Saturday, March 21, 2009

Michael Chicken Little Spencer

So evangelicalism is in danger of imminent collapse.
What, you haven't heard?
A former Baptist minister by the name of Michael Spencer experienced a meteoric rise to e-mortality when his January blog entry dealing with the coming deflation of evangelicalism was honed in on by the Christian Science Monitor. Within 1 day of the refurbished blog, now titled, The Coming Collapse of Evangelicalism, Matt Drudge linked it and the rest is history.
I was instantly intrigued when I saw the headline on Drudge.
The article led me then to his blog, internetmonk.com.
I've been reading ever since, and . . . my head is starting to hurt.
First, let me say that Michael Spencer is saying a lot, a LOT of good things.
He is decrying the mile width, inch depth of evangelicalism.
He disagrees with the mega-church model.
He insists that in our preoccupation with the culture war, Christians have diminished the message of the Gospel.
He is disgusted with over-emotionalism.
He points out that Christianity actually predates America and thus is not necessarily synonymous with U.S. citizenship, or patriotism.
(He scored a big point with me by pointing out the superficiality of that nice-looking young man with the year-round tan who pastors a large church in Dallas. Goes by the name Joel Osteen.)
More off-putting, he doesn't subscribe to young-earth creationism.
He does not believe that keeping the Sabbath is a New Testament requirement.
He does not believe that tithing should be taught as a ten-percent necessity.
He is sometimes unnecessarily provocative. For, example, in a post titled 25 Sort of Random Things I Do and Don't Believe, number 4 states: "I don't like or use the word inerrancy." Elsewhere he explains that he does not question Scripture, he simply dislikes the terminology.
This is the reason my head hurts.
I agree with about fifty percent of what Michael Spencer blogs.
The other fifty percent sends me scuttling for my Bible or just causes me to stop and consider why I disagree with him. His frankness is charming, his provocation is needless, but his insistence on depth and solid doctrinal foundations is what makes him truly a seismic event in evangelical culture.
So, take a couple aspirin and check it out.

3 comments:

Mark M said...

Correction: Joel Osteen pastors Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. I agree with your assessment.

Nathan Carpenter said...

I have unwittingly disparaged Dallas.

Anonymous said...

Got anything stronger than aspirin? Thanks for the insight.