Friday, February 24, 2012

13 Things That Make Me a Lousy Evangelical

Well. First things first, I consider myself Evangelical. But, I figured I'd take a shot at this since Rachel Held Evans did the same.


I often find myself at odds with other Evangelical Christians, and this sometimes manifests itself in caricatures about my beliefs and perspectives. I tend to have some habits about my approach which seems to be non-mainstream:

1. I never err on the side of tradition. I generally question orthodoxy and do not believe it is by nature true. It gets a vote, never a veto.

2. I think inerrancy is a broad term that can include many assorted perspectives.

3. I tend to question God's "plan" for suffering, usually when people chalk up events and offer a spin of said plans to incorporate speculative motives.

4. I tend to get into debates very quickly.

5. I hold to a traditional view of hell, though I strongly differ with other Christians on what "traditional" actually means. My belief on hell is still considered a minority perspective within Christendom.

6. I'm registered as a Republican, though most would consider me a moderate to liberal one. I'm unsold on the death penalty, I think marijuana ought to be legalized (for fiscal and non-personal reasons), I generally mistrust all authority, and would be considered liberal on issues such as immigration and alternative energy. I would be conservative from an economic standpoint as well as abortion.

7. I didn't like Blue Like Jazz or Don't Waste Your Life.

8. I'd vote for a Mormon. Just not the one most people seem to lean towards.

9. Ironically, I'm an exclusivist and think this is consistent with the inclusivist understanding of Scripture.

10. I was once a trinitarian heretic. Of course, I was 7 years old. I still don't understand the trinity, and haven't for over 3 years.

11. I have no issue with sharing DNA with a gorilla. Nor do I believe that Genesis must be understood in a literal sense. I'm agnostic on Genesis.

12. My favorite movie is Sin City. My favorite video game series is Grand Theft Auto. My favorite beverage tends to be between German beers and dark rum.

13. I'm actually comfortable with the label Evangelical, as opposed to many in my generation who prefer "spiritual."

I hope we can still be friends.



  1. "I was once a trinitarian heretic. Of course, I was 7 years old."

    Love this!

  2. Nick, #1 makes you a perfectly typical evangelical. ;)

  3. Typically "awesome" evangelical. XD


  4. i just couldn't resist:

    1. tradition gets a vote, not a veto - i'll second that.
    2. inerrancy... i wish our canonical bible was put together by a prophet or one of the original apostles. nevertheless, i must add: i think our canonical bible is pretty darn good. if textual criticism is the best we have, then the bible is pretty solid.
    3. i believe it's best to realize the human race is sinful and totally depraved, and see all suffering through that lens instead of blaming God.
    4. i avoid subjects that i can't be dogmatic about.
    5. on hell, i'm fine with any view as long as there's punishment for sin. we deserve it after all. i'm also fine with other views, although i don't prefer them.
    6. i'm profoundly conservative in most areas of my life.
    7. i don't like biased and emotional arguments, nor did I like Sin City...
    8. i'd vote for a mormon as long as they're conservative
    9. i believe the dogs will eat the crumbs from believer's tables. i believe they will crave more crumbs. if they don't, then consider the possibility that you're not a believer. (ooh i just opened a can of worms...)
    10. there may not be a single prooftext for the trinity, but then again there's no single prooftext for many doctrines - we arive at those doctrines through extensive biblical exegesis. we call this theology.
    11. i prefer the young earth creation view, but as an apologist in today's world i prefer using other ways of witnessing to agnostics and atheists
    12. my favourite movie is... braveheart!
    13. the term "spiritual" sounds very new age to me, and therefore makes my skin crawl.

    14. (the second can of worms...) just because rachel said it, i include the 14th item here: i would support gay rights only if in doing so i don't empower them to hurt others, just as i would support an alcoholic's rights to binge drinking so long as they don't kill/hurt people on the road. unfortunately the gay rights movement haven't been able to provide such a compromise - read more here:

    as an addition to item 14, go read: "the pink agenda"

    i get the feeling no gay person will ever want to be friends with me, but i'd be happy to be friends with them on the basis that we can agree they won't be judged for a homosexual orientation, only for homosexual acts. there's a big difference.

    for the record, i also hope we can still be friends.