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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Evangelical Worldview
Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
As for DH issues, some of them represent a big challenge in some congregations, and some don't. I should think many Christians are too busy keeping their churches ticking over, or managing their own spiritual lives, to worry about SSM, or what sex their clergy are, or other people's abortions, etc.

Unfortunately, some time in the American Bible Belt might have you reconsidering that. A "correct" position on DH issues, and a conservative political outlook generally, in the midst of an American society viewed as increasingly Godless seems to have become the sine qua non of much of American Evangelicalism.
Fred Clark, himself a product of American Evangelicalism who still considers himself one of the tribe, has come to much the same conclusion.

quote:
Or, to put it another way: Here is Jason Micheli’s response to the Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality. Here is James Dobson’s response. One of those men is an evangelical icon, was the subject of a hagiographic Christianity Today cover story, and his books can be found in the homes of millions of white evangelicals. The other is not regarded as an evangelical at all, even though he’d fit any Bebbington-style theological definition anyone would care to use.

Such theological definitions don’t matter. You will never be branded as “controversial” or banished from the evangelical tribe for insufficient biblicism. Or because your enthusiasm for crucicentrism, conversionism or missional activism is regarded as suspect. But if you’re feminist or pro-gay, you’re out. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Bebbington, schmebbington. The tribe defines itself: An evangelical is a white Protestant who opposes legal abortion and homosexuality. Period.

More recently Clark expanded on his analysis in a three part essay on the boundaries of the evangelical identity, at least as it exists among American whites. The last installment focuses on white evangelical's support for Donald Trump and was written about one week prior to Election Day 2016.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Surely you are not as tone-deaf as all that. One can be perfectly patronizing while stating nothing but the truth.

T made some statements about Evangelicals, M replied with some statements.

Who is being patronising?

It isn't about being "tone-deaf", it is a genuine question, because at times it seems that it is open season to criticise Evangelicals (even though the criticisms are clearly about a section, probably a minority) of Evangelicals, but it is "patronising" to reply with criticisms of another church.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Unfortunately, some time in the American Bible Belt might have you reconsidering that. [qb]A "correct" position on DH issues, and a conservative political outlook generally, in the midst of an American society viewed as increasingly Godless seems to have become the sine qua non of much of American Evangelicalism.

The thing that I don't really understand about the USA is how scorn is particularly directed at Evangelicals when there must be other powerful groups with similar positions on DH issues. Mormons and the RCC for example.

Why are the Evangelicals considered so dangerous when these other groups are not?

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arse

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
Evangelicals in the US are rapidly resembling Milwall supporters in the UK. "Nobody likes us, we don't care"

And looking to the state to enforce their worldview and morality on the masses. Markers of a dying tradition. Once they lose the political battle, which they must eventually since they are intent on contracting toward implosion, they will become a tiny gated community either not interacting with the outside world, or throwing barbed comments over the wall.

At least a significant subset of Evangelicals are working hard on achieving this end. Will they become the majority? Are they already the majority? I do not know.

There are Orthodox who feel much the same way. One of our number has published a book that basically says, since we lost the culture war, we might as well circle the wagons, turn inward, and work on creating small enclaves of likeminded people with their backs to the world. He is getting a lot of attention from primarily new converts, who rode the culture wars into the Orthodox Church as "the most conservative game in town." In fact they brought the culture wars with them. 20, maybe 30 years ago the Orthodox in this country weren't trying to fight the culture wars of the conservative Protestants and the Catholics. It was too good to last.

ETA:

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Why are the Evangelicals considered so dangerous when these other groups are not?

They are the only religious group that voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

[ 07. July 2017, 18:43: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
They are the only religious group that voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

I'm no expert so take this with a pinch of whatever, but it is said that he won the Roman Catholic vote with support at more than 50% and Mormons with more than 60%.

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arse

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
One of our number has published a book that basically says, since we lost the culture war, we might as well circle the wagons, turn inward, and work on creating small enclaves of likeminded people with their backs to the world. He is getting a lot of attention from primarily new converts, who rode the culture wars into the Orthodox Church as "the most conservative game in town."

I presume you are talking about Rod Dreher and his book "The Benedict Option" ? As I'm sure you know he himself is a convert from Protestantism via the RCC (who he found to be too liberal for his tastes). The book has actually gained quite an audience in certain evangelical circles.

Given the particular concerns of the book, and its grounding less in religious thought than a particular set of economic and political ideas, I'm sure that won't be a surprise.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

- The sacramental / amenensis aspect is obviously played down within evangelicalism but I wouldn't say it was eradicated entirely - they simply 'sacralise' other aspects of praxis - be it Bible study, sermons,the 'worship time' or - tongue firmly in cheek now - the 'church meeting' if you're a Baptist ...

