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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Evangelical Worldview
MrsBeaky
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Just in case we were in danger of thinking that Evangelicals per se were totally immovable- here is an interesting article which suggests otherwise.....

Dead Horse Alert!

[fixed URL]

[ 12. July 2017, 18:53: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]

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SvitlanaV2
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That link isn't working for me.
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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Brenda Clough quoted:-
quote:
... They don’t care if their war for Christ hurts humans they see as living wrongfully, because they are capital “R” Right and that’s what matters. Their Rightness, they believe, comes from God Himself. Their beliefs are callous and without empathy, prioritizing dogma over people."
That's a fairly stark assessment. It may apply to some but I doubt it applies to all.
I think the point is that it applies to enough to "ruin the word in this country". I'm sure many, probably the majority, of Pharisees were decent human beings. But, there were enough that demonstrated a very similar attitude of prioritizing dogma over people, believing in their God-given Rightness, that the entire name "Pharisee" is a by-word for self-righteous hypocrite. I'm sure the majority of Pharisees would also say that their name had been ruined.
I don't disagree at all, Alan. But I was responding to the article quoted by Brenda Clough.

I'm not sure how best to put this, but that article is very much itself a product of binary culture wars thinking (as I think its author suggests). She has crossed the lines and now fights for the other side. Who is not for us is against us, etc. If there is to be any pushback against the extremes, it must surely involve rejecting the extremes rather than forcing the less extreme into their maw.

In fact, my suggestion would be to reject the whole paradigm which I consider hopelessly simplistic and compromised. But that's a tangent, and as I said, I do think that placing things in more extreme terms for the sake of the argument can be helpful, provided one does not demonise people by forcing them into such extreme categories.

[ 12. July 2017, 18:51: Message edited by: Honest Ron Bacardi ]

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Our experience here is that events within churches which are not doctrinaire are popular. If the music is good, if the thrust of a special service is topical and not about tradition nor liturgy, people fill it up and the under 40s show up. Reconciliation re indigenous peoples, classical mass settings with choir and small orchestra - at opposite ends of the music spectrum - are standing room only. Whereas Sunday mornings are extra room if you wish to lie full length on a pew. ...

That may be the case in Buffalo, but it ain't here.

To put it a different way. The sort of religion Professor Woodhead advocates wouldn't frighten the horses, but it doesn't interest them either. It has about as much appeal as an empty nosebag or a dry drinking trough.

Enthusiasm, of whatever variety may put people off, but the natural, reasonable and almost universal response to unenthusiasm and blandness, is 'why bother?'.

[ 12. July 2017, 19:22: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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MrsBeaky
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quote:
Originally posted by MrsBeaky:
Just in case we were in danger of thinking that Evangelicals per se were totally immovable- here is an interesting article which suggests otherwise.....

Dead Horse Alert!

[fixed URL]

Thank you for fixing the link- I thought I'd done it properly but obviously not! Apologies

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"It is better to be kind than right."

http://davidandlizacooke.wordpress.com

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mark_in_manchester

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SvitlanaV2 wrote:

quote:
David Voas says it's community not theology that attracts people to church life. Unfortunately, many local, ordinary, moderate churches fail to offer distinctively appealing forms of community. This is unsurprising, because uncertainty, tolerance and individualistic approaches towards doctrines, biblical interpretation and lifestyle - which all have their advantages - don't automatically help to foster close-knit religious communities. Especially not in a demoralised or beleaguered church setting.
Perhaps our shared denominational background makes it unsurprising that SV2s posts make a lot of sense to me. This quote in particular struck me as explaining me somewhat to myself, in terms of what I get from hanging out with a bunch of RCs whose views I often don't share, and to whose positions I don't wish to gravitate, yet around whom I feel an odd sense of something like security. Dead horsemen, here I am, an open goal for accusations of hypocrisy.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Gamaliel
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Yes, I also thought the other points SvitlanaV2 made were good ones too. One of her best recent posts I think.

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

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mousethief

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I've never been to a service that's "about" liturgy. What exactly does that mean?

On the other hand, we bow to no church when it comes to liturgy, and our nave is filled with young families with little children. The under-40s are not staying away.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
David Voas says it's community not theology that attracts people to church life. Unfortunately, many local, ordinary, moderate churches fail to offer distinctively appealing forms of community. This is unsurprising, because uncertainty, tolerance and individualistic approaches towards doctrines, biblical interpretation and lifestyle - which all have their advantages - don't automatically help to foster close-knit religious communities.

