Whoah. It’s almost a year since The End of Evangelicalism? was released (February 2011 to be exact). I just want to say “thanks!” to the many people who reviewed it. There were so many reviews, helped along by Todd Littleton, and the good folks at The Ooze, and Homebrewed Christianity, Scot McKnight and others, that I lost count and couldn’t keep up with them on the book’s page on this website.
Just today, I got a question via e-mail asking why I am so obsessed with Marxist social thought. To which I replied, I am not obsessed with Marx at all. I am however impressed with the study of ideology. There are multitudinous things to be learned in the study of ideology about the way we live our lives together (political formation, the church), why we say we believe one thing and do another (“the performative contradiction”), how we form into groups together in ways which work against the kind of politics that makes for life together in Christ. The study of ideology, like few other studies, I argue, can uncover motives and desires at work in the contradictions we insist on living from day to day.For the church today, a study like this is timely. Marx is the founder (in some ways) of the critique of ideology for sure, but I am by and large dis-invested in his economic theories.
One of my favorite lines from the book is: “Evangelicalism has become an ‘empty politic’ driven by what we are against instead of what we are for.” (xvi) I spend alot of time uncovering how we (I include myself as an evangelical) have got caught up in this kind of internal defining of ourselves over against someone or something we are against. I try to show how this is empty and self-imploding. I try to show how the ONLY way out of ideologizing is to source our life together in the Triune life grounded in the incarnate work of Christ (or how Anabaptist ecclesiology solves the problem of ideology).
All this to say, I know I crossed some boundaries in The End of Evangelicalism? The book can be easily mis-understood. It’s an academic read (sorry about that). Which is all the more reason for me to thank people who put the book in their Top Books 2011 like Dwight Friesen, Scott Boren, Scott Emery , Mike Friesen, and of course Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed Books of the Year. Several tweeters twitted it as a favorite for the year. To all these people, I am grateful!
The book can still be purchased at a discount by going directly to Casade Books website and putting in the code as directed right here. You can get a free intro chapter on this page as well. You can buy the kindle version on Amazon’s site right here.
I apologize if I didn’t get your review up on my page yet. I’m working on it. And thanks for making what could have been an obscure academic book a wider read book. Hopefully for the furtherance of His Kingdom.