From the U.S. News and World Report (selected paragraphs):
What would Jonathan Edwards think of suburban Chicago’s Willow Creek Community Church, where every weekend some 17,000 congregants arrive in their Chevy Tahoes and Toyota minivans to worship in the enormous brick-and-glass auditorium? More specifically, what would the 18th-century Puritan preacher who penned the fire-and-brimstone sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” make of “seeker-friendly” services that use “drama, multimedia, and contemporary music” to serve “individuals checking out what it really means to have a personal relationship with Jesus”? Gazing across the packed rows, would Edwards recognize the modern face of the religious movement that he played such a key role in launching… …particularly since 9/11, evangelical notions about God’s special covenant with the American people have contributed to a quasi-religious nationalism that casts America as the chosen nation engaged in a righteous struggle with evil… Evangelical scholars and intellectuals especially lament the decline of the evangelical mind since the generation of Edwards. During the last century in particular, says Wheaton College’s Noll, “Christian reasoning as a whole, through use of the Bible, theology, and doctrine, simply hasn’t measured up. The scandal of the evangelical thinking is that there is not enough of it, and that which exists is not up to the standards that Edwards established.”
A fascinating and somewhat disturbing article.