Comments

  1. Patrick says

    Frank, this is refreshing, and even in ways which I’m not sure you anticipated! Each of the two four-pointers you mention, and the direction you mention, indicate a rediscovery of the Orthodox Christian Faith, from the cruciform personal life (inner transformation/repentance/salvation) to a return to “Body Life” which we recognise as the Church. Not “the Church” in common Protestant memory, but the vision/experience/reality passed on from the Apostles. This may be beyond your, or your readers’direct experience, but in view of the work of God among His own today I believe it is all the more worthwhile to examine more closely.

  2. Brendan says

    How can something have 4 centers? Is that like trinitarian, but with one more… Quadriladeral Christianity? Or is it 4+4 centers, so Cardinal Christianity?

    From what I’ve read on blogs in the past few years, post-evangelical Christianity is an endless debate about terminology that nobody outside Christianity knows (or cares) about.

    Also, don’t trust anything anyone writes in a blog comment.

  3. Mick Smith says

    Hi Frank. I am a bit late reading this but have found it very clear and helpful. I have to say that, at this moment in time, I partcularly appreciate your small comment regarding those in Emerging Church. There is a growing fear (dare I say it – almost paranoia), amongst some folk locally to me and it was helpful to read your comment which I have to say is probably roughly where I stand in it. Every blessing.

  4. Chris Laws says

    I see one major thing missing in all the gospel writing these days: The New Covenant. I think that would be the fifth thing on the list for Beyond Evangelicals.

    • says

      The New Covenant as a term is pretty general. The resurrection life of Jesus (His indwelling life) is a major feature of the New Covenant, as well as the Eternal Purpose and the new community it produces. So one can accurately say that the four notes mentioned are certainly key aspects of the New Covenant. The forgiveness of sins, which is also a part of the New Covenant, gets sufficient airplay in classic evangelicalism today.

  5. Sarah says

    WOW!

    This article is so encouraging. I will be sharing it on my fb page – interested to know what kind of responses I will get.

    I am also going to have to come on over and join the twitter party.

  6. Joe says

    I very much look forward to your future articles and thoughts on this subject. When will you start back on them? I would tend to think that Nee and Sparks were not bound by nation or time. Rather like Paul and his letters. It seems that those who preach Christ and open the deep truths of the Bible continue as a great influence unrestricted by time or nation. When Christ is made centeral in a man’s ministry then it is timeless. I think this has been the great strength of Christ-centered Christianity of every generation. I think we who want to move forward in God must be very careful that we do not fall victim to pride or elitism by thinking we have more than we really do or that we are more than we really are. I believe there is clear evidence that a great host have gone before us in previous generations who were very Christ-centered and known for it. Thanks again for taking time to answer I know your a busy man.

  7. Joe says

    Hi Frank, Its my first time posting on here. Interesting. I was just wondering when you talk about beyond evangelical which bracket of evangelical are you moving beyond? Wouldnt you say that all the great evangelicals over the years were in agreement with fundamental biblical issues? It seems that all these other neo, post etc were not considered to be evangelical. Is that not the problem today. Evangelicalism is not evangelical. When I think of all the different revivals, missionary movements and denominations which all came under the banner evangelical it is really amazing. So different yet they stood on certain set agreed truths. Sorry for going on. One last thought. It seems to me from my reading that that evangelicals have always made a big issue of being Christ-centered in a very practical real way and every time the Holy Spirit began to move in the Church they restored and recovered this where it was lacking. Maybe your points which you mark as beyond evangelical have been normal and repeated over the years rather than unique to what you are doing here. Thanks

    • says

      Joe: We are moving beyond the 4 notes of historic evangelicalism. They are listed in the first part of the blog post. Moving beyond doesn’t mean we scrap those. It means we expand them to deeper, higher themes. No, historical evangelicalism has not emphasized the additional 4 notes that beyond evangelicals hold to. The people who have held to them are not well known in many Christian circles, both past and present. See http://www.ptmin.org/top100 for some of those who held the torch high on that front.

      • Joe says

        Thanks for response Frank, Yes I understand your comment on moving beyond ‘the 4 notes of historic evangelicalism’ and have read your post very carefully. But when I think of men like William Tyndale, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Hudson Taylor, George Muller and Charles Spurgeon to mention only a few, these men have been very well known and respected over the years for preaching Christ in a very wonderful way. In fact in a way that is almost unheard of in our day. Do you believe that the authors you list represent a more Christ-centered way than these men? It seems that men like Sparks, Tozer, Nee and some of the others you list were deeply impacted by the men I mention.