I would add the altar call in those congregations that practice it or something like it to the list of quasi sacramental practices that some evangelicals have.
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Unfortunately, some time in the American Bible Belt might have you reconsidering that. A "correct" position on DH issues, and a conservative political outlook generally, in the midst of an American society viewed as increasingly Godless seems to have become the sine qua non of much of American Evangelicalism.

The thing that I don't really understand about the USA is how scorn is particularly directed at Evangelicals when there must be other powerful groups with similar positions on DH issues. Mormons and the RCC for example.

Why are the Evangelicals considered so dangerous when these other groups are not?

American evangelicals are associated with bombings and assassinations to a degree neither American Catholics nor Mormons are. This goes back to their full-bore support of American Apartheid during Jim Crow, including tacit support for the terrorism that maintained that system.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That seems to ignore entirely the fact that the Evangelical 'Movement' as you call it, actually came from the evangelical awakenings of the Nineteenth Century which, inspired by German Pietists was actually brought to the world by Wesley and Whitefield.

They gt a ship and shared kt with the Americans but it's essentially, originally, a European phenomenon.

Right. The idea that Evangelicals only emerged in the 1950s is quite an odd sounding one to a British Evangelical.
Indeed, especially when there were famous evangelicals there in the 19th century, the SA started there in the 1880s and the Ontecostal movements started prior to, and were accelerated by, the events of Azusa Street in 1907(?)

It would be like suggesting that the Roman Catholic Church started at the Council of Trent.

[ 07. July 2017, 19:05: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:

quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
As for DH issues, some of them represent a big challenge in some congregations, and some don't. I should think many Christians are too busy keeping their churches ticking over, or managing their own spiritual lives, to worry about SSM, or what sex their clergy are, or other people's abortions, etc.

Unfortunately, some time in the American Bible Belt might have you reconsidering that. A "correct" position on DH issues, and a conservative political outlook generally, in the midst of an American society viewed as increasingly Godless seems to have become the sine qua non of much of American Evangelicalism.
Ah yes. American evangelicals (the white ones, as Croesos says) can be very particular about these things.

In this video (and also part 2) an evangelical pastor in the USA, quoting a secular book called 'The Death of Christian Britain', highlights the fact that British evangelicals were largely silent over the legal changes that (IMO) both contributed to and were caused by the hastening of secularising tendencies in British culture in the 60s and 70s.

Considering how vocal American evangelicals are said to be on these social matters, it's fascinating that British ones have had relatively little to say in the public square. Rev Martyn Lloyd Jones, the influential British evangelical leader mentioned by Gamaliel above and also in my first link, apparently said nothing publicly about the changing legal realities regarding personal morality and the family.

I think the main factor here is that evangelicals in Britain have been held back by an awareness of their weakness and marginal status for a relatively long time. Indeed, I think that partly explains why, according to Gamaliel, Rev Martyn Lloyd Jones wanted them to retreat to
quote:

hermetically sealed evangelical denominations.

It was a way of preventing their fragile evangelical strength from being dissipated.

This brings us to ecumenism and denominational allegiance. I'm assuming that the USA's conservative churches aren't much interested in ecumenism unless it helps them to achieve their conservative political goals. Maybe I've got that wrong, though.

It's different in Britain. The evangelicals still have no political power, and the ongoing weakness of British Nonconformity and the fragility of independent congregations have moved things on from Martyn Lloyd Jones. Now, the decline of Nonconformity and the fragility and invisibility of independent churches has led many British evangelicals to set up shop in the CofE, which enjoys relative financial stability, public visibility, job security for the clergy and far less fragility for congregations of at least a modest size.

But the Ship reveals an ambivalence about evangelical ecumenical involvement in the English setting. On the one hand there's anxiety about the increasing percentage and influence of practising CofE members who are evangelical, but on the other, the denomination benefits from their money, their relative dynamism and youth, and their simple presence as bums on pews. It's difficult to know what the outcome will be.

Perhaps occasional ecumenical connectedness for groups that remain in their own denominations is the best middle way for personal satisfaction yet mutual benefit.

However, ecumenism tends to be adopted enthusiastically by the most liberal Christians and denominations. Any involvement of evangelicals means that aspects of liberalism will be transmitted to them, especially if the evangelicals concerned are of lower social status, or aiming to improve their intellectual standing.

As a result, it's hard not to see increasing ecumenism as a mixed blessing from an evangelical POVs. Other Christians, however, no doubt see it as an excellent way of spreading their own influence. I've seen it happening.

[ 07. July 2017, 19:08: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
The adoption of the ceremonial garb of Roman judges is one thing. A tendency to say "this is what is recording as happening in one specific circumstance therefore it is how the church must behave for all times" is another.

