At Least Two Cheers for American Protestants!
November 11, 2013
John Mark N. Reynolds
Atheist wrath is so often directed against Evangelicals that popular atheist debaters ignore the rest of Christendom and focus on the beliefs of Evangelicals. That might be flattering to Evangelicals, but cultural loathing doesn’t stop with the irreligious.
Evangelicals are not loved by people who should be allies. Go to Europe and talk to a European Evangelical and one hears a quick disclaimer that they are not “that kind of Christian.” Hipster Christians oft define themselves as “not” very American, not very Evangelical, and not very Protestant. Hipster Christians are also no very hip and too often not very Christian, in addition to being not very numerous or influential, but that is another story.
No Catholic parish in my experience is so dead or divided over Vatican II that it cannot be snobby over the local First Baptist. A Greek church may only have all the membership turn up for the food festival, but at least they don’t have TV evangelists . . . and this is comforting when almost no cradle members come on the average Sunday.
A simple point is this: no Time Lord will move my parish to the seventeenth century and the battle lines of the seventeenth century have grown more fluid. On the pressing issues of the time, where the Christian faith is under assault, American Protestants, especially Evangelicals, are on the side of the angels and often almost the only foot soldiers standing with us. On the ground stands against theological confusion, Biblical illiteracy, communism, slavery, infanticide, and libertine morals have all been blessed by Evangelical thought leaders and foot soldiers.
There is considerable substance in this article, more than would allow me to quote them without the quoted text being quite lengthy. It’s well worth the several minutes it takes to read it.
The author, John Mark N. Reynolds is, as he mentions in the article, Orthodox, not specifically Evangelical or generally Protestant. He’s an “outsider” looking in, though I’m sure he’s been welcomed by more than a few Evangelical congregations and believers as a fellow believer in Christ.
While there is encouragement in this article for Evangelicals, my posting it is not an exercise in circular back-patting. It’s meant to encourage Christian believers of all backgrounds to encourage each other and learn from each other. From my (Evangelical) perspective, a Catholic or an Orthodox believer in Christ who learns from and is encouraged to become a stronger and better believer through fellowship with Evangelicals is my stronger and better brother or sister in Christ.