US Evangelicalism and saying Farewell to Rob Bell

The fallout from the recent publication of Rob Bells latest book, Love Wins (by which he means God wins, just in case you missed that), was to explode a number of different debates on the scene analysing “whither” Evangelicalism (or evangelicalism’s, if you like).

I am almost done with Love Wins and have some things to say about it which I will sometime in the future, no doubt in relation to De Youngs review of the book and perhaps with some mention of a book I am also reading entitled Disenchanted Evangelicals. All of this is “in the mix” of my mind at the moment.

In the meantime I thought I would post two links which I think are worth reading, if only for a study in a) keeping perspective and b) how to listen to what the braoder audience is hearing.

The first is a blog post by Rachel Held Evans (I know nothing about her but that she blogs). It’s on the future of evangelicalism from the perspective of a 20 something. Its worth reading because I think she summarises quite well what the perspective of a 20 something in the US might be, to the debate about Love Wins and the emerging/emergent church and Reformed perspective if one would only know about the history of Evangelicalism as seen via blogs in the 21st century (the last 11 or so years). So, I think what she said is what the audience of a large part of the blogosphere might initially think when reading TGCs reaction to Rob Bell. Read The Future of Evangelicalism: A Twenty-Something’s Perspective.

Then I would recommend reading this thoughtful response which gives a bit more perspective than as seen from behind the computer screen over the last 11 years (I am caricaturing here for effect). The blog post is entitled A Cordial Response to Rachel Held Evans’ Post and is authored by another 20 something orthodox Anglican in the US.

Notes to non American readers, the term Evangelical is traditionally a bit broader in the US than the UK (a further confusing point when UK readers read US blogs… and is perhaps also a part of the debate here in the UK)

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5 Responses to US Evangelicalism and saying Farewell to Rob Bell

  1. Phil C says:

    Both interesting posts, thank you. As you point out, they remind me of the obvious truth about the perspective that history can bring (I had no idea about Billy Graham’s careful approach to politics, for example).

    The internet does bring us access to huge swathes of information, but I wonder if the blogosphere can close our minds by narrowing our interpretation of hot-button issues – especially if we are bloggers trying to put together a snappy argument or quotable post.

    I wonder if John Piper regrets his tweet.

  2. Lauri Moyle says:

    In relation to Held-Evans I think its not just hot button issues but rather how the net effects the way we read culture. He who shouts wins or at least diffines the impressions. To do proper socio/anthropology about a movement as complicated and broad as Evangelicalism time and resources are needed, however that does not mean what she said is invalid, because it is partially very valid and many people’s discriptions will be acurately discribed by her blog post…

  3. Tom Stanbury says:

    For Lent this year I have given up reading blogs of North American Christians. In all seriousness. And then, damn it this Rob Bell thing kicked off. It has made it so hard, so I’ve had a few sneaky peaks via your blog.
    I am going to stick with my Lent commitment as I decided it for a reason.

  4. Tom Stanbury says:

    You don’t need to hold back for my benefit.
    One thought I have been prompted to think through during Lent is from a north american christian blog writer. We are all dust and to dust we will all return. For some reason I have only just got to grips with the reality we all going to die. This is frustrating. But then life is or at least mine is. Bring on the resurrection.

    It is going to be good for me to wait til after Easter, to see how the dust settles on this current discussion.

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