        • says

          Joe: The men you listed were strong on *some* of the 4 notes that mark beyond evangelicals, but not all of them. Sparks and Nee were strong on all four, however, their ministries were suited for a 20th-century audience (and one mostly for a British audience, the other mostly for a Chinese audience). My work (and that of this blog) is geared toward the 21st-century postmodern world we live in, targeted at USA believers and abroad. Hope that helps.

  8. stan says

    Frank,

    I agree on so many levels with what you are writing, but your blog raises the same questions that pull the left and right apart. perhaps beyond the scope of this article or addressed in the promised followups? As an “evangeical” UM clergy living outside the Bible belt, I live in the constant tension between left and right, between inclusivity and exclusivity, much of it centered on the LGBT issue. The work of the Holy Spirit? The marks of a disciple – especially in the light of so many claiming to be Christian? Maybe I’m getting confused because when I hear the word “left” I immediately think outside the bounds of evangelicalism into mainline and liberal theology.

  9. says

    Happy to have found your blog Frank. Pagan Christianity changed my life and left me wondering, “what now?” Thanks for your work in helping this Christian Dropout find another way.

  10. says

    David Allan Hubbard provides 7 historic definitions for the term “evangelical” in his book “What We Evangelicals Believe” (which is essentially an exposition of Fuller’s Statement of Faith).

  11. says

    Oh my gosh Frank, I love what you’ve said! I have friends who are learning how to keep Jewish feasts, and more, in the name of better understanding Christianity and “the times,” and I’ve found myself feeling…uneasy about it. Yes, I think that it can be “helpful” to understand the feasts etc., but I just don’t believe that it’s “necessary,” because of the Holy Spirit.

    Millions of Gentile believers are taught by the Holy Spirit and lack nothing: “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 Jn. 2:27)

    My understanding has been that the Bible teaches that Abraham is the father of all who believe by faith and are accounted as being righteous – and Abraham practiced NO feasts at all. But I love how you’ve brought us even FURTHER back past Abraham, to The Beginning!!

    There are two passages that have captivated my mind and heart lately:

    “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” (Eph. 3:4,5)

    “I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe You sent me.” (Jn. 17:21)

    I clearly see now that the ROOTS of the new nation of God are not Abraham; are not Jewish feasts etc., but that our roots indeed go back to God Himself. Therefore, if we’re going to “go back,” (as we must!), then let’s go to God Himself, and watch Him mold His church into the image of His beloved Son! May God Himself be the “context” in which we live the life of Jesus.

    I think that my friends get hung up on the fact that the Gentiles have been grafted into the vine – but the Vine is Divine!

  12. Gloria K says

    The “wide canopy” is the problem in Christianity-not just evangelicalism. Christianity has over time become an increasingly indistinct faith system, and so now is evangelicalism. But rather than going “forward,” some of us have gone “backward” to the Ancient Path (Jeremiah 6:16) in an attempt to understand and live out the scriptures the way the first-century followers of Yeshua would have; i.e., within their Hebrew context. By the fourth century, Christianity had been successful in setting itself apart as a distinctly non-Jewish movement, with its own day of worship, its own holidays, and rejecting God’s foundational document, the Torah. (Pagan Christianity helped prompt my study of the history of Christianity, which, I was quite astonished to learn, as a faith system is more Constantinian than it is biblical.) But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a distinct God and He has made it clear how He wants to be worshipped. We Messianic believers don’t have it all figured out by a long shot, but as a former long-time evangelical, I suggest that understanding and correcting a problem can only be accomplished by going back to its roots – where it got off track – the “fourth choice” omitted in this article. Interestingly, the hand-wringing going on among evangelical scholars, writers and theologians completely neglects the Jewish people, whom we believe are the context of salvation and redemption for all nations (see Genesis 17:4). Just as the Jewish people have followed the rabbis, we Gentile Christians have followed Constantine and the Church Fathers. Honestly, I don’t think Christianity as a faith system is going to last.

