Wednesday, January 21, 2009

John Frame's Machen's Warrior Children, a history of Calvinists as jerks for Jesus ... or their idea of Jesus

http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/2003Machen.htm

At a time when there has been coverage of the young, restless and Reformed I wish this article had been written in 1993 instead of 2003 so that it could have a preventative role ... and I wish that it had been able to exist as a preface to Mars Hill's old school Midrash. Seriously, I wonder if I or any number of other people ... including pastors, would have posted half the stupid stuff we posted if Frame's observations had been available. But, fortunately, Frame's observations are at least available now. As before, a good deal of this running commentary will only make sense if you read the original article.

A few passing thoughts regarding some of the issues Frames mentions as fighting points:

1. Eschatology. I am going to get slammed at some point for saying this but too many postmillenialists are simply smug buttholes. If you're a postmillenialist, good for you. I dislike premillenialism immensely ... but they're all brothers and sisters in Christ so I try to be nice to the people even when I think they are out to lunch, particularly dispensationalist premillenialists. Frame nails it by pointing out that there's been almost no room for simply being nice about differences of opinion.

I saw first hand postmils declaring that amillenialists were pessimistic and didn't have a basis for hope, which is stupid since the hope is in Christ Himself as my inheritence through faith not that a bunch of postmillenialists will eventually hand the world to Jesus on a silver platter because they redeemed the culture. As First Things so snarkily put it, lots of mainline Protestants love postmillenialism up until World War 1 and then they dropped it like a hot potato when they found out, to their dismay, that THEY were not going to be Christianizing the world for Jesus.

Regarding Frame's point 8 ... Fans of Rushdoony, North, and Bahnsen ... well ... THEY think those guys matter. But trust a broader sense of history, they don't and they won't. Frame is right to point out that the eschatological views of this or that group don't yield any reasonable cause and effect relationship between the stated view and their optimism or pessimism regarding society.

What I continually doubt regarding the likes of the reconstructionists is their failure to see that the Social Gospel movement and its eventual mainline and liberal outworkings, produced a whole raft of unanticipated social changes that I would think many conservative Christians now dislike. And if you look at the home-school movement, at the desire to teach intelligent design, at the fondness for moderated alcohol consumption, or a few other things you'll see that there's a desire to, as it were, turn back the clock on the products of the old Christian activist causes that led to things like public education, the enforcement of child labor laws to give adult men jobs during the Depression, prohibition so as to prevent abuse of alcohol (which Frame mentions).

All of these things were done with the desire to pursue "good law" and law Christians believed would better society. A consequence of all these variables was the development of the cultural entity known as the teenager, relatively unprecedented in social history. Note I hedge there because there's nothing new under the sun. Arguably the adult but not independent adult we would use to describe the teenager has always been with us, we simply see a relatively unique and modern form of the non-adult who is physically but not emotionally or intellectually adult. Christian social critics fret that this stage is prolonged more and more even into the twenties. Well, yeah, consider that the economy and the nature of cities like Seattle makes truly independent life less and less viable. I would argue that extended family is simply making a comeback so that America will look more like other cultures. This is not bad and provided Christians and Americans in general have a certain pragmatic humility about not being able to live truly independent lives but depending on some kind of community or extended family there's nothing to be ashamed of.

The problem with a theonomistic approach, to say it simply, is that it isn't practical and doesn't apply to the real world. Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world, yet this world is part of His kingdom. Christians have been struggling with that since the beginning of the Lord's ministry on earth and the theonomists can be tempted to want God's kingdom to be implemented here and now. It's not that I don't get in any way their enthusiasm, but there is a surprising lack of doubt about whether or not the thing they advocate would actually be a good idea. In a word, humility is needed and too often that isn't what I see ... which Frame doesn't necessarily address but he doesn't need to. I can blog about it.

11. Counseling. Frame touches on this and I wonder if it isn't a replay of the old conflict in viewed between Tertullian and Augustine, not a formal or personal conflict but a tension among formative Christian leaders about the things of Jerusalem that do or don't have anything to do with Rome.

This one has been interesting to me because of family history. My mom got an undergrad degree in psychology and said that it was a perfectly reliable way of assessing the ways of the fallen human heart and mind but that it was not a good way for Christians to think through how people are. So I guess the best way to articulate that position would be to say it's good to know but it's not something that supplants biblical teaching. Perhaps not the clearest way of putting it but the gist of it.