Is it? What's the difference?

quote:
This latter tendency leads, again, to complete tone-deafness to the situation being faced now, and an obsession with shoving people into boxes.
I see. So it is fair enough to shove all Evangelicals into a box, even though some of us have consistently said that this isn't credible, but unreasonable to make factual statements about another church where there is far more consistency of practice. Oookay then.

quote:
But feel free to patronise. It's not really a problem for me unless and until I'm the person being shoved. I have been, or at least I have been on the sharp end of such attempts, which is what makes me quite as quick to identify this tendency as I am.
Who is patronising? What exactly is wrong with making factual statements about your church to compare with the generalisations you're making about Evangelicals?

Mr cheesy, you are my new best friend [Smile]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That seems to ignore entirely the fact that the Evangelical 'Movement' as you call it, actually came from the evangelical awakenings of the Nineteenth Century which, inspired by German Pietists was actually brought to the world by Wesley and Whitefield.

They gt a ship and shared kt with the Americans but it's essentially, originally, a European phenomenon.

Right. The idea that Evangelicals only emerged in the 1950s is quite an odd sounding one to a British Evangelical.
Well, he did begin by saying "the Evangelical Movement in the US."
And I say that this is historically incorrect.

There were many evangelicals in the US in the nineteenth century. William Booth was influenced by people like Phoebe Palmer and William Caughey.
And what about DL Moody, Sankey and Finney?

The SA was there in the 1880s - I think I'm repeating myself now.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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ThunderBunk

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Oh enjoy your love in. Just don't expect to be talking to anyone other than yourselves. The thunder of feet fleeing from your Procrustean charms has started, and will grow.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:


The repeated evangelical reflex is to adopt the external attributes of contemporary culture whilst dealing with actual people as if they were still in first-century Palestine. Attitudes to mental health are a very good example of this, where deliverance ministry is fastened on as a result of the biblical record, with no interrogation of its effectiveness or its potential to do harm in the twenty-first century.

You are aware, are you not, that every Anglican diocese has a licensed exorcist who is trained to recognise the difference between mental illness and cases of possession and then deal accordingly?

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
You are aware, are you not, that every Anglican diocese has a licensed exorcist who is trained to recognise the difference between mental illness and cases of possession and then deal accordingly?

To a point - coverage is somewhat more spotty than you assume. Secondly, these teams are never called in to divine a first opinion on mental health cases. Finally, it's very rare any exorcism is carried, and is usually only done after the go ahead of a number of folk (including a trained doctor/psychiatrist)
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ThunderBunk

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I'm perfectly well aware of that. I'm also aware of the potential for appeal to biblical precedent to overcome such scruples. We're all disciples, so we're all called to cast out demons - aren't we???

Well done, like all healing, it's a wonderful thing and a genuine expression of God's love. Poorly done, for the benefit of the practitioner or another audience rather than the person in need of healing, it goes in an altogether darker direction.

[ 07. July 2017, 19:48: Message edited by: ThunderBunk ]

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
... It would be like suggesting that the Roman Catholic Church started at the Council of Trent.

There are quite good arguments for saying exactly that. The RCC as we now know it, is largely a creation of the Council of Trent. It was the response to the Reformation of those who didn't become Protestants. There's almost as big a disjunct between the RCC post Trent and the Western Church of say 1520 as the more obvious disjunct between the church of 1520 and the various successor Protestant communions. I'm not even sure that the term 'Roman Catholic' would have meant anything before Trent.


Incidentally, and changing the subject, Thunderbunk have you any evidence that there are CofE clergy or lay persons regularly carrying out DIY exorcisms? I'm under the impression that they're not only not supposed to, but it would be taken very seriously these days if it were to be found out that this was happening.

[ 07. July 2017, 20:42: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think it is an exaggeration to say that Evangelicals are literalists. I'm not even sure that literalism really exists.

Amen.

"Literalism" is an unhelpful, not to say meaningless term except when applied in specific circumstances, such as YEC, which is by no means universal in evangelicalism.

No Christian is, or can be, a consistent literalist.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The thing that I don't really understand about the USA is how scorn is particularly directed at Evangelicals when there must be other powerful groups with similar positions on DH issues. Mormons and the RCC for example.

One, politicians of the evangelical sort tend to be very vocal on these issues.
Two, The RCC, and Morman church i believe, received heat for their stance on DOMA, Prop 8* and similar.
But they tend to be more low key most of the time.
IME.

*Defense of Marriage Act
Prop 8 - California's similar attempt.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:

Incidentally, and changing the subject, Thunderbunk have you any evidence that there are CofE clergy or lay persons regularly carrying out DIY exorcisms? I'm under the impression that they're not only not supposed to, but it would be taken very seriously these days if it were to be found out that this was happening.