    • says

      Gloria: The problem here is that those who go back to “Hebrew roots” don’t go back far enough. That’s not where the Christian faith began. It began in eternity past in the Godhead. For this reason, Jesus Christ was a new creation on this planet. And He brought forth a new creation in His resurrection, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, but Christ as all in all. (See “From Eternity to Here” for details.) Backwards only works when it begins at the beginning, in the fellowship of the triune God before time. Therein we find the headwaters of the church, the Christian life, and mission. Therefore backwards IS forwards because the end will be Christ as ALL. Genesis 1 and 2 mirrors Revelation 21 and 22.

      Those who read “Pagan Christianity” only miss the entire point of the book. “Pagan” is simply the deconstructive first part of the discussion. The rest of the series builds upon it constructively (http://www.ReimaginingChurch.org) and gets into the “where do we go from here?” question. Those who only pitch there tents where “Pagan” ended miscalculate the entire discussion and take it in a direction that Barna and I never intended. The whole Hebrew roots movement, we believe, misses the eternal purpose in a big way.

  13. Yolanda Gray says

    I feel as though I am just beginning to understand. We’ve been involved in Simple Church for a while, but there has been something missing–“the centrality of Christ”. Thank you for teaching us.

  14. Tony Cooper says

    Frank
    Thank you so much. This addresses so many of the struggles I have felt with the traditional form of “doing church”. I appreciate your efforts and the time you take to make it clear.

  15. Dave Dengler says

    Hi Frank, Seems like your ‘beyond’ emphasis is right on target, and helps to unfold the fuller meaning of what ‘salvation’ really entails. 2 Cor. 1:10 shows us three tenses of the verb ‘save'(sozo). We’ve been saved, are being saved, and will be more saved.

    Numerous ‘evangelicals’ have seemed to camp out on salvation’s past tense, apparently believing that conversion is an end in itself, and leaving it there. This can become a lethal menace to God’s full purpose and has often quenched and limited the vitality of the church. If “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Mt. 10:22), maybe part of “Beyond Evangelical” is finding out from Jesus how to endure—every day.

  16. George Rudesill says

    Frank, I have been a believer 52 years now (more than a half a century). About a year ago I decided to drop the identification of being a ‘Christian” and use the expression “follower of Jesus.” Why? Simply stated I have had it with Western Christianity, esp. church leaders. Sadly they can’t see the forest for the trees. Strangely, most of them I have known don’t like people. Yet they are in the people business. I came out of the Jesus People of the late 1960’s and really miss believers that have a passion for Jesus. That is about it. Please Jesus come. Reality is that I will soon be going to Him (:

  17. david says

    I’m not an academic or a theologian in the classic sense which has excluded me from evangelical circles without a second thought but it seems to me that evangelicals have been less concerned with intimate relationship with God/community and more concerned with aligning their ultra conservative dogma with their god concept. It all appears very accusative and fear based with a strong underlying need to control lest the church and the world spin out of control as though we as the church held the future of the world under our control. It appears less about intimate relationship and more about being right (no word play intended). It seems faithless as we attempt to wrest control from God as though he has failed to manage things appropriately.

  18. says

    Frank, I think there has been a “beyond evangelical” movement afoot for quite a while now. Many Christians have come to realize that “evangelicalism” in the U.S. was hijacked by political conservatives. Meanwhile political liberals have been using the same tactics to organize “social justice Christians” and African-American church members. The end result is division within the church that was artificially created for purely political reasons.

    The big question for all American Christians is… which is the stronger bond – the bond we have to our political leaders or the bond we all share with our Lord Jesus Christ? More and more Christians have been realizing that the things that unite us are greater than those that divide us.

    I don’t know if there are any other blogs, writers, or organizations who are championing this movement, but Frank, I’m certainly glad to see you giving voice to these ideas and facilitating community and discussion around them here.

    • says

      Thx. for the comment, Paul. There are certainly thousands of Christians who refuse to camp out on the “Christian left” or the “Christian right” politically or theologically. And there have been for a long time. So I agree with you.

      What I see happening now though is that 1) they are *beginning* to find one another, and 2) they are growing in number. It is my hope and prayer that those who are writing and speaking from this vantage point will join arms and labor together.

        • says

          Milt Rodriguez and Jon Zens for sure. I hope there are others, but I personally think it’s unwise to presume who they are exactly as we don’t know for sure unless they read the post and comment. (I’m not one to send my own posts to other authors; I leave that to my readers to do if they feel inclined.) So the best way to know is if the post is sent to some writers/speakers who you or others might suspect would resonate and get their feedback. Then we’ll know for sure. I actual have a vague vision of blogs and bloggers networked together that come from a “beyond evangelical” perspective. But it’s just an idea at this point. We’ll see what the Lord does on that, if anything. I’m very hesitant to initiate anything in this regard.

