Saturday, March 31, 2012

"The tendency of American evangelicals, when confronted with a problem, is to act. For the sake of Christian thinking, that tendency must be suppressed."

     Mark A. Noll, The scandal of the evangelical mind (Grand Rapids, MI:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994), 243.
     "Meanwhile, activists condemned the 'ponderous think approach,' wanting to get on with political action already."

     David R. Swartz, "Politics and the fragmenting of the 1970s evangelical left," Religion and American culture:  a journal of interpretation 21, no. 1 (Winter 2011):  102 (81-120).  This is much funnier in context.  Swartz may not have intended it to, but the comedy just builds and builds.  Take this, for example:  "But even after most in the evangelical left had come to a consensus on gender equality, many found dilemmas of gender roles difficult to navigate.  Among Post-Americans, who tried to promote mutuality by sharing household duties, gender conflict nonetheless prevailed.  According to member Jackie Sabath, the 'deep reservoir of conscious and unconscious attitudes and behaviors we had accumulated throughout our twenty-some years of being either male or female' contributed to the collapse of its intentional community" (93-94).  "'our twenty-some years of being either male or female'"?  One gets it eventually, but is tickled at first.  And especially in the context of the narrative of a history of such (in this case not just evangelical but typically leftist) condemnations and ultimata.

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