My church fosters community by potluck suppers and coffee hour after church. Various members also volunteer at the interfaith food pantry. Many of us who can't volunteer donate money. After a funeral, if the family wants it, the church hosts a reception, and many people contribute food or labor to this. Most of us are indifferent to others' approaches to doctrine and Biblical interpretations unless we are in a group that is studying these matters.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Reconciliation re indigenous peoples, classical mass settings with choir and small orchestra - at opposite ends of the music spectrum - are standing room only. Whereas Sunday mornings are extra room if you wish to lie full length on a pew.

It sounds more like you're saying that people are open to going to a "special event", but not so interested in regular worship (of any style) (or possibly getting out of bed at the weekend).

Or do you have examples of churches with high-quality music getting people in for services every week?

'cause there's something of a difference between going to listen to a performance of a renaissance mass setting and going to worship.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
My church fosters community by potluck suppers and coffee hour after church. [..]

We do a load of that stuff - breakfasts, coffee, various social gatherings not attached to the normal service slots - and I'm in two minds about them.

Basically, because they're "OK". We'll do potluck meals at which the food will be, well, OK. We'll be sitting around in the church hall, which is, well, OK. We'll have a perfectly pleasant chat with some perfectly nice people with whom we have little in common beyond worshiping together, and it's all fine.

But it's really quite a lot of effort to get everyone out of the house for an evening for "OK". I can have "OK" at home on the sofa.

I go to these things out of some kind of sense that I ought to take part, but I always find myself wondering why I bother.

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mark_in_manchester

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I find that with church social events, too. Whereas eating together at a 'men's event' (not everyone's cup of tea, but something I have recent experience of) which includes prayer and bible study - is often somehow more than OK. Perhaps it is that otherwise boring men (i include myself) can sometimes come out with something really startling when the focus is 'religious' - which is, after all, all we really have in common.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
I find that with church social events, too. Whereas eating together at a 'men's event' (not everyone's cup of tea, but something I have recent experience of) which includes prayer and bible study - is often somehow more than OK.

Actually, our annual "men's night" is the one thing that's better than OK. Not because there's much prayer or bible study - it's a social thing - but because it involves good food and good beer, and because the fact that everyone comes alone (or maybe brings a friend) means that it's easier to mingle than if everyone is in couples and family groups.
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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Is Stott still alive? I haven't seen him commenting on American politics in 2017. It only takes one rotten egg to spoil the entire omelette.

That he is dead is besides the point. There are many reasonable and moderate Evangelicals in his mould, and it is surely very unfair to ignore them. Evangelicals that comment on American politics in 2017 are not the only ones in existence. American Evangelicals are not the only ones in existence.

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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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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
American Evangelicals are not the only ones in existence.

Of course not. But when the average American—particularly the average non-Evangelical American—thinks of Evangelicalism they're most likely going to think of the American form of Evangelicalism that Brenda and others of us have described. Only those who really pay attention or frequent places like the ship are going to be familiar with, say, the kind of CofE Evangelicalism some have described here. My guess is something similar would be seen in any culture—we're all likely to be more aware of the local expression of something.

Which is part of what makes discussing something like Evangelicalism challenging; we all have different frames of reference.

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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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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
American Evangelicals are not the only ones in existence.

Of course not. But when the average American—particularly the average non-Evangelical American—thinks of Evangelicalism they're most likely going to think of the American form of Evangelicalism that Brenda and others of us have described. Only those who really pay attention or frequent places like the ship are going to be familiar with, say, the kind of CofE Evangelicalism some have described here. My guess is something similar would be seen in any culture—we're all likely to be more aware of the local expression of something.

Which is part of what makes discussing something like Evangelicalism challenging; we all have different frames of reference.

I think that has more to do with American exceptionalism more than anything else.

The average person in the rest of the world is only too aware of the particular issues of American Evangelicalism, along with Evangelicalism in their own country (aside from countries where Evangelicalism is particularly uncommon). We don't really have a choice there.

Aside from anything else, even within the US, Evangelicalism has nuance and Evangelicals do not all look or sound the same.

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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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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
I attended one evangelical Anglican service where the vicar described his bishop as "an antichrist" based on his dead horse statements. I was quite shocked... but I doubt you'd hear something like that from many other wings of the church.

quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I've heard an anglo-catholic say much the same thing - beause the bishop ordained women.

