There are a lot of different camps clustered under this big tent known as Evangelical Christianity. The idea of Evangelicalism as a single tent is more a theoretical idea than a practical one, as I suspect there never was a place and time in which we great-great-great grandchildren of the Protestant Reformation in which we were ever truly united. At this point in our history, if there ever was a tent, it has stretch to the point it no longer serves as much of a shelter those of us who still bear the uncomfortable identifier “Evangelical”. (Others of you may be reading these words with gladness from a place situated somewhere outside the tent, and may be tempted to say, “Good riddance to that circus tent”.)
There’s no need to go into great detail here about what has become evident about Evangelicalism: in a sort of reverse birth-pangs to its expansion through the 1960’s through the turn of the millennium, it is now contracting and some of its excesses are withering. The decline has exposed the places where we Evangelicals staked our tent pegs on shifting sand instead of solid rock.
So many of us have lived through church splits, been wounded at the hands of abusive leaders or mean-spirited behavior from those who are supposed to be our brothers and sisters, or been shaped by a subculture of cultural and political pugilism, which is an expression of flabby, unhealthy theology. And now, it seems that we may have hit the collective spiritual wall. [Read more]