  19. says

    Hi Frank, loved you teaching on “beyond evangelical” and “Jesus Manifesto” is a must read for all Christ-followers. Recently, I have been reading, pondering, and enjoying an old classic called “The Calvary Road” by Roy Hession. Have you read it? Colossians 1:18, John

      • John says

        Will pass on via “share”. By the way have house church in Kansas City area. Have pastored Evangelical Free churches (Trinity grad), and Vineyard churches during the past (31 years), but God gave me a vision for house church two years ago. Tremendous paradigm shift for me and others. God is faithful!

  20. Steve Highlander says

    Pardon me for “double dipping” with a second comment. You have correctly discerned a 4th, and equally unfortunate option: Going backwards. Too often people want to go “back” to some expression of Chrisianity that used to work or at least is safe. A friend of mine is always wanting to go back to “old time Pentecost.” On the other hand I have often seen Spirit filled Christians get hurt or discouraged and “go back” to safer denominational churches where they do not have to deal with spiritually significant issues. God does not go backward (denominationally). Jesus instructed us not to “look over our shoulder.” God is always building on the past to restore the Church to former glory and beyond (the glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former).

    • says

      Thanks Steve. You make an important distinction that I hope readers won’t miss or confuse. God is NOT going backwards to some denomination or the heyday of some movement. But He IS working backwards to and from His Eternal Purpose. (Note that Revelation 21 and 22 look just like Genesis 1 and 2.) And God certainly is seeking to recover the organic expression of His church that Jesus and the apostles taught and experienced. An expression that (unfortunately) relatively few believers today have ever seen or known.

    • says

      I agree that the desire to go back to something “safe”, either in terms of doctrine, denomination – or even experience is a huge problem in the Evangelical church. I can understand it myself. After 60 years – 40 of them in the church as a believer, 20 as a pastor, “easy” and “safe” sounds tempting. It also sounds like a chickenhearted dead end and an act of cowardice. (I may have stated this rather strongly. LOL) It’s just not what I want for myself, that’s for sure. In my journey lately I’ve been moving politically (right to left) and towards activism (involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement). At the same time, I certainly realize the limitations of what political parties and such movements – even at their best, can offer. I appreciate the challenge to listen for God’s voice and live out the Christian life in community. Neither of these is safe or easy, and the later is often a real pain – but I recognize in myself the desire to want to work, witness, agitate, lobby and protest – but a real tendency to want to, at the same time, shrink from a determined pursuit of God – to experiencing his presence and hearing from him. (I can’t believe how unhelpful the churches are in this regard either, and I live in the NY metro area, not in the boondocks. – sorry to people in the boondocks, no offense intended – just saying, you would expect good choices here if they’re going to be anywhere – oh, maybe that didn’t help) Anyway, I’m going to be spending a lot of time working through what you’re writing about, and I hope it, among other things, will make me more useful to Evangelicals who come my way – my occupy blog (occupyevangelicals.org) – or to Occupy people who find my site as they try to understand Evangelicals. (Can you imagine trying to do that?! LOLagain) Finally, because of my recent work with my blog, I’ve ventured into the twittershpere – and wow, what a rude awakening to the vitriol towards Evangelicals there! You mentioned that too, and I only wanted to give an anecdotal note saying, yes, they have either dismissed us as unhelpful, or see us as a big part of the problem. One Occupy woman told me that I should keep religion out of the discussion, since the church was obviously part of the problem. Anyway, Frank, I’m so glad I found your blog. I’ve done some serious google searches lately for “evangelical” and found nothing like this. Thanks brother.

  21. Steve Highlander says

    Frank,

    I’ve been reading your stuff for some time and have greatly enjoyed both the confirmation of things in my heart and the revelation I needed at times. Your thoughts on Beyond Evangelical are right on and address a significant problem. I am seeing too many writers today drifting into some vague view of Biblical authority. The trend is to make the Bible simply ancient man’s understanding of God in a mythical worldview, rather than God’s word given by God. In the words of a Buzz Lightyear, “To Infinity and Beyond!”