Wow. So there we go, it isn't just evangelicals.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mr cheesy
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I think secretly a lot of Anglicans are not too fussed with their bishop. Many, it seems, simply put up with him/her because they rarely have to interact with him/her.

But, of course, the episcopy is more than just the bishop - and one can have a dim view of the person sitting on the throne whilst getting on with the rest of the structure that one has to interact with on a more regular basis.

With regard to Evangelicals, I think that there is something about that they often consider themselves to be the only "orthodox" Christians in the room. So we have this phenomena where they believe that they are somehow the remnant in a sea of unbelievers and in a lukewarm church. But instead of leaving a wider church like the Church of England, they persist - because of a combination of believing that they're somehow entitled to use whatever resources are available and because they maybe think that they're eventually going to take it over anyway.

Of course, this attitude becomes pretty awkward when two or more Evangelicals disagree - when it often ends up with each claiming to be on God's side in a theological battle with the other.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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I have close connection with CofE evangelicals about whom that comment rings true, Mr Cheesy. I'm sometimes a bit shocked by the way I the folks I know use resources (perhaps along the lines of 'if I don't spend it on whizzy AV gear, someone in the diocese will buy a stained glass window or something).

Family life is hard; brotherhood-in-Christ no easier.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
... Of course, this attitude becomes pretty awkward when two or more Evangelicals disagree - when it often ends up with each claiming to be on God's side in a theological battle with the other.

So different, so very different, from the way some Roman Catholics, over the centuries and sometimes even now, argue with the rest of us.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Gamaliel
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Ever seen an Orthodox spat?

From a distance they look bloody awful. Up close they must be truly horrendous ...

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

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Brenda Clough
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A free click, an outline of the extent of evangelical buy-in to the current regime. The population is not stupid; they can see the hypocrisy of these people. That entire end of American Christianity is gone. I only hope the rest of the church can survive.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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Doc Tor
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This, written by associates of the Pope, and believed vetted by the Vatican, pulls no punches.

It amounts to trash talking US evangelicalism (and puts Steve Bannon - a Catholic - within the same milieu as Islamic fundamentalism). Long read, but a fascinating insight into what Francis thinks of the White House.

tl;dr Heretics. Dangerous heretics.

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Improbable Botany

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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That's interesting - thanks, DT.

Some of the RCs on the street who I know (and the odd priest) lean towards the integralism mentioned in the article - one or two bemoaning the loss of links between church and state in the Irish Republic, for instance, or in favour of an RC-flavoured nationalism in Poland. Their loyalty to this pope is instinctive but sometimes under visible strain. In my view he's a great man - may God preserve him.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
American Evangelicals are not the only ones in existence.

Of course not. But when the average American—particularly the average non-Evangelical American—thinks of Evangelicalism they're most likely going to think of the American form of Evangelicalism that Brenda and others of us have described. Only those who really pay attention or frequent places like the ship are going to be familiar with, say, the kind of CofE Evangelicalism some have described here. My guess is something similar would be seen in any culture—we're all likely to be more aware of the local expression of something.

Which is part of what makes discussing something like Evangelicalism challenging; we all have different frames of reference.

I think that has more to do with American exceptionalism more than anything else.
Fair enough, up to a point. But . . .

quote:
The average person in the rest of the world is only too aware of the particular issues of American Evangelicalism, along with Evangelicalism in their own country (aside from countries where Evangelicalism is particularly uncommon). We don't really have a choice there.
I'll readily admit that some, maybe many people in the rest of the world who pay attention to such things are only too aware of the particular issues of American Evangelicalism. But if nothing else, numerous posts on the Ship over the years lead me to conclude that saying the "average" person in the rest of the world has that kind of awareness might be overstating it. At the least, and if the Ship is any indication, there seem to be a number of generally well-informed people elsewhere who either do not seem to be aware of or really understand the dynamics of American Evangelicalism.

quote:
Aside from anything else, even within the US, Evangelicalism has nuance and Evangelicals do not all look or sound the same.
Again, unquestionably true. But as has been noted repeatedly in this thread and other threads on the topic, one particular brand of American Evangelicals has ruined the name for all American Evangelicals in the minds of the average American—including many average American Evangelicals.