But having a charismatic/pentecostal background that included things like identifying and naming local principalities and spirits or cutting soul ties or things like that (Rebecca Brown M.D. anyone?) and Sandfords and the "healing of memories" movement ... and a lot became ... curious. Some folks believes that anything that involved psychological problems had to have a demonic explanation. Did the schizophrenia lead to demonic posession or did the demonic oppression lead to schizophrenia was almost a rhetorical question. Now I would be content to say over and over again that the body and mind and spirit are all intertwined. As Frame points out, the connections are becoming more evident and that means that both the ostensibly scientism side and the skeptical side (about science, that is) may have to learn from each other.

Now the reason I think this issue becomes important is because in the 1990s we didn't just have a craze about healing of memories we also had ... I don't know how to put this delicately, stories abounding about sexual abuse. Now I'm not saying this stuff isn't rampant. But combined with a healing of memories approach and a skepticism about professional psychiatric/psychological evaluation combined with an evangelical metanarrative of the disintegrating family and the loss of athers ... I worry (a lot, can you tell?) that this is an area where Christians can suck up gallons of pop psychological pap and meta-narrative melodrama. For those who have read this blog a long time I give you the giant shark in Finding Nemo lamenting that he never knew his father as though that would explain why he wanted to eat meat. I'm not interested in diminishing abuse at all but I'm a kid of the 1980s and I am afraid I know of some stories where tales of abuse became useful in securing custody after divorce proceedings or where real abuse went unreported for reasons no one on earth could possibly guess at. We live in a broken and often evil world.

Sometimes I worry, perhaps with no grounds, that a pastor skeptical about actual professional training in psychology may think that armed with just the Holy Spirit and his high school diploma can "discern" things about people that are not really there. It can all be very well-intended but not necessarily accurate. At a church I have attended for years there used to be quite a bit of joking that the seminarians had no life experience to know what they were doing and at that church there are people seeking precisely the seminary credentials they used to laugh at. Perhaps it is good to hold on to one and not let go of the other?

Some churches have enough disclaimers to the effect that nothing provided constitutes professional or competent counsel except from a "biblical" standpoint that the buyer beware couldn't get any bigger for those who have eyes to see.

17. Presbyterians are Baptists, too. :)

Believe it or not this ties in with the series I'm working on, it really does, but at a meta-level. Frame outlines all the ways in which the Reformed, specifically, fought battles that in hindsight seemed to be not-very-important over not-very-important things without knowing how to be gracious or patient. Calvinists are often great at being self-righteous assholes and per a recent article in the New York Times, a doctrine of total human depravity has the paradoxical effectof emboldening rather than humbling its adherents. Well, this Calvinist finds plenty to be humble about, not least the behavior of all the other Calvinists.

I "could" get up in arms about how unfair and inaccurate the New York Times was about Calvinism but I won't. See I love and serve Jesus, not Calvin. Only Jesus has the words of life, not Calvin and many Calvinists (and other sorts of Christians for that matter) so easily forget this about the Truth.

As we can see by a survey of Frame's survey your tradition can be the greatest impulse AWAY from that tradition you could possibly have. I went to a Christian school that touted Arminianism and open theism in some circles and after five years of that I came out of it very Calvinist and VEEEERRRY skeptical about the way Christians used the word "community". I bet by now you can figure out EXACTLY what school I went to with a little research. But that traditions, such as they are, in evangelicalism are often the water jet pushing the kid out to the deep end of the pool rather than making the kid able to stay near where he got into the water is for another time. . Consider this a transition that touches on part 3 in transition to part 4.

Mostly reading this article by Frame and re-reading it made me very grateful that I grew up with more of a Pentecostal background than a Presbyterian one! Not that I would say 'no' to being some kind of Presbyterian down the road, actually ... but I'm grateful to God I didn't grow up in such a setting.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"The New Evangelical Scandal" same as the Old Evangelical scandal part 3

THREE: CHOOSE YOUR OWN COMMUNITY (OR EVANGELICALISM)

http://www.civitate.org/2009/01/the-new-evangelical-scandal/

All this, ironically, signals the triumph of western individualism on the evangelical (and post-evangelical) mind. The renewed focus on community and on institutional structures is still grounded in the decisionism that has always marked evangelicalism. The fact that we are born as Americans—or as evangelicals—is unimportant. What is important is that we choose to be patriotic, that we choose to be Republican, that we choose to be evangelicals (or emergent, or Catholic, or Presbyterian)—and that we make that choice independent from and irrespective of any tradition that may have shaped us.