    • says

      Good to see you comment. Actually, each point in the post is expanded in one of my books. See the endnotes. Have always worked backward to God’s eternal purpose, which includes one Christ, one Triune God, and one Body. That doesn’t negate the need for reformation and restoration when it comes to experience and practical expression. It actually provokes that need.

  22. Don says

    Frank,
    I was going to add to the thought of outside the box is really dwelling in the fulness that is Christ Himself. After all, what box can man create that can put the Lord Jesus Christ in a box!
    Blessings

  23. Don says

    Frank,
    It is very refreshing to read your blog on ‘beyond evangelicalism’. I must say that my wife and I have been ‘beyond’ for quite some time. And really, for much of it we could not put where we were in words that would satisfy others. I know that there are bro’s and sisters who feel we had lost it.
    I read a portion from T.A.Sparks booklet ‘God hath Spoken’ this morning where he writes that New Testament Christianity is not a system of truths and practices, but is a living Person, known only in the power of the Holy Spirit. Great stuff! Evangelicals look to the bible as the ‘guide’ for christian life. It has become a tool, a map of how to live for God. My wife the other day asked, “Where do you draw the line?” in reference to what is proper christian life. I pointed out that there is no line (a new thought for me). Rather the christian life is our relationship with Christ, in Christ and Him through us. It is having such a relationship with the Lord that we learn to hear Him and walk by faith in obedience to what He puts on our hearts. Reading the bible helps me to distinguish His voice from the rest, especially my own. I like bro Ed Miller pointing out that only God can reveal God.
    Evangelicals want/need others to tell them what they can and cannot do. They don’t have the time to wait on God.
    Also the thought of forward being the alternative route is good, but I have a sense that really beyond evangelicalism is more being ‘outside’ the box. All the different aspects of evangelicalism are little boxes that are starting to mesh together to form a bigger box. What you have been describing is really outside of evangelicalism. Although you have a specific thought on what ‘forward’ is, I as a reader, in agreement can take it and make it another box of evangelicalism. From my past I have come to realize that though I was in agreement with Watchman Nee and Sparks, I did not grasp what the Lord through them was truly saying. I shake my head at how little I really comprehended. I fear that the same will occur with what you are sharing, and maybe it has to happen, because after all, we are human.
    With all that, thanks much!!

    • says

      Thanks for the your comment, Don. Indeed, the written Word will never contradict the living Word. The Scriptures, if we are properly reading them, will always lead us to Christ. And Christ will always confirm and embody the Scriptures. What God has joined together ought never to be separated. It seems that some Christians fall off one side of the horse or the other in this matter. They either make the Bible a god apart from Christ, or they ignore the Scriptures in preference of their own subjective, individualistic leadings which often originate from selfish inclinations.

      btw/ how did you find this blog?

      • Don says

        The Lord has been working in me the truth of ‘Christ in you” for some time now. So a couple of weeks ago I googled ‘In Christ’ and read several of the blogs that came up. There was was a old familiar name of Norman Grubb and a number of new ones like Fred Pruitt, James Fowler, Frank Viola and others. It was all very refreshing to read as much of it I have ‘realized’ (as I said previously that it has taken a long time to really grasp the truths I have held) yet my wife and I have been an island amongst our christian brothers and sisters. I added a reply to one of your blogs and received an email thanking me and suggesting to go to this blog. Here I be.

  24. Dave Senekal says

    Hi Frank, just to say a BIG thank you for what you are doing, your books and blog….!! May you continue to bring Honor an Glory to God….You are truly a light in the darkness..!! Blessings. Dave Senekal

  25. lauraselvak says

    I’m so thrilled to read this. It clearly shows (as I’ve been telling folk around me) that you are NOT Emergent!! You couldn’t be! with such Christ-centred, Cross-centred, Resurrection-centred teachings. I too, (and also others living new creation reminiscent of 1 Kings 19:18 for me!) have also been receiving similar revelation from the Holy Spirit. You have the wonderful gift to bring it to the wider body.

      • lauraselvak says

        ah, posting. Still a dilemma for me. Many of my contacts/family/friends on FB/Twitter are not Christian. Here in UK, being too blatently ‘Christian’ closes minds, and I try not to close folk off before I have thought of a fresh way to inspire curiosity in the gospel and Jesus.