You are talking about what the total group of Evangelicals—American and otherwise—looks like, and about the diversity of that group. I am talking about what the average American thinks of when hearing the words "Evangelical" or "Evangelicalism." That's two different things.

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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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Brenda Clough
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I wish horrible examples would not turn up daily, of evangelical pastors saying things that make you cringe. Maybe I should become a Unitarian.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I wish horrible examples would not turn up daily, of evangelical pastors saying things that make you cringe. Maybe I should become a Unitarian.

Oh I don't know, it is quite cartoonish. I love this quote:

quote:
“It is safe to say that God is a Capitalist [not a Communist"
As with many of these things, they're only saying this crap to get a response.* The one thing that the fascists and fundamentalists really want is legitimacy and being taken seriously, so that's the one thing we should make every effort to refuse to give them. Point and laugh, point and laugh at the silly man talking rubbish.

* and I think there is a good chance that they don't even really believe it

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I wish horrible examples would not turn up daily, of evangelical pastors saying things that make you cringe. Maybe I should become a Unitarian.

I'm sure there would be Unitarian ministers who would say things that would also make you cringe. The difference being that Unitarians are a lot less likely to let a self-appointed leader of a ministry to politicians be seen as a spokesperson for the entire church. Evangelicalism generally lacks a decent mechanism for granting people the authority to speak for evangelicals, usually relying on "success" (size of congregation, number of book sales, TV appearances) to make that judgement.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Evangelicalism generally lacks a decent mechanism for granting people the authority to speak for evangelicals, usually relying on "success" (size of congregation, number of book sales, TV appearances) to make that judgement.

This is one of the things I find it hardest to deal with about the evangelicals who have appointed themselves as saviours of the Church of England, with Svitlana's apparent approval. They such a strong, self-validating sense of calling that they simply steamroller through everything, casting everyone they encounter either under their own wheels or beyond their purview. This is why they look successful: nothing survives contact with them that is not of them. They have a certain capacity to multiply themselves as well, but this will run out, and in my judgement it will do so pretty soon in this country. Once it does so, the church will have no other resources to draw on, because it will have made itself toxic to anything and everything else.

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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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Barnabas62
Host
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mr cheesy

My charitable guess. He meant it. Otherwise he's a complete scoundrel, rather than just a fool.

Alternative facts again. That's the problem with self-enclosing ideologies.

ETA for Thunderbunk. Your post also spells out the danger of self-enclosing ideologies.

[ 14. July 2017, 08:17: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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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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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
mr cheesy

My charitable guess. He meant it. Otherwise he's a complete scoundrel, rather than just a fool.

Alternative facts again. That's the problem with self-enclosing ideologies.

Oh I don't know, I'm not sure it quite puts him in scoundrel territory. It seems that there are a fair number of people who have read Machiavelli and seem to think it is the right thing to do whatever they have to do to get their way.

I'm not sure if it is something in the water, but in particular religious conservatives seem to have taken on this ethic in a big way. I was listening yesterday to the description of someone in a podcast who reveled in winding up opponents by strongly pushing a debating point that he didn't believe in. I think it is about power and showing oneself (and an audience) that one can destroy an opponent even with a weak or untrue hand.

Again, maybe I'm just too jaded, but I find it easier to believe that they're playing power games than that they believe this crap.

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mr cheesy
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Of course I also appreciate that some think Machiavelli = scoundrel. I think it is both simpler and more complicated than that.

I don't think Machiavelli is utterly immoral, it is more that the ethic thinks that it is possible to be amoral - because the greater good is gained by getting subjects to do what you want, even if getting to that stage requires questionable behaviour.

In practice, I'm not sure this is really much worse than the way most people behave anyway.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I wish horrible examples would not turn up daily, of evangelical pastors saying things that make you cringe. Maybe I should become a Unitarian.

That man's theology is so odd that it's difficult to tell whether the website is quoting him with approval or as 'is this man genuine?'. "Right Wing Watch - a Project of People for the American Way" at the top of the webpage implies approval, but the quotations sound like spoofs.

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Barnabas62
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Point taken, mr cheesy. Reminds me of the "will to power' arguments.

A relative scoundrel? [Biased]

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
"Right Wing Watch - a Project of People for the American Way" at the top of the webpage implies approval, but the quotations sound like spoofs.

No, the source "People for the American Way" suggests major disapproval.

The Wiki on People for the American Way.

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Brenda Clough
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As I understand it Right Wing Watch seeks out the nuttier of righty pronunciations and links to them so that we may know what they're saying today.

