Archive for the ‘Ecology’ Category

Evangelicals at the Crossroads- and Losing their Way?(Part 2)

May 25, 2007

Following up on an earlier post (Evangelicals at the Crossroads- and Losing their Way?) I raised a concern that Evangelicals were being defined in terms of their political causes rather than the gospel they proclaim. I wonder how far this has occurred because western Evangelicals have lost their eternal focus? Have Evangelicals in the western world become more interested in making a mark in this life than in making preparations for the next?

When Paul addressed the issue of homosexuality his concerns were directed not towards the wider culture but towards the church. The Bible’s condemnation of infanticide in the OT is directed towards the people of God. Nor is there a developed ecological perspective in the NT since this world is passing. These issues were not related to the wider culture but addressed in terms of God’s people preparing for God’s reward.

The fact that such issues are now identified in the wider culture as as key issues defining evangelicalism raises a big question in my mind. Have western Evangelicals taken their eyes off the eternal prize?Evangelicals ought to have a voice in the public square. But if that voice offers nothing distinctive. If its agenda does not take us beyond the common agenda of public affairs. Then the question is raised as to exactly what perspective Evangelicals are offering.

In the contemporary obsession with relevance are Evangelicals doing nothing more than baptising the popular cultural agenda without offering a distinctive perspective? One which is rooted not in this passing world but in heaven where Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and from where He will return to deliver His people?

Evangelicals at the Crossroads- and losing their way?

May 23, 2007

According to the Washington Post Evangelicals now find themselves at a crossroads with the death of Jerry Falwell who was a unifying figure in Evangelicalism. Falwell represented the now aged generation of Evangelical leaders who dominated in movement in the 80’s and 90’s. In the place of this generation of leaders a new generation of leaders are emerging with a new agenda such as global warming and AIDS in Africa. Classic homegrown issues such as abortion and homosexuality (a third of American evangelicals under 30 support same-sex marriage!) are now slipping down the agenda.

There are I think at least two concerns regarding this portrait of evangelicalism. First of all it is of concern that Evangelicalism is being defined both by itself and those outside the movement by the political causes it espouses rather than the gospel it preaches. Secondly, whilst AIDS in Africa and global warming are important issues the shift of the agenda raises the question of who is setting Evangelicalism’s agenda. It sounds as if it is now the world that is setting the church’s agenda. Furthermore the Evangelical movement’s distancing of itself from its traditional cultural agenda suggests that Evangelicals are now afraid of giving offence. Again it looks like they are giving in to an agenda set by the culture.

It was DL Moody an American Evangelical of another generation who once remarked, ‘The place for the boat is in the water, God help the boat when the water gets into it.’