Saturday, August 2, 2008

Kicking Back to Go Forward

Michael Spencer, the "internet monk", has long defined himself as a "post-evangelical" In an old post at » Blog Archive he defined post-evangelical as:
... Post-evangelicalism is a way of relating to the present seriously compromised, perhaps terminal, condition of evangelicalism by accessing the resources of the broader, deeper, more ancient Christian traditions that contemporary evangelicalism, in its pragmatic idolatry, has largely abandoned as sources and influences.

Please note that post-evangelicalism isn’t a rejection of evangelicalism, but a rejection of the current way of doing evangelicalism and being evangelical.
By that definition, I qualify as "post" also. But I think I also qualify as a "post-charismatic." By that I mean that I embrace continuing spiritual gifts and supernatural ministry, but reject most of the style, hype, "wierdness," and emotional manipulation of the charismatic world.

The answer is also similar: going deeper into Scripture and the legacy of past generations for resources to move into the future with a deeper and more authentic spirituality. Leonard Sweet used the image of a child on a swing, who must kick back in order to get the momentum to go forward. I think we must kick back into Scripture and history in order to go forward into authentic effectual ministry. But unlike that child on a swing, I want to actually go somewhere!

Update: Definition of "Post-Evangelical" at Theological Word of the Day.