Just Asking?

In “God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revoltuion” (New York: Basic Books, 2010) Thomas S. Kidd identifies five religious ideas that “connected far-flung and widely varied Americans” (p.6) of the Revolutionary era. First, the disestablishment of state churches. Second was the idea of a “creator God as the guarantor of fundamental human rights'(p. 6). Third, human sinfulness was a significant threat to human polity. Fourth, most Americans of that era recognized that a “republic needed to be sustained by virtue” (p. 8). Finally, both deists and evangelicals agreed that “God – or Providence…- moved in and through nations” (p. 8). The rest of Kidd’s book is a thoroughly researched and entertaining read describing the role of religion in the creation of and sustaining of the Revolutionary fervor that ultimately created the Unite States of America.

What has been nagging me over the past few days and weeks, though, is this question: How have we (I mean evangelical believers) simply drifted into irrelevance in recent political decisions. Reading Kidd’s work (and his biography of Patrick Henry) I am struck by the power of the pulpit in that era. This morning on Tim Challies blog he referred to an article Dr. Mohler had written several years ago on the state of preaching in the evangelical church (http://www.challies.com/quotes/the-state-of-preaching). Has our pulpit power been diluted by the context of the culture….or by the transformation of the role of the pastor? In other words, have we as pastors, allowed our preaching ministry to suffer so that we might become more able administrators, more gifted leaders and visionaries? I am just asking…


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