Beyond Evangelical: Part VI

This post has been revised and converted into a chapter in the book, Beyond Evangelical.

To learn more about the book, click here.




  1. Alice Spicer says

    I don’t remember who said it, nor do I have an exact quote, but the idea is something like this: The world is a reflection of the state of the Body of Christ. This 1986 (!) article you posted on your blog reminds me of that concept. Perhaps the body of Christ needs to “die” to its own idea of Ecclesia in order to function in the world the way Jesus described, saying that the reign of Heaven “is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour it permeated every part of the dough..”

  2. Shannon Van Brunt says

    I really appreciate how you don’t return evil for evil attacking back those who attack you. It’s so refreshing.

  3. Beth says

    Great article! I finished reading parts 4, 5, and this one and wanted to comment. I also listened to your living in the divine parenthesis podcast. I found this blog by reading someone else’s who completely misconstrued what you were saying. I wanted to find out for myself if what they were reportong was true and I’m glad I did. I feel lied to. Thank you again for writing with such a good spirit and encouraging others to share the gospel with the world.

    • says

      Yes! It’s laughable that someone would call you “emergent”. I read your first post in the series where you flatly state your disagreement with the emerging crowd, not sure how anyone can read the other parts and miss this. Having read most of your stuff I only find consistency. I’m looking forward to the next series part.

  4. Seth G. says

    Yeah ebook 😉 Really great essay he wrote. Frank I wish more of my peers would read this series. I keep telling them that there is someone writing about them and its like he is in our heads lol. Hope they listen

  5. Jim Tesh says

    Just read all the posts. Great series. I like the way you and Hal stay with the facts and don’t put anyone in a bad light who may disagree. I like how beyond evangelical isn’t modern or postmodern. I have been turned off by the Reformed fundies and the emergent liberals. This speaks to where I’m at. Jesus all of Him not some of Him! Keep writing.

  6. says

    I started my Christian walk as a child in an evangelical denomination. Then I became disillusioned and left the church altogether. I came back to the church during the Charismatic Renewal as a born-again, Spirit-filled believer. After years of church planting and functioning as a pastor, I am now once again disillusioned and disappointed by the church. Again I have left the organized structure to try to understand what God is doing today. Thanks to articles like this, which seem to tell my own story, I don’t feel quite as rebellious or heretical. I long to “fit” somewhere. I believe I am beyond evangelical and beyond charismatic. I do not believe I am better than my brothers and sisters in those movements, but I no longer belong there. I am seeking the King and His kingdom with all my heart. Frank, I hope you keep this blog rolling. It is a lifeline for folks like me.

  7. alan jones says

    Hi there
    Interesting article. I am left wondering what that all really means though.
    For example-what actually does “being culturally open” mean?
    What are the practicalities of that statement?

  8. says

    This was a great article Frank. Thanks for sharing it. Hal’s analysis is spot on. The western culture of individualism has for the most part rendered evangelicalism ineffective in transforming society. I think that Jesus did envision a “great society” (not ala Lyndon Johnson) that would become the city on a hill and the light of the world. We are called to transform government, education, business, family, media, sports, etc. with the Presence and life of the King. We’ve got to do that in community and in concert with other believers though and not as lone individuals. I don’t know how it will happen exactly, but I know this is where the King is calling us.

  9. says

    Outstanding essay. Thank you for sharing this. Hal really knocked it out of the park 26 years ago!

    An ebook of the series would be great. Also, is there a plugin that could be added to the posts that would convert any of your articles into a .pdf?

  10. says

    Thanks so much, Frank. I am getting a lot out of the series which helps me in cross-cultural missions.
    I am a New Zealander leading an indigenous ministry in the South Pacific Islands where we see many sincere but fruitless attempts to plant churches that are rooted in these Western traditions that Hal Miller writes about (fundamentalism, evangelicalism, and various mixtures of these).
    Our ministry started out the same way years ago, but lack of resources helped us become an indigenous and organic movement, and we are seeing a lot of fruit.
    My primary concern is, how do we continue facilitating this organic fruitfulness, while preventing our Western church assumptions from getting in God’s way? Hal Millar’s essay (and your writing) is a huge help.
    I have started blogging, and wish to point my readers to Beyond Evangelical and particularly this article.
    Bless you!

