So I’m listening to U2 at church while a rainstorm pours.
I continue to reexamine my relationship with evangelicalism at large. Sometimes I lament the fact I’m so progressive. If I could just shut my mouth (and eyes, and brain) I could rise pretty high on some of the ladders that are around me.
Other times, I wish I was progressive enough to just let the whole evangelical camp burn behind me. But I can’t. I’m a commited progressive post-evangelical.
My flavor of evangelicalism still has plenty to say to the world: live how the bible teaches. be a part of the local church. be baptized with water. break bread when you meet.
These are all good and beneficial things (they even have verses!). The rest of the heritage can be quite a hindrance, left over from when the Christian Church was more aligned with rural fundamentalists than suburban evangelicals: plain buildings, words over pictures, explanations for everything, anti-intellectualism, mistrust of diversity, escapism, republicanism, capitalism, fear of the sensual…
I don’t want to be new for newness’ sake, or hip for hipness’. I just think the postmoderns are right in their criticisms, and I would like to be part of the vanguard that addresses them.
It bugs me that the emerging church model is so calvinistic. Christianity Today had a great piece a few months ago commenting on how PostModerns like Calvinism because of the Mystery of God’s providence. (We don’t know ‘what’ His soverign plan is…) We don’t, but as my boss says; either Romans 8 is the centerpiece of the New Testament, or it isn’t. I don’t think it is, and therefore I am not a calvinist. The danger is that there is so much that is right about the emerging church model, the vibe, the structures, the attention to aesthetics, and idiot Evangelicals will throw out the whole model because of TULIP.
I’m just not sure ‘God is Soverign’ is the best answer Christianity has for folks who are concerned with the church’s history of abuse, America’s track record with the environment, evangelicalism’s relationship to the republican party, horrific tragedies, genocides or any other collection of patently offensive subjects that are barriers to otherwise interested, ‘spiritual’ folks who have real questions before they will join the team.