        I have been thinking about seperate groups for seperate interests eg Christian discussion, politics, chit chat/general topics. Not sure. I need to find your blogs on these topics. I would like my Christian friends to read this however…

  26. wole says

    goodday frank,

    WHAT BOOKS IN THE 1OO LIST CAN I START WITH IN ORDER TO GROW IN INTIMACY WITH THE INDWELLING LORD? ITS SUCH A HUGE LIST AND I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO HEAR THE LORD CLEARLY ?

    • says

      Wole: Of my books, I’d begin with “”Revise Us Again,” “From Eternity to Here,” and then “Jesus Manifesto.” They all deal with the indwelling life of Christ. I’d then read “The Normal Christian Life.” Also the podcast message “Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ” – click the “Christ is ALL” podcast image on the right side-bar.

  27. says

    Frank,
    I love that you said “Forward”. Leonard spoke to me via email once about being linked arm in arm moving forward down the field. It has stayed with me ever since I read that. I like that you are taking this ‘left and right’ and moving ‘forward’. Wonderful direction! I like the points you listed and see it very clearly in your books as well as Leonard’s. Thank you for sharing this.

    • says

      Lisa: “Forward” is the missing element today. Christians are stuck in making a choice between left or right. My hope is that this post will get linked or referenced in all the left/right “what’s happening to evangelicalism” discussions so that God’s people will see that they aren’t captive to those two alternatives. Both of which are very “modern” (despite the claim of the left being postmodern). As I will post in future installments of this series, left vs. right is just a repetition of the past.

  28. says

    I love the new blog. Very sleek. I like that replies to comments are indented under the original.

    I really appreciate this article on going beyond evangelicalism. Forward is such a good description of the third option. There is sooooo much of Christ to be known and explored together in community.

  29. Kat Huff says

    Bro Frank,
    I appreciate the new look of your blog fashioned with your website design, a perfect match.
    I’m most often puzzled by all the words which label and box in Life in Christ. This is where I am at: The Person of Jesus Christ is the sight of my focus and that also means Jesus Christ in you, in me, in all of the one anothers of us, His body. We, together in union, are the body of Jesus Christ. Does not Father teach us through nature? A body cannot be divided because it could not function, and more so, it cannot survive in parts, disassembled. The one another of us belong within the Ultimate One Another of the Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. I am most certainly not disappointed in the new directive aim of your blog. I knew it would be a delight, and of course, you came through and I am filled with anticipative delight for the glory of our Christ Jesus!

  30. says

    where I’m at brother, you put it into words I or no one else could have done! Thank you for sharing your measure of Christ with the body! I’m thinking that beyond evangelical will be the hard road for most, (I’m still learning it) but immensely what Christ desires of His body, having a place of rest, a place where He is head and His multifaceted love is expressed freely in, through, and to one another.

  31. says

    Thank you.

    A few years ago my 23-year-old daughter announced she didn’t consider herself an evangelical. She equates evangelicalism with far right Republicans, and because she advocates social justice she distances herself from evangelical churches. The hateful rhetoric drove her from evangelical churches, and now she wonders what she believes. She actively searches for truth about God.

    I tried to explain that being an evangelical didn’t mean supporting any particular political viewpoint, but it’s hard to do that when so many Christians embrace vitriolic denunciations of Obama and other Democrats, when they identify him as a Muslim, or question his birthplace.

    I wish we Christians could shed the hateful rhetoric, agree to disagree on politics, and celebrate the truth of Jesus Christ. I wish we could agree to love one another and share God’s love with the world.

    • says

      Erin: this is part of the problem. People have been given the false idea that there are only two choices: left vs. right; justice vs. justification. Not so. That’s part of what moving “beyond evangelical” is all about. It’s the “third path,” if you please. I’d encourage your daughter to read this post and get involved on this blog. Most of the readers here are in their 20s and 30s. So she’d be in good company. :-)

  32. Kevin says

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for your thoughts on this topic, you are articulating what I’m sure is something that many are thinking, feeling and encountering. The web has opened up my eyes to the heavy reliance of labels and terminology in order to compartmentalise people with their ideologies. The term ‘evangelical’ was not on my radar at all until the last five years, as my ‘Christian walk’ (talk about subcultural vernacular) deepened.

    With the web opening up new worlds of thought from various Christian perspectives, I’ve found that often the term ‘evangelical’ has been interchangeably synonymous with ‘Christian’, with a dash of moral high ground thrown into the mix. Anything ‘other’ than that is once again labeled and I’m sure in the depths of the heart, sneered at.

