Guess what this atheist heard in church?

“Before I restart the “Evangelical Anxieties series, here are words from an atheist who visited some 30 churches. Clearly, most churches have aligned themselves against non-religious people. By adopting this stance, Christians have turned off the people I would think they want to connect with. The combative stance I’ve observed is an approach that causesContinue reading “Guess what this atheist heard in church?”

Evangelical Anxieties 6: Culture

Christians always live in a culture. Sometimes that culture has been, in some way, a “Christian” culture. In most instances, Christians have existed in cultures that did not appreciate or endorse their worldview. Determining how to live in culture, and to what extent that culture will influence us, has always been a challenge for Christians.Continue reading “Evangelical Anxieties 6: Culture”

Evangelical Anxieties 5: The End of the World

There’s not a lot that I like about the Appalachian mountain version of Christianity that surrounds me here in southeastern Kentucky, but at the top of a short list is their attitude toward the end of the world. They aren’t afraid of it. They have a good idea what’s going to go on. They believeContinue reading “Evangelical Anxieties 5: The End of the World”

Evangelical Anxieties 4: Does God’s Judgment Make Christianity a Religion of Fear?

Evangelical Anxieties is a series of posts on the growing phenomenon of fear as a major component of the faith of evangelical Christians. It might seem that the subject of judgment is so similar to the subject of hell that a separate post would be inappropriate. In some ways, that would be true, but theContinue reading “Evangelical Anxieties 4: Does God’s Judgment Make Christianity a Religion of Fear?”

Evangelical Anxieties 3: Does Believing in Hell Make Christianity a Religion of Fear?

Evangelical Anxieties is a series of posts dealing with the issue of fear- as experience and motivation- in evangelicalism. See the category for these posts to read them all. If there is a “fundamental” question to this series of posts, this is it. Does the doctrine of hell make Christianity a religion of fear? IfContinue reading “Evangelical Anxieties 3: Does Believing in Hell Make Christianity a Religion of Fear?”

Evangelical Anxieties 2: Fear, Faith and God’s People

I continue my look at the role of fear in evangelicalism with some thoughts on how the people of God, both now and in the Biblical past, have faced the choice between fear and faith. Somewhere in the South, an evangelical Christian mom is suing her child’s school system over the use of the HarryContinue reading “Evangelical Anxieties 2: Fear, Faith and God’s People”

Evangelical Anxieties 1: Is Christianity a Religion of Fear?

This is the first in a new series of posts exploring the increasing role fear is playing in evangelicalism. I anticipate ten or more posts in the series, and I hope they will be helpful to my readers. I could write more on these topics, but this is a blog, not a book. I lookContinue reading “Evangelical Anxieties 1: Is Christianity a Religion of Fear?”

My Problem With Prayer

Ok. I have this problem with prayer. I’m not sure it’s a problem with prayer as much as it’s a problem with prayer as it’s practiced in the revivalistic tradition that dominates much of my side of evangelicalism. How can I describe that tradition? It’s a tradition of lengthy, eloquent prayers. Prayers using long-held recognizableContinue reading “My Problem With Prayer”