What Lessons Can Progressives Learn from Evangelicals?

AlterNet has a very interesting article posted that hits on how some young evangelical leaders like Rob Bell, Shane Claiborne, and Greg Boyd are beginning to call some attention to the “revolutionary” nature of being a Jesus follower. It goes pretty in-depth on the subject of Rob Bell and his church Mars Hill. It’s nice to see some Christian leaders actually get some good pub in the progressive arena.

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7 thoughts on “What Lessons Can Progressives Learn from Evangelicals?

  1. Zach,

    thanks for posting that…great, great article. i have so much to say, but will save it for later…but I see this movement in our college ranks and it is beginning to swell even more…

    rhett

  2. I especially feel that quotation from SC questioning why biblical literalism doesn’t lead others to give up everything and do something for the needy… very profound question. SOMEONE should write further on the question. Hmmm.

  3. fischer,
    i’m pretty sure i’ve seen plenty of conservative essays and commentaries that link biblical literalism and concern for the poor directly.

    and for centuries this was the point. biblical literalism (with a positive, and not pejorative, connotation) did drive many to do just this. just look at john wesley. dude could have been rich beyond compare, but gave all of his money to helping the poor. it’s only been recently in terms of the broad christian tradition that evangelicals (in the broad historical sense) have not emphasized rightly the importance of helping the needy. and even that is suspect when looking at recent studies breaking down who gives what to whom. that being said, the actual emphasis on helping the poor hasn’t been there in teaching for many as of late, but i know plenty of good evangelicals who have devoted their lives to serving the needy and loving the unlovable.

    i’m not defending or attacking anyone, just thought i would throw my two cents in on the point fischer raised. evangelicals haven’t always been notoriously bad about giving and serving.

    p.s. i’ll say this again, to say that biblical literalism means that you read every metaphor literally not a very literal definitioin of the term. biblical literalism gets a bad name because of few famous idiots misuse the term when thumping their bibles. aside from the alexandrian school of interpretation, just about everyone up until the enlightenment (and even in to that period) practiced what could be called biblical literalism. i know no one is bashing the term now, but we should maybe just stop using it altogether since no one can really agree on what it means.

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