late 1980s, even became the primary understanding of biblical teachings about women and men for denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention (which currently claims to represent almost fifteen million people) as well as conservative evangelical churches more broadly. …


    I remember a provocative question once asked of me in a conversation I had with theologian Lucy Peppiatt, the Principal of Westminster Theological Center in Gloucestershire, England, and the author of Rediscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women: Fresh Perspective.... “You have to consider,” she said, “where does your theology lead?” 


    As I was reading the news stories about Denton Bible Church, I thought about her question to me. Where does evangelical theology lead?  Does it lead to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, as St. Paul explains in Galatians 5:22 are the fruits of a transformed life? Or does it lead to anger, fear, hate, and violence? 


    I fear the evidence from too many evangelicals—who neglect to see Hagar and Sarai as victims of sexual violence and who even resist readings of Bathsheba as raped by David—suggests the latter destination rather than the former. After all, if people believe that God ordained women as less than men, it shouldn’t surprise us to see them treating women as less than men. 

    It shouldn’t surprise us. But it should still horrify us. 

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    #ReaimgineCHRISTIANITY...in America

  • { To #Reimagine requires transperancy not blinded protection }

    From Scot Mcknight - -

    Ira Glass, a Jewish atheist and well-known radio personality, said once “Christianity is number one for a reason. It is a great story.”

    So begins Lisa Weaver Swartz’s concluding chapter in Stained Glass Ceilings: How Evangelicals Do Gender and Practice Power,.


    The power of a story.

    If you tell yourself a story often enough – so and so was wrong, I am right – I was not the abuser but the abused victim – Republicans are pure evil, Democrats are pure goodness and vice versa – if you tell your story often enough that narrative can live in your head and direct your paths.

    Honest people strive for a transparent story that opens itself to correction.

    Others protect their story so vociferously they can tolerate no other facts and they denounce even solid, strong facts as fraudulent. They realize there is too much to lose if the story changes.

    A story that lives in our heads can form us; a story in our heads may be designed to preserve a new power we find in that story; but a new story can also become an act of resistance. Because some know the power of stories – their story and dismantling counter stories – they choose to surround themselves only with people who will affirm their story. It’s easier that way; you get to indwell your own bubbled story. Until the bubble bursts. Truth is a pin.

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