    Of course this could be a judgmental generalisation. But in my time of encountering the term ‘evangelical’, this has been my experience.

    A question in regards to this comment: ‘Contemporary evangelicalism in America is essentially a reactionary movement’. I know moving forward ‘beyond evangelical’ is not a movement per se, but is it not in and of itself, reactionary?

  33. Kevin says

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for your thoughts on this topic, you are articulating what I’m sure is something that many are thinking, feeling and encountering. The web has opened up my eyes to the heavy reliance of labels and terminology in order to compartmentalise people with their ideologies. The term ‘evangelical’ was not on my radar at all until the last five years, as my ‘Christian walk’ (talk about subcultural vernacular) deepened.

    With the web opening up new worlds of thought from various Christian perspectives, I’ve found that often the term ‘evangelical’ has been interchangeably synonymously with ‘Christian’ with a dash of moral high ground thrown into the mix. Anything ‘other’ than that is once again labeled and I’m sure in the depths of the heart, sneered at.

    A question in regards to this comment: ‘Contemporary evangelicalism in America is essentially a reactionary movement’. I know moving forward ‘beyond evangelical’ is not a movement per se, but is it not in and of itself, reactionary?

    • says

      Kevin: Thanks for your comments. No, it’s not a reaction from where I’m sitting. It’s a matter of restoration and recovery. I was writing and speaking about the Eternal Purpose of God long before I had any idea about the fundamentalist vs. modernist debates which are now reincarnated with different verbiage.

  34. Pete says

    Frank, congratulations on the launching of your new blog. It’s very classy. I really enjoyed this first post. It’s very insightful and well written. I love your emphasis and passion on Body Life and God’s Eternal Purpose. You are right on concerning the individulism of Evangelicalism. I look forward to “Beyond Evangelical” parts 2, 3, 4, ? Keep pressing in to Jesus.

  35. says

    Frank,

    I love the new blog, and i love the title ‘beyond evangelical’. We must move beyond seeing Christ, experiencing Him, and expressing Him from an individualistic perspective. I agree that having direct contact with God must move beyond the individual, or simply a group of individuals. The body must be built together and we must live, abide, encounter, and express Him corporately! Thx for your work brother:)

  36. Brian says

    Frank, I think you’ve nailed it. And nailed me. The “beyond” language may sum up where I have been for some time and unable to articulate. Thank you! Looking forward to the new direction of the blog. Seriously!

  37. Tori Cooper says

    Love this…! I have been looking forward to this blog since your announcement & honestly feel like you have said exactly what I have been thinking (yet unable to put into words). Been keeping up with the old blog but even more excited for this next season of blogging! Thank you Frank! Keep the posts rolling… !

  38. says

    Great intro to your new blog location, Frank! From a fellow “beyonder.”

    I think one thing that has been missing from evangelicalism is an ephasis on ongoing direct contact with God. One thing we need to go beyond is trusting in past experiences while neglecting intimacy with God in the present.

    Onward to a mighty, supernatural, world-wide move of God and beyond!

    • says

      Steve: What you are talking about has been part of the evangelical charismatic emphasis for a very long time. Each term you use reflects that: “supernatural,” “world-wide move,” “direct contact,” etc. Those who have moved beyond evangelical have gone beyond this individual seeking for an individual supernatural encounter with God, along with the whole notion of seeking/making world-wide moves and movements. I discuss this in “Revise Us Again” in a few chapters.

      • says

        Frank: In my experience, including years in the charismatic movement, there has been minimal emphasis on direct contact with God. We have been taught to hear and relate to God (and His manifestations) through exalted preachers, prophets, apostles, and other notables (and their tapes, cds, books, and tv shows), rather than to hear and respond to God dircetly. A person truly and deeply and regularly touched by God can never keep it as “an individual spuernatural encounter” but the life of the Spirit breaks out in the local participatory assembly and then in other parts of Christ’s body and who can say where that life will spread — possibly to the ends of the earth.

        • says

          Steve: Thanks. My experience in the charismatic movement has been very different. It’s always been about individuals hearing from God directly. All the charismatic teachers and preachers I know and know of emphasize this greatly. The most well-known of them teach and emphasize this and have for many years.

  39. says

    Frank, great points that I’ve been wrestling with for a long time. I like it that you went ‘beyond’ instead of ‘post’ evangelical. Seems everything is post lately yet going beyond is far more telling. Look forward to future posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>