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A huge thanks to JS this week for some of these links. This week has been a week of grieving in our home as we grieve what has happened and is happening at Willow Creek. Pray for Willow. It’s not over by a long shot.
Flat out one of the finest posts I’ve ever read and one of the best pieces of wisdom on leadership and churches I’ve read. Maybe the best.
Debates - Commonplace - Scholars - Debates - Anxious
Debates over who is and isn’t an evangelical have become commonplace among scholars. Some of these debates have played out here at the Anxious Bench. Should evangelicalism be a theological category, à la David Bebbington? If so, people of color deserve a prominent place within evangelicalism. Or, is “evangelicalism” a cultural movement—one defined by its whiteness and its politics as much as (if not more than) by any particular statements of belief? Should we think of evangelicalism first and foremost as a global movement? As one represented by such luminaries as John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, and William Wilberforce? Or as the politicized, white, God-and-country movement best represented by Robert Jeffress and the Duck Dynasty clan?
What if the answer is all of the above?
Scholars - Time - Quibbling - Rubrics - Attempts
For scholars, perhaps the time has come to set aside our quibbling over definitive rubrics and our attempts to dictate, once and for all, who is and who is not an evangelical, and instead begin to consider evangelicalism as an imagined religious community.
There are, in fact, many evangelicalisms, and each is imagined with a different center and different boundaries.
Question - Definition - Imaginings - Power - People
The primary question, then, isn’t which definition is “correct,” but rather which imaginings have more power to shape other people’s imaginings. When LifeWay decides you are no longer an evangelical, it matters. At least if you want to sell books. When the evangelical left claims the mantle of evangelicalism, it...
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