Over the past few years, I’ve heard from several pastors and Christian leaders a genuine fear that the rising generation of evangelicals will compromise the faith when it comes to public engagement. But I actually don’t think this will happen, for one reason: The Gospel.
In the rising wave of evangelicals, one hears the constant refrain of “Gospel focus” and “Gospel centrality.” Some might dismiss this as just more evangelical faddishness and sloganeering, and perhaps some of it is. But I think the focus on the Gospel is tied up with the collapse of the Bible Belt. As American culture secularizes, the most basic Christian tenets seem ever more detached from mainstream American culture. There is, for those who came and will come of age in recent years, no social utility to embracing them. Those who identify with Christianity, and who gather with the people of God, have already decided to walk out of step with the culture. These Christians have already embraced strangeness by spending Sunday morning at church rather than at brunch.
Those who were nominally Christian are suddenly vanished from the pews. Those who wanted an almost-Gospel will find that they don’t need it to…Continue Reading