I was thinking of something I have read in the last few days, which I have now identified to be this report. On re-reading, it's not quite as clear as I remember it on which denominations are involved, but it describes itself as a scoping piece rather than the final work, and it remains to be seen what will be brought to light by more detailed work.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
... It would be like suggesting that the Roman Catholic Church started at the Council of Trent.

There are quite good arguments for saying exactly that.
Knew a Baptist fellow who claimed his church started with John the. Quite ludicrous, of course.
No current Christian sect goes back to Jesus, they all can trace their origins to somewhere later. Most of those have points further along the trail than some would like to admit.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Knew a Baptist fellow who claimed his church started with John the. Quite ludicrous, of course.

A slight exaggeration, but similar theories have long circulated within Fundmentalist Baptist circles in the US.
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Brenda Clough
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Due to retirement and a cross country move we may be ISO a new church in the not-too-distant future. I should start a list of churches I definitely do not want to become involved in. These Baptists will make a fine start.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That seems to ignore entirely the fact that the Evangelical 'Movement' as you call it, actually came from the evangelical awakenings of the Nineteenth Century which, inspired by German Pietists was actually brought to the world by Wesley and Whitefield.

They gt a ship and shared kt with the Americans but it's essentially, originally, a European phenomenon.

Right. The idea that Evangelicals only emerged in the 1950s is quite an odd sounding one to a British Evangelical.
Well, he did begin by saying "the Evangelical Movement in the US."
And I say that this is historically incorrect.

There were many evangelicals in the US in the nineteenth century. William Booth was influenced by people like Phoebe Palmer and William Caughey.
And what about DL Moody, Sankey and Finney?

The SA was there in the 1880s - I think I'm repeating myself now.

As I said to RuthW, all very true.

But I think we're talking about two different kinds of Evangelicals. I took Gramps49 to be talking about the Evangelical Movement as it exists now in the US. He is, I think, right that something different from early Evangelicalism appeared in the mid-Twentieth Century in the US. It started earlier as a response to the theory of evolution and to modernism, but it really was fueled by the Civil Rights and Women's Rights movements, the Sexual Revolution and Supreme Court decisions on things like prayer in schools. It had some continuity with earlier forms of Evangelicalism, but not total continuity. Some old-style Evangelicals survived without moving into the new form, and the new form of Evangelicalism attracted many who had not been the part of the earlier form. But the result is that when one talks about "Evangelicals" without qualification or context, most Americans will, I think, assume the new form of Evangelicalism that has been a major political force here.

Meanwhile, with regard to Mormons and the RCC (in particular), while they do share an approach to some DH or related issues (you likely won't see Catholics worrying about teaching evolution or prayer in public schools, for instance), the approach tends to be more one that focuses on official teaching. For example, the average Catholic doesn't seem too bound by the Church's teachings on sexuality. And Evangelicals seem much more intent on getting their stands on DH issues reflected in state and federal laws than do the RCC or Mormons (Utah notwithstanding).

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
They are the only religious group that voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

I'm no expert so take this with a pinch of whatever, but it is said that he won the Roman Catholic vote with support at more than 50% and Mormons with more than 60%.
I wouldn't say 50% is "overwhelmingly." YMMV. 60% one could argue; I would argue against.

quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
I presume you are talking about Rod Dreher and his book "The Benedict Option"?

Yes, that's the one! I had forgotten his name. Now I'll have to work hard to forget it again. [Biased]

quote:
As I'm sure you know he himself is a convert from Protestantism via the RCC (who he found to be too liberal for his tastes).
I knew the convert thing.

quote:
The book has actually gained quite an audience in certain evangelical circles. Given the particular concerns of the book, and its grounding less in religious thought than a particular set of economic and political ideas, I'm sure that won't be a surprise.
I'm not surprised it's popular in certain Evangelical circles because it's certainly Evangelical. Its economic and political ideas have been common coin in Evangelical circles since Reagan.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
It would be like suggesting that the Roman Catholic Church started at the Council of Trent.

When we all know it started in 1054 with Cardinal Humbert's desecration of the altar of Hagia Sophia with a technically invalid* bull of excommunication. People who place the birth of the RCC centuries later at Trent just don't know their history. Oh. Wait.

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
No Christian is, or can be, a consistent literalist.

Of course not. But many think that they can, and that they are. And many of these are Evangelicals.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Knew a Baptist fellow who claimed his church started with John the.