The young evangelical fashions himself into his own preferred identity, and then finds others who have done likewise. More often than not, this results in a rejection of the traditions—political or otherwise—in which younger evangelicals were raised.

When I was a kid there came into vogue a brand of novel called "Choose your own adventure". Supposedly this novel had as its virtue that you could start the story in the first chapter and depending on what you decided you wanted the character to do at the end of chapter one you would be isntructed which page to turn to so as to continue the adventure to the next point.
This is the kind of trick that works great on a seven-year old or an eight-year old and around the age of nine the kid starts figuring out the options in the choose-your-own-adventure story kinda suck.

I tried them out when I was a kid and I found that after about three or four decisions every iteration of the story would play out or in some cases just one or two decisions. I just didn't see that the method was all that special. Why should I have to choose the story? Couldn't the author have enough gumption to tell a story and not give me, the reader, so-called total control over the story? In every single case the options presented in the ostensibly choose-your-own adventure story were options laid out and limited by the author. It introduced such a limiting set of options that even as a kid I found them boring. I preferred instead to take up stories where the author had complete control and was moving in the direction of one story. That, paradoxically, left me free to have any reaction I wanted to upon reading the story. If I always had the power to affect the outcome of a highly affected narrative device there was no suspense, no momentum, I knew it was all going to hinge on me and that the options were tedious.

Matthew Lee Anderson seems to have a similarly dismissive view of what he considers to be a "new" kind of evangelical that takes the DIY ethos to its ultimately American conclusion. Anderson sees that as a bad thing. The choose your own evangeicalism exemplifies what he believes is bad, I guess. That would seem the acme of both national character and patriotic spirit to me, as an American citizen, but Anderson seems to spend a lot of time wanting to have his cake and eat it, too. He'd prefer more of the younger types would choose to be patriot, Republican, and evangelical rather than aloof from patriotism, Democratic, and not evangelical. There is no particular need that any one combination of these choices is a given and Anderson seems to understand that even if he doesn't much like it.

He makes a sort of compelling case that evangelicals today, or perhaps more accurately Americans today, are so set on the choose your own path aspect of the narrative of life they don't consider that where they begin is crucial to where they end up. Now I believe there are some spectacular flaws in Anderson's reasoning as applied to evangelicals and that he misunderstands how little of the history of evangelicalism proper is considered by Americans, so often a culture without a history because history often represents that which we would like to be free from for the sake of reinvention and personal discovery. But he isn't wrong to point out that the preference for a DIY theology is not a great thing in itself. He seems to have an ambivalent position on just how American evangelicalism is. In most cases I would say he is more bothered by the distinctly American pragmatism endemic to these decisionist "I'm the decider" angle on spirituality than by a failure to acknowledge this or that spiritual legacy. If he did consider the nature of evangelicalism and how it addresses or fails to address many aspects of life he could trott out Mark Noll, who once again demonstrates that he hit the nail on the head fourteen years ago in ways that Anderson might wish he could do now.

Perhaps no church in America represents the choose your own evangelicalism approach in the last twelve years quite as much as Mars Hill in Seattle. I think the church is an example of both the positive and negative aspects of this DIY ethos in applied theology Anderson may be concerned about. For years there was talk about "intentional living" and "community" There has also been plenty of talk over the years about "redeeming culture" and "engagign culture", all things Anderson has touched upon.

The fondness of intentional living included a suggestion that various singles rent space together in a house to make life more affordable. This had the added advantage that pastors who had invested in local real estate and had more than one house could rent out their homes to six or seven guys at a time and have de facto apartment complexes, if you will. For those who were lucky enough to have more than one home in a housing market like Seattle, it became a way to consolidate financial holdings for their children. For those who would, as the old satire put it from the Clinton era, live in a rented house forever and ever, the advantage was that you could use a connection at church, in some key cases a pastor, to have relatively low rent in a house owned by someone who was a prominent member of a growing church. You could also be assured, more or less, that you'd be with a bunch of Christians on the same page as you on most theological and ethical and cultural matters.

