While studying at UC Davis (Go Ags!) I caught wind of a growing trend of evangelicals leaving their churches and denominations of origin and joining more high church traditions such as Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, or Eastern Orthodoxy.  I first heard of this phenomenon in the pages of the now defunct journal re:generation Quarterly, which was a fantastic publication. Then I began to see it with my own eyes as a few friends discovered that they resonated greatly with the liturgy, history, theology, and traditions of these older expressions of the Church. It seems the exodus is still happening, though I haven’t seen hard numbers on the matter. David Fitch wrote about the phenomenon for Out of Ur in the column “Evangelical Immigration” a couple of weeks ago and he proposes that we all stay in our traditions and try to bring about change rather than leaving. (For what it’s worth, I tend to like the term immigration, for it seems to respect the seriousness of changing traditions without overstating the fact like the term “convert” does. See the discussion of terminology in DP’s post.) There has been much discussion regarding the reasons of the immigration, but I find something lacking. I believe that there is another reason, but it is a reason strongly related to those one finds in the descriptions of the immigration.READ more
In an earlier post, I listed my Top-5 opening lines to novels. While this is not a Top-5 post, I wanted to share with my reader(s) a great opening to a theological monograph. It comes from N. T. Wright’s, What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity? Any budding theological authors should take note that this is the way to open a book.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, Paul warned his converts in Asia that the path to the kingdom of God lay through many persecutions. Had there been any doubt on the matter, his own life would have been quite sufficient to show them what he meant. Threatened, attacked, misunderstood, shipwrecked, criticized, mocked, belittled, ridiculed, stoned, beaten, abused, insulted; that was his regular lot. Finally, perhaps the unkindest cut of all, he was canonized by the later church, thus enabling later readers to accuse him of posturing to gain power. (The church, however, has often made calling him “Saint Paul” an excuse for failing either to understand him or to imitate him.) (11)