John the what? Baptist? XXIII? Beloved? Evangelist?
___________________
*because the Pope who signed it was dead

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Brenda Clough
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This is interesting, from the Washington Post: a book by one of Pat Robertson's intimates. Robertson's all-around awfulness has undermined the guys faith majorly. Of significance, because when you say 'evangelical' in the US it's Robertson's nuttiness that instantly comes to mind, along with love bugs like the Westboro Baptist people and the despicable Franklin Graham.

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mousethief

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That's kind of unfair -- Westboro is far from Evangelical. They're far from Christian really. But they certainly aren't evangelical. No evangelical would hold a sign saying God Hates You. I hope.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Brenda Clough
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Robertson, Falwell and Graham have certainly fomented hate. Sometimes I am amazed that there are any young Christians at all. Certainly we've lost the millennials.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Robertson, Falwell and Graham have certainly fomented hate.

Absolutely. Graham is a blight on his father's name.

quote:
Sometimes I am amazed that there are any young Christians at all. Certainly we've lost the millennials.
The church won over the people of the Roman Empire by its love, and is going to finally lose the people of the world by its hate.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Brenda Clough
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In the linked article, the author of the memoir watched Robertson go onto his TV show and assure gullible viewers that Obama was a secret Muslim and about to impose sharia law. He must have known it wasn't true, but he spread the lie. (And I am still waiting for that Muslim caliphate, haven't seen any sign of it. Nor those prison camps in WalMart parking lots. Bitterly disappointed.) And we know who is the Father of Lies.

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Robertson, Falwell and Graham have certainly fomented hate. Sometimes I am amazed that there are any young Christians at all. Certainly we've lost the millennials.

Millennials are in their twenties and thirties (I am a 28yo millennial - millennials are born from 1982 to 2004). You haven't lost the millennials. I don't think that kind of fatalism really helps either - if everyone thought like that then nobody would bother trying.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Lamb Chopped
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Christ still calls people in spite of us. They said they were losing my generation (X) too, but here we are. As long as Christ continues to call, so long the Church will endure. (not saying anything about particular churches enduring, mind)

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Gamaliel
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@SvitlanaV2, whilst not disagreeing with the broad thrust of your argument, I think it's simplistic to say that 'now' the evangelicals have set up shop in the Church of England. They've been operating within the CofE for donkeys' years.

Think Keswick. Think Muscular Christianity.

Anglican evangelicalism gained momentum after the land-mark conference at Keele in the 1960s and despite Dr Martin Lloyd Jones's famous call to 'come out from among them and be separate' during the same decade.

Charismatic Anglican evangelicalism received a boost from unexpected quarters - the Californian charismatic influence of John Wimber - and also the plateauing out of the growth of the 'new churches'.

I was seriously expecting charismatic Anglicanism to implode during the early to mid '80s and was somewhat taken aback by its recovery, albeit in a somewhat different form and flavour to what I'd initially seen of it.

For the time being, New Wine seems to be one of the main games in town when it comes to charismatic influence.

Yes, the charismatic evangelicals draw on the position and prestige of the CofE Establishment but it would be cynical to suggest that this is the only reason they've remained Anglican.

I think it's more complex than that.

If you're out to develop a charismatic evangelical sub-culture it's easier to do so from within an existing religious sub-culture than to start completely from scratch.

You could draw a parallel with the growth of the JWs in Poland. It's a lot easier to convert people with some kind of religious background - in that case an RC one - than it is within a largely secularised society.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I think the main factor here is that evangelicals in Britain have been held back by an awareness of their weakness and marginal status for a relatively long time. Indeed, I think that partly explains why, according to Gamaliel, Rev Martyn Lloyd Jones wanted them to retreat to
quote:

hermetically sealed evangelical denominations.

It was a way of preventing their fragile evangelical strength from being dissipated.
Yes and (mostly) no. I agree that (a) ML-J wanted Evangelicals - at that time a weak force in most Mainline denominations - to cluster together for strength; and (b) that Evangelicals were saying little about changing social conditions, partly because of excessive pietism and a fear of being contaminated by the liberal "social gospel".

However I think that ML-J's point was that the Mainline denominations had, in his view, become heretical and liberally compromised beyond redemption and that it would be not only pointless but sinful for Evangelicals to remain within them (remember that this is the era of "Honest to God", "South Bank Christianity" and, a bit later admittedly, Don Cupitt). Similar sentiments were uttered a few years later by Arthur Wallis - who had, of course, come from a Brethren background - in his book "The Radical Christian", in which he wrote, "The axe is laid to the root of the tree"; although here he was referring to "refreshed" charismatic Christians coming out of spiritually-dead denominations which, he believed, God had finished with.

So, while both ML-J and Wallis may have been saying that Evangelicals and, later, Charismatics ought to form their own groupings, the motive was in my view less to do with gaining influence and more to do with maintaining doctrinal purity. John Stott of course argued against ML-J, believing that Evangelicals would have more influence if they stayed within the denominations. History has, I think, proved him right.

