Tad da here it is; the New Evangelicalism.
The election of Donald Trump was not the start of the schism in Evangelicalism as so many seem to think. It merely exposed the fault lines that were already there; though hidden.
The drift to the left had begun a decade or so before; Trump’s victory gave the Never Trumpers a chance to confront their lagging brethren head on. Though that is too charitable; they saw conservatives as their cultural foe, that’s it.
All Trump’s political victory gave them was the excuse that they were looking for.
The take away is this protestant movement was breached from the outside with the assistance of insiders; all bought and paid for.
With so many declaring that they had jumped ship in the aftermath of the election; it was only a question of time before these so called post conservative Evangelicals found something new (to identify with)
As seems to be the way these things work an old idea from a generation back was fleshed out and re packaged in a new book.
In actual fact all this began in the seminaries; where they went back to the drawing board to devise a new plan.
In his book Mark Baker presents 3 models of the way we do Church.
In other words tell us how you are re defining Church without telling us you are re defining Church.
First there is the traditional way which he calls a bounded one that determines the insiders from the outsiders? So there is that refrain we have heard a thousand times already. What of it?
You see it is all relative, everyone is either an insider or an outsider to something or other, so why the fuss in this case? Might it be ulterior motives just maybe?
Then Baker moves onto what he calls ‘fuzzy’ communities, or progressive Churches where there are no divisions at all; only a hyper emphasis on inclusion.
Okay we getting to their best pick now. The last one is what he calls centered-set Churches and their focus is not on in-out groups or inclusion; but on God. He is said to be at the center of it all.
Centered-set church members seek to make a movement toward Christ, their center, even if they are not there yet, but here is the important part; they are not expected to make this progress at the same pace. Though this is supposed to be their ultimate aim. So there is the rub. A community of believers it is not.
Then there is the problem with an individual’s idea of who God is.
Is He the Orthodox one, the Marxist one, the New Age one or the Santa Claus one? See the dilemma?
What if our theologies are so different that there is no way we could in good conscience worship the same God?
To people who have these concerns Baker leaves them with an analogy.
In the dry Australian outback, it is too expensive for ranchers to build and maintain fences that will contain cattle on their huge properties. So rather than building fences, they dig wells. Though their cattle will roam, they will not roam far, because they must keep returning to the well to drink water.
First of all re the water wells; that is a hang of an assumption that might not play out in reality and second of all how do ranchers who don’t believe in fences keep out the wolves.
One social media profile reads like this; the new Evangelicals centered on Jesus driven by our stories and committed to pushing the Church forward together.
Just a word in here. You have to know the cultural lingo to understand what it is they are getting at.
The stories part has been the downfall of many a congregation; just ask members of the Church of England in the UK. They will tell you.
One warned; at first we thought there is no harm in listening to their stories, surely.
Then we found out everything was wrong with it.
The second clue is in the word pushing. As in pushing the Church. It is strident as I am sure you agree.
There are signs that many who are not in any way orthodox are endorsing this model; this new way of Church.
The we told you so crowd called it from the start and were right to have their misgivings.