But this fad, as I see it, overlooked a rather mundane and even grim reality about most "intentional communities" in the world. First of all most extended communal lives come about due to financial necessity and most frequently come about in the form of extended family. More than one generation, three or four even, might live in one home because that is what has been done for ages and what people can afford. There's no romance or countercultural imperative in financial and social necessity. Mars Hill as a culture and its leadership particularly always seemed very naive about those issues. Perhaps it was convenient for pastors who owned homes they didn't wish to sell yet while buying more family-friendly homes as a way to serve people in the church ... but they could also collect rent so it was not an entirely altruisitic endeavor.
But Anderson's implicit gripe seems to be that the zeal for community is a zeal predicated on you inventing your own idea of what evangelicalism or Christianity might be, setting it out, and then joining the people who have decided on the same thing. A person can choose this or that cherry-picked idea regardless of the tradition one was raised in. Anderson should consider this a strength rather than a weakness or give more balanced thought to why he thinks it is a weakness. What evangelical traditions does he believe are being abandoned by the new evangelicals that should not be abandoned? We'll get to that but for now let me propose an observation.

I know a few ex-charismatics who are now in churches varying from Episcopal to Presbyterian to non-denominational evangelical. They are not ex-charismatic in their actual pneumatology but they no longer subscribe to the NORMATIVE elements of charismatic or Pentecostal teaching. They do not think any longer that you have to speak in tongues as the most common sign of the second blessing or hold to second blessing ideas about sanctification. Instead they hold a traditional Christian understanding that when you become a Christian the Spirit renews you, you've been baptised, and are part of God's people. A "second blessing" is a misunderstanding of the first blessing.

At Mars Hill the founding elders were, by a majority of a sort of jack Catholic persuasion prior to making a serious committment to Christ. Anderson wouldn't consider any of them to have had evangelical backgrounds. The choose-your-own theology approach is why people leave mainlines or the Catholic church to become evangelicals. In a culture like the United States we should seriously ask how many conversions or adherents to evangelicalism have come from completely unchurched people or people who returned after not taking their faith seriously or who arrived from within other non-evangelical streams of Christianity. Would Anderson complain that pastors at Mars Hill should have stayed in their Catholic traditions rather than become evangelicals?

But there is a peculiarity to the choose your own evangelicalism Anderson doesn't really touch on that I think he could have touched on more directly. The risk inherent in a choose your own adventure approach to evangelicalism is how ad hoc and utilitarian it can be. If these new evangelicals were choosing to be and affirm the things Anderson agrees with he wouldn't be writing quite as much about the problems of decisionism being most rampant in a zeal for community. He's not wrong about that, by the way but he does seem to miss that the real problem is that an ends justifying the means to church polity would be the most natural and dangerous outgrowth of this kind of self-selecting approach to community. There is eHarmony and then there is eChurch, if you will.

Let me give an example from the history of Mars Hill, since Mars Hill couldn't be a better example of the new evangelicalism. By Driscoll's account God called him to marry Grace, plant a church, and train up young men to follow Jesus. Driscoll also had dreams from God warning him about things to come ... yet for years he taught from a cessationist position about the gifts and avoided discussing the spiritual gifts except in neutered terms. I will not soon forget the night I heard him explain from the pulpit that the gift of healing was the ability to speak into a person's life in such a way that the person spoken to felt a sense of healing as a result. I thought to myself that this must mean Dr. Phil and Oprah had the gift of healing.

What made this even more baffling to me was that at around that time I had had dinner with Driscoll at a now long-gone Denny's in Ballard and we talked about works by Wayne Grudem, Gordon Fee, N. T. Wright and people like that. I knew he was perfectly familiar with the works of these theologians and it made it all the more bewildering that given his personal experience and given his study that he still leaned cessationist. What was the reason? When your study of scholars, study of Scripture, and personal experience all point in direction A what was the purpose of affirming direction B from the pulpit and as a general rule? I surmised that God would disabuse Mark of this very weird attitude and in short order that is exactly what God did. These are things that Mark explains a bit in Reformission Rev so in adding my personal experience with the man I am not, I hope, saying anything problematic.

This is just an example of how Driscoll has in the past settled on a position over against his own research and personal experience for reasons I can't really understand. The only practical, pragmatic reason I can think of for taking such a position is that a church leader feels safer trusting that HE is being led by the Holy Spirit without taking the huge risk in a disorganized and nascent church of trusting that OTHER people are similarly led by the Spirit. I get the practical need for that but there is an immense practical risk, that you can essentially place what you consider to be the organizational and social needs of the community over what the Bible, reason, and your own experience would plainly spell out.

