Over at Tony Campolo’s “Red Letter Christians” blog, Jimmy Spencer sees the release of Love Wins as signalling an imminent split in Protestant evangelicalism. It’s the old people, who tend to be reformed, along with their young recruits, against the rest of us young folks, as Spencer sees it. And though he rightly identifies the opposing factions, I think he may have missed something.
The “huge shift” he is waiting for is already happening.
But, I can see why he might have missed it; it’s not a split at all. It is more like an erosion. Those of us along the edges are simply sliding off the side into, well, all kinds of things. Some of us turn to Catholicism, others to mainline denominations. Some tumble into Episcopal or Anglican churches, others stay at their evangelical churches but choose not to identify as such. And, sadly, some slide off the edge into nothing at all.
I don’t think there will be any more of a marked change than this. A loosely gathered group of people who have never been able to agree on a name let alone the particulars of theology don’t split, they erode. And erosion doesn’t happen once and then it’s over, it’s an ongoing process.
We are in the midst of the erosion. Enjoy the slide.
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald is editor of Patrol and author of Not Your Mother's Morals: How the New Sincerity is Changing Pop Culture for the Better. Follow Fitz on Twitter.
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