Thursday, July 22, 2004

Evangelicalism and revivalism

I am reading Mark Noll's book "The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity" I am about 100 pages in.  One thing has struck me.  The heart of evangelical revivalism was the ability to attract, convince, and emotionally move audiences.  This lead to churches.  This mindset has become gospel in today's churches.  One impact was that preachers were anybody who could accomplish this task.  They were sales people.  education was not a requirement.  This is still true today.  When a denomination requires education it is usually a week education because life is simple.  But what if we understand the gospel to be more then attract, convince, and move the heart/emotion?  Are we evangelical?  I gave up the term a couple years ago because of political reasons.  But what if we question the very nature of evangelical salvation?  What if the "pastor" or leaders job is to walk alongside, to help equip, to be friends with?  what if the sermon is no longer important?  Could it be?  What if we started using the homily style?  What if fellowship and community became the important parts of corporate worship?

What if?


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