American Evangelicals and World Christianity

Is American evangelicalism the standard by which all world Christianities are to be judged?

Good grief, I hope not.  We’re a mess.

A couple of years ago, someone on a podcast–I think it was Peter Enns–said that American Evangelicalism had failed because it attempts to unify believers around a particular set of doctrines, expressed in any one of several creeds.  This attempt was unsuccessful because there is no end to the number of disagreements, disagreement = no unity.

In his telling, at least, that’s why Enns left his evangelical church and now is part of the Episcopal church.  The Episcopal church attempts to unify people around its liturgy.  They can disagree about this point of doctrine or that political issue, but they all meet God at the same place in the same way every Sunday in the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer.

Interestingly, I have talked with people from Stone-Campbell churches who have the same view, especially among the Disciples of Christ, where there are deep divisions on political, ideological, and theological issues.  The fact that Stone-Campbell churches take communion every Sunday is what unifies (or should unify) us, in their thinking.

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