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whitebait
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
... I think there is a form of anti-Evangelical bias in the discussions here.

But I'm also interested to continue with this discussion as to what exactly an Evangelical is...

I considered myself an evangelical for over thirty years. My Christian journey was initially through Scripture Union camps, SU bible reading notes, University Christian Union, and a self-describing 'Conservative Evangelical' Anglican church.

Strong threads through all of these were: the importance of the bible; a 'proper' way to interpret the bible; and the importance of sharing faith to help bring others to their salvation (that 'salvation' being of the type I'd been brought up with).

University was one of the first places I had this world view challenged, partly by higher church Anglicans (who I probably didn't consider 'proper' Christians at the time), and partly by godly Roman Catholics whose theology my protestant evangelical groups may have disagreed with, but whose faith was startlingly real, and who took the social gospel seriously.

In following years my evangelical faith deviated little, becoming strongly influenced by the charismatic evangelicals (and a couple of years at HTB). Where there were questions on difficult issues, the emphasis was to turn to 'proper'/sound sources for answers, Christian books, and authors like John Stott.

Many of my friends were not Christians of this flavour, and I learned how to temper my viewpoints so as not to offend them, in the hope that eventually they would see the light and become fully fledged Christians like me. Where there were strong views to the contrary (on various Dead Horse issues from baptism, to sex before marriage, women's ministry, divorce, abortion) my default was to keep within the evangelical bubble, and defend my arguments for the status quo from 'good evangelical' sources.

My viewpoint was finally softened in a town centre Anglican church with a very broad congregation, still broadly evangelical, but where differing viewpoints seemed to be accommodated. The Anglican fudge, where hard lines were less readily drawn, no doubt partly to help keep church numbers up - even if some of the more strident evangelicals found that objectionable, and moved away.

My own faith was beginning to waver, along with an enormous skeleton in the cupboard (The Dead Horse issue I'd succeeded in restraining in the closet for virtually all my life).

I resolved to look wider afield for answers, and Ship of Fools was one of the places where I looked. As Mr Cheesy points out, the differing viewpoints on these boards (this was the early noughties) would have been seen as dangerous stuff to many in my evangelical church. I found it refreshing that others could read the bible with different eyes, come to different conclusions, and share Christian histories from outside the bubble I'd kept myself in.

I also ended up going to GreenBelt festival, where both evangelical and alternative viewpoints seemed to mingle. The bubble had burst.

Looking from the outside now, Evangelicals of the type I had been can seem overly defensive. Many seem more comfortable not to engage with me any longer, perhaps because my viewpoints are no longer 'proper', or perhaps because I can defend my arguments using broader sources of information from outside 'the bubble'.

My journey out of the church has been a parallel one with a personal journey. I moved from evangelical, to post-evangelical, post-Anglican and post-faith. My sexuality from the way those in my bubble dealt with it ("you can be cured of that"), to the way gay (evangelical) Christian friends dealt with it, and finally just plain gay.

A few of my old evangelical friends assume I've been deceived by the devil, and that my loss of faith is down to my acceptance of being gay. On the contrary, my journey out involved me looking into the bible in even greater depth, studying bits of Hebrew and realising that some translations had distinct bias (and not just on the DH issues). Even the way that the bible had been put together, a loose leaf binder with bits added and others kept out, and a 'do not change' tagged on the last page. I could never again take "What the bible says" in the evangelical way I had been brought up to.

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small fry on a journey

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MrsBeaky
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Thank you whitebait

I found that very moving-it has also made me return to the the idea that we can really help one another (both within and without church) by authentically speaking about our faith/spiritual/life journeys and remaining open to one another.
I've had a really tough week full of "whys" and "whatifs" and what you said has given me hope. Nothing is wasted. Life springs from death.

Thank you

P.S. Fellow shipmates I am reading this thread with high octane interest. I'm from a catholic background and married into an evangelical family many, many years ago. The intervening years have been interesting to put it mildly. If I can get my head clear I might write more. Suffice to say I am just grateful for where I am now, beyond those circles but with the legacy of a few precious gems mined during the evangelical years.

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"It is better to be kind than right."

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Gamaliel
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There are certainly gems there.

If I ever get accused of gratuitous side-swipes at evangelicalism again, let it never be said that I have never acknowledged the gems.

I treasure them.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gramps49
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In no way am I an expert on the European Evangelical Model. I am only speaking of the United States Evangelical Movement as I see it.

Yes there are some common grounds between the two

A strong pietistic movement.
The Acceptance of the Primacy of the Bible as the Inerrant and Infallible Word of God (at least more so in the American movement)
A more literalist and eisegetic interpretation of the Bible.

