Posted by: Philip Rushton | June 27, 2011

Beyond The Culture Wars: A glimpse of hope for the future of the church.

I came across an interesting article in this morning’s issue of USA Today. The article explains some of the profound shifts that are taking place in our current generation of evangelicals. It is based on the Q conference that took place in Portland last month and the book, The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons, which I have mentioned in recent posts.

While the media usually likes to capitalize on controversy and add fuel to the fire of our culture wars, this article actually reports on the more hopeful and collaborative nature of the current evangelical church. Here is an excerpt from the article which is titled, “Can Cause of Social Justice Tame the Culture Wars?”

“What these younger evangelicals mean by “kingdom” is not a Christian conquest of America as the ranks of the wary might fear, but the divine ideal of something closer to heaven here on earth — a world in which the most vulnerable are protected and the poorest are fed and clothed. Not that the evangelical old guard hasn’t cared, or hasn’t served others, but we are seeing a seismic shift in emphasis — from an emphasis on assenting to the right theological ideas and getting to heaven, to one where it’s all about translating belief into righteous action on behalf of others. You can expect to find, on a scale not seen for decades, more and more Bible-believing Christians on the front lines of compassion campaigns for the poor, abused women, modern-day slaves, children (born as well as unborn), minorities of every sort, and anyone else being exploited and mistreated.”

It is exciting to see that this new type of evangelical Christianity is finally getting noticed by secular observers. This is the type of Christian expression that saved me from jumping off the evangelical ship back in college. It is the type of Christian discipleship that seeks to recover Jesus’ teachings on caring for the poor, which are clearly prevalent throughout the gospels. It is helping to remove the stains of bigotry, ignorance, and indifference to injustice that have sometimes marked the church in previous decades. Let’s hope that these types of headlines start to become the norm in the next decade.

Click here to read the whole article.


  1. Gail raised an important point via facebook in regards to this article. She mentioed that even though she is not part of the younger generation of evangelicals she resonates with this shift in emphasis.

    This got me to thinking that perhaps the word generation is too exclusive and does not fully capture what is taking place in the evangelical movement. I think it is more helpful to talk about this current ‘moment’ or ‘era’ of evangelicalism which encapsulates all generations right now. I’ve seen this shift in emphasis taking place across the generational spectrum in the past few years.

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