    • says

      Graham. Thanks! This is worth repeating for the sake of others who are new to the blog, but “organic church” and “Beyond Evangelicalism” are two different things. Many Christians who have gone beyond evangelical belong to churches of all forms and types and denominations. They all believe in community and the things that Hal has laid out, but that will look different depending on the group and people. Beyond evangelicalism, therefore, is very broad. They are neither pietists nor activists, neither left nor right, but are fiercely committed to the four notes articulated in the series (Part I, II, and IV especially).

      Regarding your specific question, I deal with it in “Finding Organic Church.”

  11. Ant Writes says

    Amazing post. You outdid yourself. I agree with @Christopher Holmes, this has been the best post so far in the series. I am personally familiar with much of the issues you brought up.

    I also agree with @Tony Whitaker..a PDF of the completed series would be superb.

    I can wait to see what you have brewing next :)

  12. Michele says

    Wow! As Seth stated above, Hal Miller articulates very well all of the things I have been feeling and learning for many years about Christ and His body. And to think it was written in 1986! Amazing! Thank you, Frank, for all you do. God Bless!

  13. Michael says

    This is great. By the time I was 17 I was making six to ten thousand dollars profit a week selling drugs, then I had a radical experience with Christ. As a result of my life style, I never left my friends and I am still friend with some pretty rough people who the society would see as terrible. These people trust me with all of there personal information and the activities they are involved in, knowing the kind of clean life that I live.
    I say this because I do not see these people as my mission field or anyone as my mission field. I see them as people just like me, broken. And many of these people tell me they do not know where they would be if I was not in there lives, most of which have moved from Atheist to Deists or Agnostics now.
    What is relevant to the lost is not treating them as the lost but treating them like people. Their was a famous missionary who said and I can not remember who it is, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel, if necessary use words.”
    These people hate christians because they just hear them preaching at them and telling them how bad they are and how much better they are and then see no action and even see them live much different then what they say.
    I agree Frank, and no person before I knew Christ ever just lived sold out to Christ in front of me being focused on themselves and how they need the log removed from there eyes while still loving others

    • Jim Puntney says

      well stated Micheal, Jesus was sold out to the Father, the early disciples were sold out to Jesus, and the thread continues, real passion found in and through the love of Christ, and reflected in our day to day experiences will indeed impact those around us.

      thanks Michael!

      • Michael says

        I was living with this woman in India in a Tibetan Buddhist community, she was a Nepali woman who was changed by His grace about twenty three years ago. She would always say to me what the Lord would say to her, keep in mind I have never been with humans that bare as much fruit as her and her husband Bob. Sonam would say to me, “Michael, God always tells me Sonam, do not try to make Me happy, let Me make you happy”. The other thing the Lord would tell her is “Sonam, you are the one I am concerned about”.
        I love this, I did not really understand this while I was first living with them, I understood it in my head but not in my being by the time I left I got it. I found myself saying to the Lord I do not want to know you, I want you to know me. It is not that we loved Him but that He loved us and it is not that we choose Him but He choose us, and in that same way it is not that I want to know Him but He wants to know me and through letting Him know me I let Him in and finally I will know Him.
        This I want to know. Him

  14. says

    This article really encapsulates what I have been experiencing /learning/understanding about the Ekklessia concerning our relationship to society, the mission of the Church and how to manifest the ruling presence of Christ in all we do as a people. Thanks for posting this.

  15. Christopher Holmes says

    Wow, this is great info. To me beyond evangelical part 6 is the best so far, love reading your blogs. I learn a lot from it daily.

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