But there differences as well. I like the analogy someone mentioned above that said the Evangelical movement has taken on a circle your wagons approach to the world. The problem with that is without contact and interaction, the movement will eventually shrink, becoming more irrelevant and eventually dying off.

I just don't want people to think those of the Evangelical movement are the only Christians out there. There are many progressive churches that do have a clear message of engagement and affirmation.

A point about when the Roman Catholic Church began, it would have been at the point of the great schism between the Western Church and the Eastern Church. The Western Church insisted that the Bishop of Rome was the leader of the church on earth, Christ's Vicar; but the Eastern Church could only accept the pope as a bishop among bishops (yes, there were other doctrinal issues involved, but for the purposes of this discussion, I just wanted to mention the one poing)

[ 08. July 2017, 19:21: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

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BroJames
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From a U.K. perspective it may be fruitful to look at, for example, the basis of faith of the Evangelical Alliance and the Church of England Evangelical Council. Both steer a careful course around the twin shibboleths of "inerrant" and "infallible" over which much ink has ben spilt

Instead they go for formulations such as "fully trustworthy for faith and conduct" and "wholly reliable revelation and record of God's grace… the true word of God written… given to lead us to salvation, to be the ultimate rule for Christian faith and conduct, and the supreme authority by which the Church must ever reform itself and judge its traditions".

While evangelicalism may be no more immune than any other tradition from eisegesis, and the consequences are more serious because of the high place given to scripture, it is also the home at its best of some of the most nuanced and self critical biblical scholarship there is.

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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:


I just don't want people to think those of the Evangelical movement are the only Christians out there. There are many progressive churches that do have a clear message of engagement and affirmation.


The only hope for Christianity in the US today is to truly follow Christ. At the moment 'Evangelical' is the default, when you ask the man in the street what a Christian is. If we let this stand we are deader than the dodo.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
From a U.K. perspective it may be fruitful to look at, for example, the basis of faith of the Evangelical Alliance and the Church of England Evangelical Council. Both steer a careful course around the twin shibboleths of "inerrant" and "infallible" over which much ink has ben spilt

While I appreciate the language; I personally am of the opinion that quite often these kinds of statements have serve as a means of unity via obscuring differences, rather than active acceptance of a range of opinions.

I certainly think that this is the way the EA statement applied in the past - even if it may not in the present (the Chicago Statement does similar work in increasingly smaller parts US protestantism).

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
- Evangelicalism is pan-denominational and, on one level is quite ecumenical insofar as they tend to hob-nob with evangelicals in other churches rather than non-evangelicals within their own denominations.

In this country, the "Evangelical" ranks are predominantly filled by non-affiliated individual (single-building, if you will) churches, or tiny or started-tiny 20th- or 21st-century denominations such as Foursquare.
The exception to that, at least in my part of the country, are the (historically white) Baptist groups in general and the Southern Baptists in particular. They're the largest Protestant denomination in the US and around here, and while not all SBC congregations fit the Evangelical mold we've been describing, I'd say that the SBC as a whole does, or comes pretty close. Ditto the Free Will Baptists.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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whitebait, thanks.

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Love wins

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
The church won over the people of the Roman Empire by its love, and is going to finally lose the people of the world by its hate.

That spells out the danger of the Gospel of Self. The ears become deaf to the call of Christ to follow the way of unselfish sacrificial love of God and people. And the effect on the heart and mind is the release, not of humility, but of superiority. Hatred of others is a consequence of pride.

It's over 30 years since Campolo stated that the rightward politicisation of the evangelical movement seemed likely to set back the cause of Christ for at least half a century. Well, he's now persona non grata with most of that movement, and no longer wishes to be known as evangelical. He thinks the very word has become poisoned by this baleful politicisation. In the UK, I'm still hanging on to the identification; it's where I come from and I still see the gems. But it's getting more difficult.

I find it heartbreaking, the way people have exchanged truth for a lie and are rushing headlong towards moral bankruptcy. And cannot see it. It may be that the church will need to go into exile before the damage is reversed.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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MrsBeaky
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I have been thinking about what constitutes an Evangelical worldview for years, from both direct and observed experience. Staying general rather than examining details I would say:

1. Evangelicalism exists within whatever cultural setting it finds itself. So politics, cultural practices, language will all be things which are included or rejected both deliberately and unthinkingly.Here in the UK one of my daughters attends an evangelical church where most of the members are politically soft Tories- she comes from a much more radical viewpoint and it does her head in as she cannot see how they can justify some of what they say....but she loves some of the people and the style of worship so she stays.
2. Evangelicalism is not only about core doctrines. It is also about core attitudes which is where I struggled. There is such a culture that "What we believe and what we are doing is right" (which in my experience spans the conservative through to the charismatic)that it often comes across as either smug, dismissive or judgemental. Sometimes this can be personality as well as belief driven but ISTM that it is impossible to hold deontological views without creating in-groups and out-groups no matter how hard we try.

