When you do a lot if blogging, you quickly discover that successful posts (as measured by clicks and shares) are therapeutic.
Say nice things about your side of the culture war and you get attention. Say something mean about the opposition and things really light up.
Most of the progressive Christian material available on the web is therapy for post-evangelicals. The basic theme is that almost everything you learned in Sunday school (well, almost everything) doesn’t make a lick of sense and doesn’t square with the Bible.
Conservatives don’t read this stuff because it doesn’t scratch where they are itching.
Liberals read it and say, Well, duh! Everybody knows that!
But if you grew up born again and felt the need to move on, you have issues. Letting go of things you once believed without question is unavoidably traumatic. Hearing someone validate your decision to walk away feels good.
I’m not knocking post-evangelical diatribes literature; in fact, I’ve written more than my share. But has anyone ever become a practicing Christian after reading post-evangelical apologetics?
Maybe, but I doubt it.
I am thinking of all those people who didn’t grow up in church. You know, the people who form their opinion of Christianity by watching TV preachers and reading Guess-what-Pat-Robertson-just-said posts on Facebook. The folks who check the “none” box when asked about their religious preference.
If we want to introduce these people to Jesus, what would you say?
You wouldn’t waste your time arguing against the religion of your childhood. And you wouldn’t throw around a lot of theological vocabulary.
You would begin, I think, by talking about how following Jesus has changed you. You’d start with the language of testimony.
Are we ready to evangelize, or are we still so traumatized that the word “evangelize” sounds downright creepy?
To evangelize is to share good news. Do we have any good news to pass along? Because good news, not clever critique, is what everybody’s looking for. Right?