If it were just a gang of loons howling in the back woods nobody would care. But real legislation is being passed that will damage Christianity. A Christian friend of mine sent me this link with the comment, "It really burns me that some of the best comments on abusive religion come from atheists. Where are the Christian leaders?"

Buddhism. Perhaps I should consider it.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
SvitlanaV2 wrote:

quote:
David Voas says it's community not theology that attracts people to church life. Unfortunately, many local, ordinary, moderate churches fail to offer distinctively appealing forms of community. This is unsurprising, because uncertainty, tolerance and individualistic approaches towards doctrines, biblical interpretation and lifestyle - which all have their advantages - don't automatically help to foster close-knit religious communities. Especially not in a demoralised or beleaguered church setting.
Perhaps our shared denominational background makes it unsurprising that SV2s posts make a lot of sense to me. This quote in particular struck me as explaining me somewhat to myself, in terms of what I get from hanging out with a bunch of RCs whose views I often don't share, and to whose positions I don't wish to gravitate, yet around whom I feel an odd sense of something like security. Dead horsemen, here I am, an open goal for accusations of hypocrisy.
To be fair, Methodists and RCs do seem to get on fairly well in general, so I wouldn't call it hypocrisy!

It occurs to me that from a moderate Protestant perspective the the RC 'loses' in terms of its DH stances, but 'gains' in terms of its age, cultural heritage, status, and legacy of numinous and sacramental spirituality. Evangelicalism is far less tolerable because it has many of the same losses but none of the gains.

OTOH, I think there are quite a few theologically moderate Shippies who seem to enjoy hanging out with evangelicals. Perhaps it's similarly a case of seeking security. Perhaps demographics count as well. If a young or even middle aged Methodist wants to meet other Christians of the same age he or she well probably have to mix with evangelicals from another denomination.


quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Evangelicalism generally lacks a decent mechanism for granting people the authority to speak for evangelicals, usually relying on "success" (size of congregation, number of book sales, TV appearances) to make that judgement.

This is one of the things I find it hardest to deal with about the evangelicals who have appointed themselves as saviours of the Church of England, with Svitlana's apparent approval. They such a strong, self-validating sense of calling that they simply steamroller through everything, casting everyone they encounter either under their own wheels or beyond their purview.


Oh, I don't approve, necessarily. I've suggested before that the CofE would be more at peace with itself and with the surrounding society if it had a more consistent liberal or moderate identity, i.e. if the evangelicals left. But despite the unease caused by evangelicalism there seems to be some ambivalence about this solution.

I'm sure there's a genuine commitment to the broad church model, but it also seems that many in the CofE want to have their cake and eat it, extracting whatever might be useful from the evangelical presence, while wishing that evangelicals would fade into the background somehow. I suppose this works in areas where evangelicals are a small, weak constituency, but not where they're growing in numbers and/or self-confidence.

One solution is presented by Linda Woodhead in one of my links above. She says that the CofE should be more like the Lutheran Church of Denmark, which benefits from a church tax levied upon willing members of the population. This gives ordinary Danes a sense of ownership, and large numbers still identify with Christian rituals and festivals, even though weekly church attendance rates are very low. Since the Church is financially secure there's no need to tolerate evangelical 'steamrolling' just because evangelicals have money, or because they keep attendance figures up. High attendance isn't important for the mission or identity of the Church in Danish society.

There are apparently evangelicals in the Danish Lutheran Church, but I assume that the cultural and financial situation discourages them from becoming too pushy.

English society is surely too pluralistic now for a church tax, but the public might be willing to pay a tax towards the upkeep of important historical buildings.

Another much predicted outcome is that the CofE will split. It could be a blessing in disguise. Swap the home-grown evangelicals for the Methodists (whose evangelicals don't 'steamroller' anything) and all the bad PR might be kept to a minimum!

[Devil]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
As I understand it Right Wing Watch seeks out the nuttier of righty pronunciations and links to them so that we may know what they're saying today.

If it were just a gang of loons howling in the back woods nobody would care. But real legislation is being passed that will damage Christianity. A Christian friend of mine sent me this link with the comment, "It really burns me that some of the best comments on abusive religion come from atheists. Where are the Christian leaders?"

Buddhism. Perhaps I should consider it.

