Evangelicals Have Been At This Longer than Woke Millennials

Eric Weinstein, of Intellectual Dark Web fame (Bret’s brother), recently tweeted how novel the ideas and language of social justice warriors are:

But for evangelicals, “social concern” has been around for almost forty-five years:

The Lausanne Congress, sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, drew 2,700 peopple from around the globe — at the time the largest-ever gathering of evangelical Christian leaders.¬† The Assembled believers — ministers and lay people, racially diverse, the vast majority of them men — would be part of a singular moment in postwar evangelicalism.

Like all of the major presenters, [Rene] Padilla had pre-circulated a paper, a rather scholarly treatise on the centrality of repentance to Christian ethics. The audience was not surprise, then, to hear Padilla lecture his fellow participants at Lausanne on the sins of the evangelical church, and on its failure — their own failure¬† — to take seriously Jesus’s call to social action. What was remarkable was the controlled fury emanating from the stage. Padilla challenged the room to remember that Jesus had demanded that his followers confront the “darkness of the world”¬† But evangelicals, he pronounced, had focused so long on individual sin that they had forgotten that darkness included materialism, racism, class division, political abuses, and, quoting Reinhold Niebuhr, “collective egoism.” (Melani McAlister, The Kingdom of God Has No Borders, 85)

Of course, one way of looking at this is that evangelicals have been ever consistent in their call for social justice or social concern.

Another is that this is something that regularly repeats itself among Christians who want to immanentize the eschaton because they believe the gospel is not really relevant if it prepares someone for not the present but eternity.

And yet, if this social concern regularly repeats itself, from Walter Rauschenbusch to Rachel Held Evans, why has it accomplished so little (especially now that it has support from mainstream journalists, elite universities, and at least one of the major political parties — not to mention Silicon Valley)?


Now This Would be Funny (or not)

Unlike this:

Tim Keller: (Walks outside on beautiful fall day, inhales deeply, and sighs contentedly) This is such a lovely day that you could never imagine unless you accepted that yesterday was so much more oppressive than you ever dared imagine (and then he sat on the bench at the bus stop to pose for pictures).

Rachel Held Evans: What exactly are you implying about Kathy Keller?

Keller: Umm. Nothing, really. I just am saying that this particular day is pleasant because I get to have lunch with New York Times reporter, Nick Kristof.

R. Scott Clark: You know that bus doesn’t go to Nebraska.

Keller: (Starts walking east on 83rd Street) Why would anyone want to leave the city?

Evans: You don’t know any reporters of color?

Keller: I don’t have to respond to critics. Never have, never will

Does Great Commission Publications Need More Books about Sex?

Christianity Today carries a story that Life Way Christian Bookstores (a subsidiary of the Southern Baptist Convention) is not carrying Rachel Held Evans new book (who is she anyway and does she read Tim Keller?) A Year of Biblical Womanhood (biblicism alert). Evans contends that the reason is her use of the word “vagina.” The report goes on to list books that Life Way does sell and how many times these authors use the v-word:

A Celebration of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy by Douglas E. Rosenau
86 (plus images)
The Gift of Sex: A Guide to Sexual Fulfillment by Clifford & Joyce Penner
73 (plus images)
The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love by Tim and Beverley LaHaye
How to Talk Confidently with Your Child about Sex by Lenore Buth
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All the Fun) by Sheila Wray Gregoire
The Body Book by Nancy Rue
6 (at least in the 2000 edition; LifeWay’s is the 2012 edition and was not available for review)
Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex by Josh and Dottie McDowell
Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll
Every Young Woman’s Battle: Guarding Your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn
Crazy Good Sex: Putting to Bed the Myths Men Have about Sex by Les Parrott
The Language of Sex: Experiencing the Beauty of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham
Sex Begins in the Kitchen: Creating Intimacy to Make Your Marriage Sizzle by Kevin Leman
Nobody Told Me: What You Need to Know about the Physical and Emotional Consequences of Sex Outside of Marriage by Pam Stenzel and Melissa Nesdahl
The Healthy Marriage Handbook by Louise Ferrebee
Undefiled: Redemption from Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships by Harry Schaumburg
The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women by Gary and Barbara Rosberg
And the Bride Wore White by Danna Gresh
Reclaiming Intimacy: Overcoming the Consequences of Premarital Relationships by Heather Jamison
Capture His Heart: Becoming the Godly Wife Your Husband Desires by Lysa TerKerust
The Bare Facts: 39 Answers to Questions Your Parents Hope You Never Ask about Sex by Josh McDowell with Erin Davis
God on Sex: The Creator’s Ideas about Love, Intimacy, and MarriagebyDaniel Akin

The notable aspect of this story is not so much Christians talking publicly about a word used to describe female genitalia as it is the volume of books that Christians write about intercourse. This is all the more glaring since Life Way states describes its first “core value” as:

1. The Bible
We believe the Bible is the eternal, infallible, inerrant Word of God and is the plumb line for everything we say and do.

So while it is controversial in the Convention to use the c-word (Calvinism), female private parts are relatively common depending on who is discussing them.