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Another Generation of Evangelicals and the Old Guard

May 19, 2010

A friend tweeted a link to this article about a new kind of evangelicalism the other day which I found really interesting. The Q-Gathering.

At first, I confess, I was a little cynical, not another cute, branded,  air-brushed image of straight-white-teeth Christianity? But as I read on I changed my attitude ever so slightly. I’m glad that more and more from this quarter are reflecting on issues of social justice.

Tom Krattenmaker, who wrote the piece, makes the judgment that,

As they keenly sense, a major problem with evangelical Christianity in our time has been its bold assertion that is has an answer — the answer — to everything, namely, a particular understanding of the Bible and how it applies to present-day issues. Not that they are any less on fire for Jesus, but these Q-generation Christians are comfortable in complexity and ambiguity. The new guard seems to be pleading with the elders: “It’s not that simple!”

So the questions being asked are not the traditional ones of how to get to heaven, or deal with abortion or same sex relationship, rather, as Krattenmaker asserts, they are more interested in addressing the hells on earth.

I dropped an email to my friend to thank him for the link, and also to make a comment or two.

Such as to say that this is not new. For years now many of us have been thinking, and writing and working on these things and with this perspective. But we’re old now! And we never had the tech, nor the design skills to brand the movement – some of us weren’t even that cool or trendy even when we were younger. But our sensibilities were right.

And another thing, very few of us who have been doing these things have been welcome within the evangelical mainstream, even though we owe a great deal to the movement. So we’re outsiders who find allies in small networks. Our mentors and heroes are not selling shed loads of books nor headlining international conferences, and they generally have gained an authority for what they say among us by virtue of what they have done.

Anyway, I’m delighted to see that such ideas still percolate within evangelicalism. I hope that the movement, if it can be called that, continues to grow. I hope that it finds space for those who are above 40 and have been round the block a few times. And I hope they don’t yearn too much to be on the ‘inside’.

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From → Reflection, Theology

2 Comments
  1. Well said. I hadn’t really thought about it in those terms, but I think you are right. . . growing up Anabaptist, I have centuries of this stuff in my DNA so I’m glad that more and more folks are getting on board with the social and physical dimensions of the gospel. . . Ready for the World Cup?!

  2. world cup sweepstakes done at home. Ade has drawn Italy, Spain and England, P has drawn Brazil, I have Argentina and Ivory Coast and CJ has Honduras. ’nuff said

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