The Pope's robust criticism has been widely-reported - surely your friend has heard of the Pope?? I have never read a comment on abusive religion by an atheist that was particularly insightful - there are people like Rachel Held Evans doing a better job.

Buddhism is not just a bit of yoga and chanting, it's a real religion with its own problems - including fundamentalism. Buddhist sectarian fighters in Sri Lanka have killed thousands. All religions except small indigenous religions have problems with fundamentalism. Equally, all religions have non-fundamentalism and those trying to fight fundamentalism. Rather than just complaining about how terrible things are in American Christianity, why not do something about it? Donate to a progressive Christian campaign. Read Sojourners. Get involved in any campaigns being done by your denomination. Donate to the ACLU. Abandoning Christianity to the far right is by far the easiest and quickest way to make everyone else suffer.

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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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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
As I understand it Right Wing Watch seeks out the nuttier of righty pronunciations and links to them so that we may know what they're saying today.

I suspect that you mean pronouncements.

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balaam

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@Pomona.

I'm glad that someone has mentioned Sojourners, sad that it had to be a fellow Brit.

When I read what they are saying I end up thinking, "This is what is being said by Evangelicals in the UK, why is this such a shocking thing for Americans?" It seems there are three very different strands of Evangelical, one of them seems more prominent in the UK. the other in the US. Historically speaking I'd class then this way:

1, Lutherans who use the term Evangelical in their church names.

2, What I'd call the Wesley/Whitefield Evangelical - People had an experience of God, some responded by spreading the word, becoming evangelists, but others did social action: The campaigned against child labour in factories and against the slave trade. They built orphanages and built social housing.

3, Edwards Evangelical - It was been mentioned upthread that Wesley and Whitefield were involved to some extent in the US Great Awakening. More influential IMO was Jonathan Edwards, which has led to a contrary idea that somehow the "social gospel" is not part of the Gospel.

Evangelicalism 2 and 3 have been in conflict from the beginning, which in the 20th Century was epitomised by the disagreements over the so social gospel between John Stott and Billy Graham following the Lausanne Evangelical Congress. But despite their differences Stott and Graham supported each other's ministry.

The sad thing is from the late 1990s and through the 21st Century so far is that these two positions are becoming polarised. There is no longer the same acceptance of one side by the other. This has not been helped by the sloppy use of the tern fundamentalist to refer to people who do not hold to the fundamentals of conservative evangelicalism, as set down in tracts from the 1910s and 20s, (strictly speaking you cannot have a fundamentalist Muslim) and people are using the term evangelical to mean fundamentalist.

Although fundamentalists are evangelicals, all evangelicals are not fundamentalists. (Most in the UK).

What I have said about acceptance pulls both ways. If I am to be consistent then I have to accept people like Frankin Graham as a fellow Christian and fellow Evangelical, despite our very big differences of, well, just about everything. This is not easy.

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Gamaliel
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Except Whitefield didn't oppose slavery. He was rather in favour of it. Unlike Wesley.

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Martin60
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That's the historical-grammatical method for you.

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balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Except Whitefield didn't oppose slavery. He was rather in favour of it. Unlike Wesley.

I never said he did, I said "but others did social action: The(y) campaigned against child labour in factories and against the slave trade."

Note the word "others".

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Gamaliel
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Ok, fair enough.

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mr cheesy
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I wonder the extent to which the various forms of Evangelical fed off and were influenced by other movements of the time.

To what extent were social actions a response to the actions of the Quakers, for example? We know that there was a lot of direct links between Evangelicals and other Evangelicals - and other Christian groups cf Salvation Army and Church Army - but I wonder the extent to which the development of various kinds of Evangelical was a response, even a competition with, other groups.

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Gamaliel
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As far as I know, evangelical collaboration on a more organised level dates from around the 1790s, when Anglicans and Dissenters began working together on missionary efforts in the Pacific and the West Indies.

I think it's also the case that Wesleyan influence spilled over into 'Old Dissent' from its Anglican base.

I suspect most influences were informal rather than systematic.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
As far as I know, evangelical collaboration on a more organised level dates from around the 1790s, when Anglicans and Dissenters began working together on missionary efforts in the Pacific and the West Indies.

I think it's also the case that Wesleyan influence spilled over into 'Old Dissent' from its Anglican base.

I suspect most influences were informal rather than systematic.

