Are the ‘ex-vangelicals’ the new cool kids or just smug smart arses?
I like to follow the thinking of some of the authors and speakers in this sphere because they challenge me, stretch me, and I like some of their thinking, but I’m tired of hearing them speak condescendingly of the ‘unenlightened’ ‘still-vangelicals’.
I’m probably somewhere in between – definitely up for thinking critically and creatively about the church and the theological paradigms we have constructed within evangelicalism, but the sarcasm and disparaging tone that seems to infect this area has frequently seen me muting or skipping over podcasts and discarding books that probably have some good material.
I totally get that ‘prophets’ need to critique and their critique needs to bite to be heard, but the challenge is to do that in ways that earn a hearing. The late John Smith was as prophetic as anyone I’ve heard but he didn’t seem to spend his time in mockery, rather he just called a spade a spade and got on with the job of critiquing what was wrong with the church. At times it was brutal but it didn’t seem to come from an ‘I’m smarter than you’ position.
I dunno if I’m just overly sensitive, but when the ‘enlightened ones’ speak it is too often with a tone of superiority rather than ‘alongsideness’. Come alongside and kick my arse all you like. I will listen. Look down on me and treat me like an idiot and I will use the mute / skip button, because you just lost your credibility.
Agreed Hamo, some of the “post-evangelical” conversation seems to lack the posture of humility and submission. Have you found anyone helpful in this space, who stands out in the crowd?
Just reading Gushee ‘After Evangelicalism’ and he seems to have more relatable tone. It was Sarah Bessey on a podcast the other day that had me hit mute! Can’t remember the podcast now as I have deleted it 🙂
I agree that Gushee’s conversation is generous and Sarah is smug and annoying. I think if Rachel Held Evans was still around, the conversation coming from that crown would be more nuanced and less arrogant.
Not smug and annoying- that was too strong. I like Sarah, but I do feel there’s something a bit self-righteous about her tone lately.
OMG. My people. Everything about Sarah Besset is smug and self-righteous. Thank you
So with you. Just listening to a book about tribes and anti-tribes and I think this all fits into the wider cultural context too.
But fully with you and over it myself.