Still Evangelical?

A new book hits shelves in just a few days: Still Evangelical?: Insiders Reconsider Political, Social, and Theological Meaning. I appreciate IVP sending a copy my way.

The book has multiple, respectable contributors:

  • Shane Claiborne, Red Letter Christians
  • Jim Daly, Focus on the Family
  • Mark Galli, Christianity Today
  • Lisa Sharon Harper, FreedomRoad.us
  • Tom Lin, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  • Karen Swallow Prior, Liberty University
  • Soong-Chan Rah, North Park University
  • Robert Chao Romero, UCLA
  • Sandra Maria Van Opstal, Grace and Peace Community
  • Allen Yeh, Biola University
  • Mark Young, Denver Seminary

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American Christianity – Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism

the-american-dreamRoger Olson, Professor of Theology at George W. Truett Seminary of Baylor University, recently posted an interesting article in which he engages with the findings of a sociological study of youth religion in the United States. The study was carried out from 2003 to 2005 by sociologist of religion, Christian Smith, and his colleague, Melinda Denton. The study was also recapped in the book Almost Christian, authored by Kenda Creasy Dean, professor of youth culture and ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Read more from Olson here. But I’d like to note some reflections of Princeton professor Kenda Dean in her book Almost Christian: Continue reading

Scandal of the Evangelical Memory

Missio-alliance1

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. Continue reading

The SBC and Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan-Merritt_avatarWhen I first came to Christ in 1997, I joined a larger Southern Baptist church in the Memphis area. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is America’s largest evangelical denomination. This Baptist church in Memphis is where I cut my teeth on the things of Christ and our faith, developing a great love for Scripture and evangelism.

In 1999, I joined with a newer charismatic church plant and have been working with that group (Global Horizons) ever since.

Be that as it may, over the years, I’ve slowly become more and more saddened at some of the events and situations I have read about within the SBC. It has to do mainly with what could be termed as ‘bullying’ by some of its leaders, ostracising themselves from the outside world in large part due to the ever-growing nature of the ‘culture wars’. These culture wars get extremely ‘political’ at times, which leads to efforts of ungracious rhetoric, getting strongly caught up in less-important issues, leading to mark out who is really ‘in’ and who is really ‘out’ in regards to true Christian faith. (By the way, I believe the gospel is political – announcing Jesus is King – but not in the sense that comes through some American evangelical expressions.)

Enter in Jonathan Merritt. Jonathan is a faith and culture writer and also part of the SBC, with his father serving as president of the denomination from 2000-2002. I’ve read his book Green Like God and have recently been reading some of his articles online. He is definitely a fresh voice within the SBC context.

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