1/It might be important for white evangelicals to, instead of trying to show how we're not guilty of trumpism, we ought to be asking why trumpism was able to exist & flourish in systems/institutions/denoms/churches/cultures that we have participated in & helped lead.
2/ In other words, if leaders and shepherds must give an account to Christ for who we lead (as Hebrew 13 says we will), then while we might not have spread conspiracy theories, attended rallies, or encouraged others to vote for him, why have so many under our leadership?
3/To take it one step further—You might not have been the wolf that's been feeding on the sheep, but have you forfeited your responsibility to protect the sheep? Were you afraid to point out the wolves? Have you been overly patient/comfortable w/nationalistic idolatry?
4/ The most evangelical thing we can do is be self-reflective and repentant where we need to be. Stop deflecting responsibility of Trumpism. If we are care more deeply about Trump being censored rather than what trumpism has exposed in us, we are in deep trouble.

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More from @john_starke

18 Dec 20
1/ So it’s been probably a month since I finished @kkdumez’s Jesus and John Wayne.

I think we all should read it. She does a really good job of showing how much nationalism, racism, and sexism is in the cultural formula. There are some parts that made me so sad and others angry
2/ I don’t think evangelicals should be afraid of this book. Many seem to have written it off as just a progressive take down with a clever title.

It’s not that. While she is very critical of conservatives, by the end of the book it felt like I was reading a good faith critic.
3/ There are parts that I believe she overreaches with the narrative and there are fringe figures that she attempts to make more mainstream.

But she’s open and honest on how she wrestled with those decisions. And the research is excellent.
Read 11 tweets
4 Dec 20
1/ A thread nobody cares about but . . .

I live in a part of Manhattan, on the top of the Upper West Side, on an avenue called West End Ave.

It's a beautiful long drive all the way down to Midtown. I was looking at old photos (here's one below by @joelmeyerowitz, 1968) Image
2/ What's remarkable in looking at these old photos how much West End hasn't changed in all these years. So much of the city is different (especially in the Upper West Side). But West End Ave is a stretch of about 50 blocks that feels almost unchanged and untouched.
3/ I walk down this avenue daily (it's between Riverside Park and Broadway Ave) and it's remarkable how comforting, especially in this season, to experience a long stretch of NYC that feels the same.
Read 5 tweets
23 Nov 20
Below is a short thread on Evangelicals and the spiritual discipline of detachment. A proposal:
1/ I wonder if Matthew 8 offers some potentials for evangelicals and healing from cultural idolatry.

Jesus demands at least some level of "detachment" to follow him:

"the Son of Man has no where to lay his head"
"let the dead bury the dead"
2/ I'm not saying Christians can't be involved in politics and we ought not to labor for justice with sacrificial involvement.

But somewhere along the way, evangelicals went whole hog into cultural idolatries of power.
Read 9 tweets
17 Nov 20
1/ One big lesson I've learned in the past 10-15 years is that I'm most spiritually vibrant when I feel at home in my theological tradition and travel widely in my reading.
2/ I am within an orthodox, historical Protestant, Reformed tradition. I feel at home here. I share my theological convictions and beliefs here.

But I often times feel a commonality with the "sensibilities" of other writers from other traditions. For example:
3/ Henri Nouwen or Ronald Rolheiser, who are Catholic Vatican II types, have a kind of gentle, loving sensitivity to our relationship/identity with Christ that is concerned with consciously feeling comfortable in our skin, that I feel is often lacking in my tradition.
Read 8 tweets
8 Jul 20
Quick reflection on Peter's reconciliation with Jesus in John 21, where Jesus asks Do you love me a 3rd time and Peter responds, "Lord you know everything; you know that I love you.”

He couldn't appeal to his own energy & passion: "When everyone leaves, I will die with you!" 1/
It's important to let Peter give witness to the spiritual bankruptcy of being carried by the power of your convictions, eagerness, and zeal.

At some point, after failure, humiliations, experiencing limitations, weariness, those things won't sustain you. 2/
I find it instructive that after failure/humiliation, he doesn't appeal to his own fervency. He doesn't double down. He appeals to Jesus. "Lord, you know."

Personally, that's an important lesson for a few reasons: 3/
Read 7 tweets
7 Jun 18
Here's the honest truth: Good pastors put themselves in the way of potential criticism and regularly within the realm and reach of other people's pain.

It should not then surprise you, pastor, that you may experience depression even though you've never experienced it before.
Carrying the consistent emotional weight of the various pains, fears, criticisms, suffering, and transitions of a congregation (big or small) is a challenging vocation. What it can do to your inner life can/will surprise you.
But while it can surprise you, know that it's not abnormal. Apart from the pastoral weight, sadness is a normal Christian experience.

“The Road to sorrow has been well trodden, it is the regular sheep track to heaven, and all the flock of God have had to pass along it.” Spurgeon
Read 5 tweets

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