Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Collapse of Evangelicalism

"What we know as evangelicalism is a temporary cultural expression of the Christian faith. It comes with idiosyncrasies, good and bad. It has produced the populist Religious Right activist Jim Dobson and the careful, moderate scholar Mark Noll." -Mark Galli, Christianity Today

As I have been considering a graduate school application to Notre Dame among others for history (Early America and Religon), I've been digging in the trenches of quite a number of topics. I am most interested in studying the persistance of Protestant orthodox belief since the early 1600s. By "Protestant orthodox belief" I mean Protestant belief that affirms the basic historical tenents of the Christian church. Some of these beliefs include, the deity of Christ and the preeminence of scripture as the divine word of God, Underlying this interest of course is an assumption, that belief has persisted. If it has, it has overcome some significant odds. Many intelligent people in many generations have predicted its demise.

As a side note, I don't think Galli meant to suggest by his syntax that Dobson and Noll represent two sides of the good and bad coin or even operate on some sort of continuum between good and bad. He is just suggesting, and I agree, that there is a very large variety of self identified evangelicals out there. Dobson and Noll are certainly very diferent.

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