I've been thinking a lot for several years about the future of evangelicalism. A number of writers over the past decade have written about both the past, the meaning of, and the future of evangelicalism. There's no consensus. I guess I find this particularly interesting because I've always kind of wondered where I fit in the whole scheme of things. I haven't written in a while on this blog, and part of the reason is that I've been on a journey of rediscovery for the past 4 months. I've been returning to some roots of mine both theological, culturally, and in my own personal narrative. It's been a fascinating ride, really. I've had more clarity about what I believe, where I fit, how I'm evangelical, (how some people would say I'm not and why), why I'm drawn to the emerging church, why I'm drawn to the missional church, why I'm interested in the new monasticism, why I never feel comfortable with either a conservative evangelical or a liberal Christian label. I've made peace with myself about why deconstruction is important to me and how it fits my reformed theological roots, and a lot more.
Anyway, all of this works together in me to in my concern over the future of the evangelical church. Where are we headed? Who is we? Who decides who "we" is? In the past, it seemed that our "pop" evangelicalism was lead by our pastor - JI Packer, our theologian - John Stott, and our evangelist - Billy Graham. But with these leaders all aging and approaching the end of their earthly days, I wonder who will lead us, and whether we'll stay together. There are certainly people vying for power over the label. There's a resurgence of deeply conservative fundamentalism, a rise in global evangelical fruit, an upsurge of new reformed calvinists (or neo-calvinists), a hugely "successful" non-denominational mega-church movement with powerfully influential leaders, an emerging church alternative, and an increase in Pentecostal churches and much more. So... what is the way forward for evangelicals?
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