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This thread is inspired by this Tweet.😎 Here's why evangelicals will always struggle with justice issues and end up fight each other rather than doing something constructive. This is also why evangelicals have no idea what to do with #BlackLivesMatter.
(1) “Making disciples” and Matt 28:18-20, framed as the starting point of mission, is arbitrary and has no basis in the Old Testament so evangelicals are forced to make "X" a "gospel issue" in order to justify action. The OT should frame the *why* of mission as much as the NT.
(2) For evangelicals, their understanding of the gospel begins with Gen 3, not Gen 1. As such, the telos of redemption, which is about the cosmos (not just saving souls), is entirely missing. Gen 3 fits w/their Matt 28 framework so why care about creation?…
(3) Evangelicals believe the ahistorical myth that "just preaching the gospel" is enough. "Preaching the gospel" had zero consequence for all the Christians who initiated & justified the African slave trade, created & defended Jim Crow, etc. *Only* white Christians say this, btw.
(4) The local church isn't the answer. Evangelicals believe the myth that decentralized autonomous local churches are sufficient. Since AD 33, Christians worked through centralization & social institutions(at times poorly). The Clapham Sect was effective *because* of Anglicanism.
(5) You cannot use velcro to attach an eschatology of cosmic redemption from Gen 1, to a tradition rooted in premillennialism, prioritizes NT over OT, puts Matt 28 at the center, etc. & get concerns about creation as we saw during slavery & in the 1920s.…
(6) Evangelicals have no social thought canon. Evangelicals have an empty tool box when it comes to thinking about society & has no consensus documents/principles to provide a reference point for nuanced ways to frame engaging social issues. Catholics do!…
(7) American evangelicals, because of the decentralized over-emphasis on the local church, read the Bible, & think about the church, individualistically. Social issues, then become overwhelming which leads to inaction. "What does this passage mean for us?" is the right question.
(8) Evangelicalism is the exact opposite of how the black church historically addresses creation which explains why the traditional black church, created during slavery, initiated the Civil-Rights Movement & evangelicalism either resisted it or disengaged.…
(9) Evangelicalism is theologically heterodox and essentially undefinable in 2020. You're not going to get agreed upon concerns about creation issues from a heterodox theology. This is why denominations historically have been among the most effective at leveraging social change.
(10) Since Jim Crow, evangelicals merged social thinking to political ideology conflating ideological threats with religious threats. In 2020, evangelicals are having anxiety attacks about critical theory, etc. because they have no social thought canon.…
(11) Because the Black Lives Matter organization rejects the the existence of the Triune God, & the federalism that launched America, evangelicals do not know how to affirm real racial tensions in America. Evangelicals rejected the MLK because he was considered "communist."
(12) etc. What else? I'm sure I'm missing more. But so many people are wasting their energy/lives trying to get "evangelicalism" to care about X. Hear this from me: it may never not happen. Read church history. The framework won't allow it. "The gospel" isn't a social principle.
Implication 1: evangelicals will confuse intramural debates about what *real* evangelicalism is with actual progress. Conferences, websites, etc. will launch missiles & demonize Christians while mutually using the Scotsman Fallacy to do so. #WasteOfTime…
Implication 2: The media is wasting time lashing out at "evangelicals as Trump supporters" which has zero bearing on reality. So all the *real* evangelicals are like, huh, "not me!" So we're wasting time defining who the *real* evangelicals are. Who cares?
Implication 3: Many younger evangelicals, whose church traditions have fundamentalism as grandparents, are on fool's errands & don't even it know. Conferences & social media won't make evangelicalism any different. Cars don't fly by yelling at them to become airplanes.
Implication 3: What else?
Lastly, as an alternative, for those who have a Confession, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. are in the process of doing some thing different. Using 400+ years of consensus thinking to start framing the boundaries of caring for creation (#LetsGo):…
When you have a tradition, you don't need to waste time justifying new secular categories like anti-racism, intersectionality, critical theory, etc. Until evangelicals have a building block system, like Catholics, expect nothing soon. This is step 1.…
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