I was in Albuquerque last week with the folks from Red Letter Christians, most of whom are firmly evangelical (if mostly on the progressive end). Looking around that room, it was readily apparent to me that I no longer find myself in the Evangelical Christian camp. (The Evangelical Christians decided that for themselves years ago.) From simple cultural markers like their use of only masculine pronouns for God to doctrinal positions they hold, that room was no longer my theology, nor my anthropology.
But it used to be. I grew up evangelical. I “got saved” when I was 14. Got re-baptized at 16, just in case the first one didn’t take. And while I am clear that is no longer where I find myself, Evangelicalism nurtured me and fed me for the first 25 years or so of my life. I learned about Jesus there. I learned how to be me there. And while not everything I learned there was good, some of the things I learned there were very good, and finding myself mostly in Mainline and secular spaces these days, I find I miss those things.
So, in keeping with my desire to catch people doing things right, I had started making a list of those things for this post. But then the post got really long, so I decided it needed to be a couple of posts. So this week and next, I have another three posts planned about what the Evangelicals taught me that I miss, and that I think the rest of the church could learn from.