I’m going to be giving a talk at the Inhabit Conference in Seattle at the end of the month – April 29-30. I hope the conference is a dialogue that provokes us to think how to be church in the changing climes of the West. I’m going to be talking specifically about the political crisis in Evangelicalism and the showing how Christo-Anarchism (i.e. the radical living together in Christ in peaceful ordinary resistance to the dominant power structures) is the way out of it. I freely admit most people under the age of 32 in my world don’t care about the saving of evangelicalism. Nonetheless, we all can learn from its problems. And we probably should be concerned about what happens with the largest body of practicing Christians in N America.
As some of you already know, I’m convinced that N. American Evangelicalism is in a cultural crisis. Its political presence has somehow become shaped by what it is against as opposed to who it is or what it is for. This has led to a loss of credibility in the post-Christendom parts of our society. I contend there is much to be learned from how this happened within evangelicalism. We (I consider myself an evangelical) allowed our faith commitments to become ideological banners that we rallied around in opposition to those we were against. As a result, ideas like “the Christian Nation” and/or “the Inerrant Bible” now separate us from our culture and distance us from God’s justice/work in the world. The only way to break out of these bad habits is through local concrete on-the-ground practices which shape communities of Jesus in the contexts of our society. Here the Kingdom is made manifest in ways which cannot be ideologized. Here a politic is bred locally from which God’s reconciliation overflows into society infecting it out of God’s love as opposed to our self generated antagonisms. I offer a few communal practices of the radical ordinary (along with some good stories) that shape such communities for the transformation of the world in Christ. Some of this is a riff off my book The End of Evangelicalism? (which you all can buy for another month at a 40% discount by clicking here and following the instructions 🙂 ). My hope, God can use us in a small way to work for a new faithfulness in evangelicalism before its too late (There are alot of statistics that argue for evangelicalism’s extinction within 20 more years).
I limit myself to doing this kind of thing once a month. No point provoking others to live for the Kingdom if you’re never home seeking the same. This conference is special. I look forward to hanging out with the people from Mars Hill Graduate School, Parish Collective and TransFORM. So if you’re coming, I’ll be around looking to shake hands and talk to whoever that day. Click on this link where you can get info on the conference.