Is it okay to do this? I don't know to be honest but I'll be honest and say that this kind of approach bothers me. God disabused Mark Driscoll of his applied cessationism some time ago. I don't think a mature Christian response entails either a cessationist or a charismatic approach. We have to be open to the reality that God may dispense spiritual gifts at any time to those He prompts. I also however do not see any compelling historical or scriptural argument that a spiritual gift, once given, is without recall or even without conditions to its use. Samson had conditions spelled out to his parents and to him about what would cause him to lose his strength and lose his strength he eventually did. Gifts are given for the edification of the body of Christ and so they are not given for the personal edification of the individual believer, which is one of the ways in which I significantly differ with teaching from my Pentecostal background.

If Mars Hill's founding pastor could change his mind about these things it doesn't harm anyone so long as it isn't any key doctrine, but in other settings the turn around is more problematic.For years Mark and other pastors taught against a pejoratively defined custom of dating and for courtship. Guys were supposed to take wives by going to the woman's dad, getting permission, and then when dad approved the relationship could formally begin and IF after that the woman assented marriage could happen to the glory of Jesus. THis was not really something that had any serious precedent at Mars Hill prior to about 2002. It was in essence a fad fueled by any number of variables and as a fad it followed a bit late on the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" thing that evangelicalism had for a while.

I was actually at a singles ministry launch at Mars Hill years ago in which Ruth was brought out as a how-to-get-married manual. A peculiar and somewhat limited but potentially practical approach, I didn't like it. I didn't like it because the main use of the text was essentially to the end of how to stop being single. It stopped being primarily a narrative about how God's providence became a blessing to individuals who were outside of God's people and to God's people and eventually gave us the lineage of Christ. It was about how guys needed to have "real" jobs and get married and similar advice for women. For church leaders who could vote their own salaries this was a very convenient line of reasoning. What's more spending hours showing the folly of dating and arguing for courtship and saying this was how things were going to get done at Mars Hill was news to me, bad news.

I knew perfectly well Driscoll didn't do any of these things with his wife before marriage, no, he'd done other things. He even admitted as much though he was loathe that anyone should know about it until just last year. Twenty years is long enough that you can admit you didn't do what you should have done so there's no sense in not sharing things now. In obsessing about courtship and the avoidance of sins that he himself had not avoided I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that Driscoll and other pastors were putting a huge burden on singles that they had not lifted a finger to carry themselves in their own lives and for which their lives couldn't possibly be an example the singles could look to to follow.

Courtship and the singles ministry that grew up around the time that fad was in place was simply a pointless waste of time. There was nothing about actually seeking Christ, imitating Christ, or considering that one could do these things whether married or single. The ministry was set up with a prominent spokesperson for the ministry saying that it would be great if one day the ministry could end because there weren't any single people left. I all too cynically figured he was hoping he'd be out of the ministry by marriage in a few years' time. A singles ministry that folds because everyone got married off would be in a church where no new single people are coming to the church and would suggest an unhealthy, dying church ... or a fertility cult ... which I'm not going to touch with a twenty-foot long metal pole.

Lo and behold by 2008 courtship had run its course and was no longer the in thing for Mars Hill to promote. Driscoll said from the pulpit that Christian dating was and is possible and that perhaps the church had not emphasized that as much in the past as it could have. My rather un-Christian response at the time was to think to myself, "No shit!" Who had been scaring people about the sinfulness of casual dating and then when pressed for more guidelines on how TO do things would chuckle and say "Everyone wants rules"? The leadership. The pastors had been so eager to warn the flock away from the sexual sins they committed, I guess, that they never stopped to consider that following Christ was the more important goal. Perhaps the acme of cynicism for me was my surmise that the only reason courtship was so popular was because a bunch of dads who are at heart control freaks wanted to make sure that no one ever pursued their little girls who behaved the way THEY behaved with their wives prior to and just after marriage.

