The Evolution of Evangelicalism

Monday, March 29, 2010

“When we die, I don’t think God is going to ask us how He created the earth, but He will ask us what we did with what He created.” – Richard Cizik

“Speaking of Faith” with Krista Tippett has become my new favorite podcast. It’s a weekly broadcast of American Public Media. I was listening to an older broadcast today on “The Evolution of American Evangelicalism” featuring an interview with Richard Cizik, former Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals.

In 2006 Richard caused quite an uproar for expressing his concerns over climate change and torture, which many evangelicals believed drew attention away from issues like abortion and gay marriage. Last year Richard resigned from his position after 28 years with the organization following further controversy after voicing support for civil unions on NPR.

Had there been more evangelicals like Richard speaking up several years ago I probably would not have been so quick to distance myself from them. Surprisingly, the controversy over his comments drew out the support of many like-minded Christians. Several years later, a new breed of evangelicals, like Brian McLaren, are voicing similar concerns about broader social issues that don’t line up neatly with the GOP platform. It’s past time the church separate itself from one particular political party and examine closely for itself the teachings of Jesus, which remain radical even in today’s culture.

One Comment

  1. barryweber says:

    Krista Tippett and her researchers, writers and producers, are treasures. SOF is one of five shows I subscribe to on iTunes, I but haven’t listened to this one yet.

    I’m going to a McClaren/emerging conference next month. You’re right- there is a new voice being heard by more and more that may be what moves the church away from the culture of anger and death it has been edging toward, and closer to the gospel of Life Abundant in ways that have NOTHING to do with material wealth, accumulation, or protection. The gospel of wealth and selfishness, perversely using the words of Jesus, may kill us all. But I hope there is still Hope..

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