According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Friday, July 1, 2011

Are you an evangelical? 1

by scotmcknight
posted July 1, 2011
The Pew Research Center published a major report recently after it interviewed “evangelical leaders” in the world, and the results are nothing less than stunning at times. I want to begin today with what evangelical leaders think is most important about evangelicalism.
Remember, this is a survey of both the South and the North, and the South is much more optimistic about evangelicalism than the North (making me think evangelicalism’s future is in the South [and in the East]) and not just a summary of “American” evangelicalism.
There are plenty of studies showing the shifting global momentums of evangelicalism, but the facts are clear: it is moving South. It is increasingly Pentecostal and conservative theologically (and morally).
What do you see in this chart and the summary? Where does this put you?
Here is their prose summary:

The survey finds nearly unanimous agreement among the global evangelical leaders on some key beliefs, such as that Christianity is the one, true faith leading to eternal life. They also hold traditional views on family and social issues. For example, more than nine-in-ten say abortion is usually wrong (45%) or always wrong (51%). About eight-in-ten say that society should discourage homosexuality (84%) and that men should serve as the religious leaders in the marriage and family (79%).

Virtually all the leaders surveyed (98%) also agree that the Bible is the word of God. But they are almost evenly divided between those who say the Bible should be read literally, word for word (50%), and those who do not think that everything in the Bible should be taken literally (48%). They are similarly split on whether it is necessary to believe in God in order to be a moral person (49% yes, 49% no), and whether drinking alcohol is compatible with being a good evangelical (42% yes, 52% no).

In a number of ways, leaders in the Global South are more conservative than those in the Global North. For instance, leaders in the Global South are more likely than those in the Global North to read the Bible literally (58% vs. 40%) and to favor making the Bible the official law of the land in their countries (58% vs. 28%). More evangelical leaders in the Global South than in the Global North take the position that abortion is always wrong (59% vs. 41%), and more say that a wife must always obey her husband (67% vs. 39%). Leaders in the Global South are also much more inclined than those in the Global North to say that consuming alcohol is incompatible with being a good evangelical (75% vs. 23%)

And here’s some more:

Virtually all the leaders surveyed (96%) say that Christianity is the one, true faith leading to eternal life, and 95% say that believing otherwise – taking the position that “Jesus Christ is NOT the only path to salvation” – is incompatible with being a good evangelical. There is also broad agreement among the leaders on the practices that are necessary to be “a good evangelical Christian.” Two broad types of behavior are almost unanimously seen as essential: Nearly all leaders (97%) say evangelicals must follow the teachings of Christ in their personal and family life, and 94% say working to lead others to Christ is essential for being a good evangelical Christian.

Majorities also agree on several other practices. About three-quarters (73%) say working to help the poor and needy is essential for being a good evangelical Christian; an additional 24% say helping the poor is important but not essential. In addition, tithing – giving at least a tenth of one’s income to the church – is deemed essential to being a good evangelical by 58% of the leaders. And nearly as many (56%) say that evangelicals are obliged to take a stand on social and political issues that conflict with moral and biblical principles. About a third (36%) say that working to protect the natural environment is essential to being a good evangelical (an additional 47% say protecting the environment is important but not essential). Leaders from the Global South are more inclined than leaders from the Global North to view environmental protection as essential to being a good evangelical.

There is also widespread agreement that practices associated with other religious traditions are incompatible with being a good evangelical Christian: More than 90% of the leaders say that engaging in yoga as a spiritual practice and believing in astrology or reincarnation are not compatible with evangelicalism. But evangelical leaders are divided over the consumption of alcohol. About four-in-ten (42%) say it is compatible with being a good evangelical, while 52% say it is incompatible. Leaders from sub-Saharan Africa are especially likely to oppose alcohol use; 78% of them say it is incompatible with being a good evangelical, as do 78% of evangelical leaders who live in Muslim-majority countries.

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