Evangelicals can be very cagey and downright dishonest about what can really motivate them and if new evangelicals are more blunt about their pragmatism that might be a good thing.
But I think Anderson's comments are not entirely accurate. Yes, I agree with him when he says that evangelicals these days make things up as they go and that the "community" is nothing more than a working out of self-selecting and even narcissistic spiritual tendencies. He doesn't grasp that his definition of evangelical is too narrow but he grasps the dangers of the kind of evangelicalism that has sprung up in the last fifty years. Mark Noll, in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, did a great job summarizing how we got to this particular brand of evangelicalism. I would say that Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll in particular can exmplify that problem even in attempting to provide a remedy. That Driscoll can take up this or that cause and drop it like a hot potato for what may be pragmatic, church-governing reasons is impossible for me to establish. I just know that he did a 180 on cessationism and that now he at least is consistent across the board. I also know that his old teaching on courtship was something that couldn't have been tested out from experience with his own family because none of his girls are old enough to be spoken for. But he liked the idea for a while and for some reason thought it could work. He probably knew someone who looked like they got it to work and decided he wanted that. Looks, however, can be deceiving and things that work out don't always work out because your best laid plans are any good. God is merciful.

Now where the chickens come home to roost in Anderson's prescription is the question of whether to leave a "tradition" or stay around and hope to reform it. I think Anderson's prescription is essentially naive and stupid in its belief that such reforming impulses will be heard or considered. I am also skeptical enough and cynical enough to think that what he wants is less a reform of problems in evangelicalism than return to a status quo he wishes were still in place. He is right to be skeptical about a new evangelical fad for community. Most of this may be fueled by a desire for community that affirms your own path with God. Even those who say "It's not about you it's about God" can be the very people who may think that because they are pastors and because you aren't that what is about God is, ironically enough, about trusting them.
At a personal level I am finding myself in the paradoxical place that trusting God more may involve trusting His people less. This isn't about not loving the Church or loving God's people but a recognition that a person can make an idol of a Christian community. I have sensed this problem in my life and I know people at Mars Hill who have discovered similar problems in their own walk with the Lord. We need to remember that the Bride of Christ is special because of her husband, not because she is special. Yahweh warned Israel to not believe they were chosen by God because they were special or might or great. THey were not chosen becasue they were righteous, that is not why they were being given the land to possess. They were rebels and they were stubborn people and it was only because of the wickedness of others that God was taking the land from them. As Paul told those in Corinth, there was nothing they had that was not a gift and since that was so why were they boasting as though what they had was not a gift?

We are so easily tempted to think that because God has been kind to us it is because we have gotten something we deserve or that we have been blessed because God approves of what we do. We can be so readily tempted to think that people should not argue with the success God has given us. This is a path to destruction. Israel took the ark of the covenant with them into battle thinking that because they had the ark of the Lord's covenant with them they would be victorious. The Phillistines conquered them and they failed. God's people thought that because they had the temple they were safe and God destroyed the temple and sent them into exile.

If evangelicalism as Anderson defines it is on the wane or in a point of seeming dangerously hippie-like how do we know it is because of a failure to articulate the distinctives of the evangelical tradition? That could certainly be true but the distinctives of the evangelical tradition Anderson holds up for admiration are the same sorts of pragmatic ends-justifying-the-means or recent anomalies that evangelicals should be dropping. What if, by contrast, evangelicals have been for generations saying God is on our side because we have the Bible and the cultural mandate to redeem culture and to wake up and fight the culture war? What if we are like Samson with his hair cut and we do not realize we let the Phillistines get us to this point because we were pursuing what we wanted while simply using the position God gave us within society to serve ourselves? I don't think we have to frame this in purely either/or terms.

I am not writing as someone who has no idea what this new evangelicalism looks like but as someone who is immersed in it. THere are both great and stupid things in it, and I am not sure thata Anderson has done a good job articulating in more than thumbnail sketch what any of those things really are. A generation or two of evangelicals devoted to culture wars is going to produce by reaction a generation of evangelicals who would rather immerse themselves in the culture and find points of contact than attempt to fight a culture war that, if any of us were listening to Francis Schaeffer, we would see evangelicals ceded as far back as the 1920s. I agree with Anderson that there are big problems with how the new evangelicals approach things and that is where I find myself not only agreeing with Anderson but believing Anderson doesn't go nearly far enough. When Anderson expresses skepticism about "authenticity" I think he can use a corrective nudge. What he may identify as "authentic" looks a lot more like charisma. People aren't looking for the authentic as much as they think they are and that is something I will get to in part four.