Over at the Missio Alliance blog, Geoff Holsclaw, affiliate professor of theology at Northern Seminary and co-pastor at Life on the Vine on the north side of Chicago, has been sharing an interesting series entitled, Scandal of the Evangelical Memory. It’s a play off the title of Mark Noll’s book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.
Thus far, Holsclaw has posted 3 of 5 articles in the series. I think it’s well worth your time to read.
Interestingly, he relates various plots of modern-day films (Total Recall, Blade Runner, Minority Report) to the situation of American evangelicalism. He, thus, gives this as his overall goal at the end of the first article:
In essence, I hope to encourage all those in the “messy middle” of evangelicalism by letting them know they are the true heirs of evangelicalism, but they don’t know this because their memory has been replaced [note the Total Recall connection]. In essence, we don’t remember who we really are and until we do, we will keep living in and out of dreams and nightmares.
In fleshing things out a bit more, Holsclaw gives a three-fold goal as to the purpose of his posts:
First, to slow the roll of the Neo-Reformed who often stylize themselves as the guardians of the gospel and true evangelicalism (but who often don’t know the history of evangelicalism: i.e. referring to “classic evangelicalism” as 1950s evangelicalism).
Second, to slow the roll of Progressives who reject their evangelical heritage without knowing that it is actually fundamentalist corruptions of true evangelicalism they are rejecting, not knowing how politically engaged and holistic evangelicals have been in the past.
Third, to help Holiness/Wesleyan/Pentecostal denominational leaders understand that they don’t have to import a foreign Reformed theology to prove/protect their evangelical identity. They always were evangelical, but have lost their memory of it.
Thus far, I’ve found the posts very interesting, noting my own shift from one particular evangelical ‘memory’ to another. I’d encourage you to check the posts out as well: article 1, article 2, article 3.