Showing posts with label Evangelicalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Evangelicalism. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Commentariat Speaks (22)

“Have you seen this opinion piece on how the Federal government engaged evangelicals on Covid?”

So inquires a commenter named Ted at Blog & Mablog.

Thanks for passing that on, Ted. But let’s get a couple of preliminary observations out of the way before we parse the article by Megan Basham for

Friday, November 12, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Surveying Evangelicalism

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The current state of our evangelical Christian churches is not the easiest thing to encapsulate in a few sentences. While each of today’s Protestant denominations originally sprang from a set of shared doctrinal convictions and associated practices, few could ever have been called monolithic, and evangelicals are even less so. Some groups bear the same name but believe and do things very differently indeed.

Tom: My experience with folks from the denominations is primarily online, but our own Immanuel Can has been out church-shopping of late, and may have a better view from the trenches ... er, pews. Does the average modern evangelical church building still have pews, IC?

Friday, September 10, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: The Weight of Tradition

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Years ago I would regularly come across stories of how this theologian or that one came out of Catholicism and now calls himself an evangelical Christian. More recently I notice some going the other way. Among the reasons usually given for embracing Rome is an emphasis on church history and tradition that doesn’t exist in the same way in Protestant gatherings. Roman Catholicism is thought to have “roots” that go back to the early church.

To seekers of this sort, the value of a church experience is measured by whether their faith community is convincingly in touch with its own past.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: EDM in the ‘Sanctuary’

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Christianity Today notes a new trend in “worship”: electronic dance music. As writer Jeff Neely puts it, “layers of computer-programmed electronic backing tracks, quarter-note bass thumps, and cycles of musical ‘builds’ and ‘drops’, much of it set to a tempo around 130 beats per minute.”


Tom: That’s my sister’s response, Immanuel Can, and I think it’s entirely apropos. Some things are beyond the pale. But perhaps we can use it as a jumping-on point to discuss the role of enthusiasm in worship, what sort of place the arts might have or not have in the context of local church gatherings, and so on.

That work for you?

Immanuel Can: Certainly.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Performance-Church

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: You sent me a horrible parody of a contemporary evangelical church service, IC. You’ve got to know I couldn’t leave that alone. I’m still brushing my teeth to get the taste out of my mouth.

But when they’re snarking the modern eleven o’clock church meeting on YouTube, and especially when it looks horribly familiar to most of your audience, you’ve almost got to concede we evangelicals are done like dinner. And it appears we cooked ourselves.

Does this travesty seem familiar to you?

Immanuel Can: You seem more shocked about it than I. There’s a reason why the piece is funny so many people; it’s recognition. The jokes reflect the current reality of many, many evangelical-type churches.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Abandoning Evangelicalism

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Rachel Held Evans, who is post-evangelical herself, documents dissatisfaction among those she calls “defenders of the marginalized” in U.S. evangelical churches. In some quarters, it appears, the fact that so many of their fellow pew-occupiers voted for Donald Trump is not going down well.

Brandi Miller tweets, “I drafted my divorce papers with evangelicalism a long time ago. Tonight I serve them.” Glennon Melton asks, “Does a Love Warrior Go? YES. If that’s what her deepest wisdom tells her to do.”

Tom: What do you think, Immanuel Can? Imagine your fellow churchgoers voted for an immoral, bigoted incompetent with no regard for the dignity of women, as Rachel so delicately puts it. Something worth leaving your church over?

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Five Easy Predictions for 2020

I am not Daniel or Ezekiel. I’m not even George Orwell. So if we’re still here in January 2021, you can either say, “Well, he totally botched that,” or “Not too bad.” More likely it’ll be somewhere in between, as it usually is. Age and experience give one a certain ability to estimate what might be coming our way in our societies and churches. Basically, it is usually something like whatever happened the last time we saw similar symptoms.

But the operative word here is “might”. There are always factors for which we cannot account, the finger of God being far from the least of these.

So with it very much in mind that the Lord will do what he will in our world, let’s speculate about what we might see more of in 2020.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Five Lessons We Can Learn from Jordan Peterson

In an excellent recent post entitled “Masculinity Without Permission”, Doug Wilson happened to name-check Jordan Peterson as someone who, despite not being a Christian, is actually more biblical on the subject of masculinity than many evangelical elders.

I won’t belabor that point; it’s Doug’s, and he said it better than I can. But I will go him one better: I think there are at least five things I’ve learned from Peterson that it would benefit my fellow evangelicals to consider seriously.

So here goes.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: The Weight of Tradition

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Surveying Evangelicalism

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Exit, Stage Left

What makes a church a church?

The presence of Christ among his people? Yes, that’s surely critical. That we meet in his name, according to his will and doing the things that he himself would do if he were here with us? Yes, that is our assurance of his presence. That we follow the pattern of the early believers and commit ourselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer? Absolutely.

Question: What happens if we stop remembering the Lord in the breaking of bread? Are we still a church any sense that matters to God?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Blind Spot

What happens when your church is riddled with false teaching and nobody in charge knows it?

If that seems an unlikely scenario, don’t laugh. It can absolutely happen.

It’s next-to-impossible to miss when a speaker goes off the rails doctrinally from the pulpit at 11:30 on a Sunday morning. Whether it’s a pastor, a local Bible teacher or visiting preacher, a public pronouncement that is wildly at odds with a church’s statement of faith will almost always generate serious discussion and immediate blowback. If there’s any question as to what was actually said, your soundman has probably got digital backup or even video. One way or another, error that’s visible and audible to all usually gets addressed.

But modern churches have a huge doctrinal blind spot.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

People Whom One Cannot Instruct

Perhaps if we dropped this on their heads ...
Wayne Grudem devoted years of his life to understanding and expositing a single word in a single verse.

Why, you may ask? Good question.

In an article entitled “Personal Reflections on the History of CBMW and the State of the Gender Debate”, Grudem asks himself the same thing: “Why did I spend so much time on this?”

What he discovered is that nobody’s listening. At least, nobody’s listening that wasn’t listening already.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Performance-Church

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Too Hot to Handle: Evangelical Idiots and the Death of America

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

It’s the end of the world as we know it ...
Tom: Immanuel Can, today I’m feeling the urge to talk about Craig James.

Craig is the author of the book The Religion Virus: Why We Believe In God (he doesn’t). He is a blogger with a site also called The Religion Virus. I’m not so much interested in his atheism (because we’ve done that, and recently), but in his enthusiastic mischaracterization of the beliefs of Christians.

Friday, December 05, 2014