When would historians say that "Evangelicals" as scholars would define first arose? Is it correct to speak of "Evangelicals" among Puritans and Separatists of the early 1600s? What about among Dissenters and Nonconformists in the late 1600s? Do the first Quakers count or were they too different in doctrine from the Evangelicals of the past couple of centuries? Did the phenomenon called Evangelicalism that we recognize today only emerge post-Wesley and post-First Great Awakening?
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Gamaliel
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I think this has come up before. I've certainly put a date to it on some of my previous posts - whether on this or other threads I can't remember ...

But I'd date evangelicalism in its recognisably modern-ish form from around the 1730s, with anticipatory antecedents in English and Scottish Puritanism and German Pietism.

Henry D Rack in his impressive biography of John Wesley, 'Rational Enthusiast' dates it from around then, with a trail leading back to Puritan New England and the 2nd and 3rd generations of Reformed Protestants in Scotland.

The early Reformers tended to regard their 'conversion' as a change/move from Romanism. By the 1590s, some of the Reformed believers were beginning to worry about their offspring, particularly their teenagers. So 'preaching for conversion' starts around that time but doesn't become fully developed until the early to mid 1700s.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Evangelicalism generally lacks a decent mechanism for granting people the authority to speak for evangelicals, usually relying on "success" (size of congregation, number of book sales, TV appearances) to make that judgement.

I don't know about that. Just because they don't have a formal structure for enforcing conformity doesn't mean that there aren't Evangelical gatekeepers. For example, let's check in on what Eugene Peterson, mentioned earlier by MrsBeaky, is up to since his recent statement.

quote:
Eugene Peterson backtracks on same-sex marriage

“The Message” author Eugene Peterson says he regrets telling me he would officiate a same-sex wedding if asked to do so today by a gay couple who were “Christians of good faith.”

“On further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that,” the evangelical author said in a statement.

This article provides some further context.

quote:
Eugene Peterson discovered painfully that the evangelical establishment will immediately seek to destroy anyone who breaks with their understanding of orthodoxy on LGBTQ issues.

Nothing he did before mattered. Nothing else he believes mattered.

The guns were turned on him, posthaste, in a choreography of rejection as public and painful as possible.

This has happened so many times before that the real wonder of events last week was that Rev. Peterson somehow did not anticipate that it would happen to him:


This is evangelical nuclear deterrence, and it works very well most of the time to beat wonderers and wanderers into submission.

Just because the mechanisms of authority are informal doesn't mean those mechanisms aren't there. As they say, read the rest.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Evangelicalism generally lacks a decent mechanism for granting people the authority to speak for evangelicals, usually relying on "success" (size of congregation, number of book sales, TV appearances) to make that judgement.

I don't know about that. Just because they don't have a formal structure for enforcing conformity doesn't mean that there aren't Evangelical gatekeepers. For example, let's check in on what Eugene Peterson, mentioned earlier by MrsBeaky, is up to since his recent statement.

quote:
Eugene Peterson backtracks on same-sex marriage

“The Message” author Eugene Peterson says he regrets telling me he would officiate a same-sex wedding if asked to do so today by a gay couple who were “Christians of good faith.”

“On further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that,” the evangelical author said in a statement.

This article provides some further context.

quote:
Eugene Peterson discovered painfully that the evangelical establishment will immediately seek to destroy anyone who breaks with their understanding of orthodoxy on LGBTQ issues.

Nothing he did before mattered. Nothing else he believes mattered.

The guns were turned on him, posthaste, in a choreography of rejection as public and painful as possible.

This has happened so many times before that the real wonder of events last week was that Rev. Peterson somehow did not anticipate that it would happen to him:


This is evangelical nuclear deterrence, and it works very well most of the time to beat wonderers and wanderers into submission.

Just because the mechanisms of authority are informal doesn't mean those mechanisms aren't there. As they say, read the rest.

Just pointing out Crœsos, that the (heart-breaking for me) Peterson case seems to exemplify rather than refute Alan's point that evangelicals lack a "decent (i.e. official) mechanism for granting people the authority to speak for evangelicals, usually relying on "success" (size of congregation, number of book sales, TV appearances) to make that judgement." To my knowledge, Peterson has not been rebuked by any official body (NEA being about the only real possibility of such for a PCUSA pastor, and nobody pays much attn to what they say anyway)-- it appears it was in fact the threat of lost book sales that was the decisive factor (to my great dismay-- see thread in hell on the subject).

[ 19. July 2017, 15:31: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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