Evangelicalism was great--for its time.
For a growing number of Christians weaned on modern evangelicalism, the subculture and absolutism that accompany the dogma no longer fit. When asked, "Are you a Christian?" we find ourselves responding, "That depends on what you mean by Christian."
Dave Tomlinson, a rather "outside-the-box" Anglican priest in London, caused a major stir in the UK in 1995 with the release of The Post-Evangelical. We North Americans werent ready for his book then. But now, almost a decade later, large numbers of North American believers are finding it increasingly difficult to classify our faith, especially into terms like "evangelical," " liberal," or "conservative."
Could there be something else? Something new?
This is not about a cloaked move to liberalism. Or a full-frontal dive into relativism. Instead, The Post-Evangelical actually represents a step toward, rather than away, from ones evangelical roots, exploring controversial topics such as:
· Inerrancy of Scripture: Looking at the Bible as Gods story
· Truth: How do we know it, or can we know it?
· The World: Can we actually enjoy ourselves while down here?
· Liberal vs. Conservative: Getting beyond labels
For some this will come as a dangerous threat - proof that were surely on that clichéd "slippery slope.". For others, the many whove been wondering if theres a version of Christianity to which they can still ascribe, these words will come as a refreshing and potentially surprising relief - an "Im not alone" oasis. Either way, the thoughts on these pages will bring about feisty discussion and reflective thought."
"For some," says Dave Tomlinson, "The post-evangelical impulse does not necessarily imply a move away from Christian orthodoxy or evangelical faith though it does for some. Rather it demonstrates that in order to remain true to a tradition, we must come to terms with its changing cultural context so that an authentic expression of that tradition can be found you have to change to stay the same, as Maggi Dawn puts it in The Post-Evangelical Debate. Yet experiencing change can be uncomfortable and confusing.
Maggi suggests that post-evangelicals may sometimes share the experience of Topsy in Uncle Toms Cabin: How can I know what I mean until I hear what I say? The Post-Evangelical was an attempt to articulate the experience, thoughts, and feelings of post-evangelicals, as well as to help them understand, refine, and critique their experiences.
The Post-Evangelical was always intended to be the beginning of a journey, not the end. The book is, in fact, a pastoral essay directed at people who struggle with the restrictions in evangelical theology, spirituality, and church cultureyet who still want to journey with the Christian faith.
The Post Evangelical by Dave Tomlinson was published by SPCK in July 2014 and is our 27443rd best seller. The ISBN for The Post Evangelical is 9780281073092.