The Morphing of the 3 E’s

I became a Christian in the 1970s. This was a challenging and exciting time for me. I hadn’t grown up in the church and was by example (my father) and choice, an atheist prior to being persuaded of the validity and truth of the claims of Christianity. When I became a believer the Jesus movement was in full swing and the era of church trends seems to have been coming into its own. Being a … Continue reading

Extra! Extra! Social Scientists Discover Evangelicalism!

It seems that Sociology has finally started taking an interest in that amorphous moniker: “Evangelicalism.” I once had a sociologist friend describe sociology as the “Study of all things obvious.” Evangelicals have been around for a long time, but as Timothy Beal writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education: . . . [A]cademic studies of American evangelicalism and related movements have been fairly few and far between compared with those of other religious subjects—such as … Continue reading

The Popular Church Movement

In 1975 a second movement was born with the founding of Willow Creek Community Church in the suburbs of Chicago. The founding pastor, Bill Hybels, had been strongly influenced in his thinking, which gave birth to WCCC by two individuals. The first, Gilbert Bilezikian, a professor at Trinity College in Deerfield, IL, where he taught for two years, (1972-74) before moving to Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. Bilezikian was dissatisfied with the current protectionist state … Continue reading

In The Beginning…

This past week a couple of things again demonstrated the need to ask the question as to how the church got to where it is today. The first was the falderal over The Manhattan Declaration. The number of signers is increasing daly and is nearly at 200,000. FOX News is discussing it but as I pointed out in last week’s Crux E-Letter, this is little more than an updated version of the 1984 Evangelicals and … Continue reading

The Culture Driven Church (or We are of Peace, Always)

As Don mentioned last week, we are starting an extended project that I have labeled in my mind “The Culture-Driven Church.” The idea is to trace how culture (e.g. scientific, economic, spiritual, and psychological) have influenced the contemporary church and its mission. That’s the big goal. I suggested to Don that we use our meager megaphone (this blog) and our endearing and astute audience (that’s you dear reader) to help us sort out the good, … Continue reading

Painting the Picture

As I mentioned last week, Jonathan Miles and I will be developing a series in this blog on how the church and culture have gotten to be where they are today. Nothing happens in a vacuum and as the old cliché goes, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” I ran into one of our supporters this week and we got to talking about this project. They wanted to know if this … Continue reading