Needless to say both of the above could be applied to any or all of us from the broad spectrum of Christianity but I would say that Evangelicalism fosters a specific style of being and doing and above all seldom (for obvious reasons) encourages people to question why and what they believe which I have discovered although scary is where faith rather than belief can grow and deepen

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"It is better to be kind than right."

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by MrsBeaky:
So politics, cultural practices, language will all be things which are included or rejected both deliberately and unthinkingly.Here in the UK one of my daughters attends an evangelical church where most of the members are politically soft Tories- she comes from a much more radical viewpoint and it does her head in as she cannot see how they can justify some of what they say....but she loves some of the people and the style of worship so she stays.

And I think this is becoming more pronounced over time - ISTM that a couple of decades ago the balance in evangelical circles was a little bit more even.

In the last election the town I live in has seen a fairly pronounced shift towards Labour - with one MP losing their seat, and the other having their 10K majority reduced to just over 2K. To a large extent this shift is not reflected within the church - or at least people don't really feel comfortable with stating their opinions if they have shifted.

Additionally, I think there's long been an understanding within evangelical circles that there's only one model of interacting with 'the world' - a kind of erastian seeking of laws that reflect 'our' values, especially when coupled with the idea that a particular country was once 'christian', leading to a combined 'christ over culture' approach.

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wabale
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This morning my sermon was much aided by reference to Martyn Lloyd Jones, John Stott, Michael Green, and Tom Wright . Yes, I know there are other commentaries. I have spent the last 50 years as an Evangelical within the Church of England, and the last 40 in the same fairly isolated village, a double bubble. My own experience of escaping from spiritual oppression has been, as a newbie churchwarden, dealing with a vicar who tried to set up a church within a church - by blowing the whistle in defence of good governance, and calling in the bishop. Later, as a Reader, I had to deal with a vicar who tried to impose his own rules with regard to Christian giving: my response was to plan to move myself, and my family to worship at the (Evangelical) Baptist Church down the road - but the vicar decided to leave just in time. Since then my diocese has adopted a policy of recruiting much better vicars.
I would guess Anglican Evangelicalism is very different in a village to Evangelicalism in a town. Our present vicar is very inclusive (and loving) in his language, and since this is now more or less the only church in the village, he needs to be. Although I believe he probably inhabits the Pre-Cambrian era in relation to several Dead Horses issues, it never shows, and I have given up my plan of asking for the church noticeboard to be painted in rainbow stripes.
Our parish is surrounded by middle-of-the road C of E and a couple of very High C of E parishes. Our new Rural Dean apparently began his reign with numerous references to the BVM, but we’ve heard nothing about her (the BVM that is) since.
It does occur to me that there is one aspect of Evangelicalism I can think of which we haven’t covered: it’s The Testimony. I’m sure SOF used to have a video explaining how to polish up your testimony, but I can’t find it … It also occurs to me that SOF actually encourages, and rightly so, the testimony of many of you who have escaped from Evangelicalism. Obviously I find it sad there are so many such stories. I hate Spiritual oppression in any form. To be honest I have an anti-clerical streak and hate it most of all in vicars!

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Robertson, Falwell and Graham have certainly fomented hate.

Absolutely. Graham is a blight on his father's name.

quote:
Sometimes I am amazed that there are any young Christians at all. Certainly we've lost the millennials.
The church won over the people of the Roman Empire by its love, and is going to finally lose the people of the world by its hate.

Dear God. That's how it feels here too. With quiet hate, quiet phobia, quiet fear. Fear: the root of hate. I find this eye warmingly upsetting right now. Where is the incarnation? In me? For me? I can't do it alone. I can do my 2% thanks to my church doing the same, with it's quiet damnationism. Is that it?

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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Thing is, are we talking about 'the evangelical mind-set' here or a fundamentalist one?

Surely the same sorts of things be said about ultramontane RCs or Orthodox 'zealots' and the 'hyperdox'?

Or political fundies and zealots of various kinds?

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
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Posts: 15453 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Thing is, are we talking about 'the evangelical mind-set' here or a fundamentalist one?

I think because of a number of things (prime among them the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy and the ensuing activities of the various protagnists for ill or better), these things are seen somewhat differently in the US and UK - see also the evangelical 'resurgence' in the late 70s/early 80s.

I think broadly that US evangelicals are probably more sympathetic to their fundamentalist counterparts than their UK equivalents.

Posts: 3840 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged



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