Christian Smith coined a useful and resonant phrase, describing evangelical Christianity in the post-1960s United States as both “embattled and thriving.”
.. an identity in a secularizing country that was neither separatist nor assimilated, but somehow mainstream and countercultural at once.
.. there is talk of an intergenerational crisis within evangelical churches, a widening disillusionment with a Trump-endorsing old guard, a feeling that a crackup must loom ahead.
.. that they will either go along with the drift of their elders and become church-of-American-greatness heretics, or else they will return to “older liturgical traditions,” Catholic and Orthodox and Anglican, and cease to identify with evangelicalism entirely.
.. If so, then this would imply that white Christian tribalism and a very American sort of heresy, not a commitment to scripture and tradition, has kept evangelical churches thriving all these years.
.. According to Psychologist Brian Hall, many see a world that is a terrifying mystery beyond our control, where safety and security are the issues. Here, the black and white evangelical “are you saved?” churches thrive. Many others see the world as a problem to solve with the help of institutions of control, like government and big corporations. Institutional churches thrive here, depending on their unchanging truths. But other religious people have come see the world as a project, and here the old immovable certainties become more plastic. This is terrifying for those who go by black and white.
.. It strikes me that the first sentence of your third paragraph from the bottom should read as follows: “But it’s also possible that evangelical intellectuals and writers, and their friends in other Christian traditions, have Over-estimated how much how much a serious theology has ever mattered to evangelical’s sociological success.”
.. His view of life led to his death because he was way ahead of his time. He chose a difficult path.
Evangelicals choose an easy path. One that is black and white. One that rejects science; evolution. One that rejects the complexities inherent in daily life.
.. Why does every pundit speak of the election as if voting for Trump is tantamount to an endorsement of all things Trump?
I voted because I believe it to be a civic obligation, but I didn’t choose the options on the ballot, and I had to pick one. Tust me that I endorsed neither. I am honestly not sure how much anyone should take away from a vote for Trump (or a vote against Hilary).
There were two bad choices, and he won by the skin of his teeth. Let’s not make more of his victory than what it was.