In Consuming Jesus, Paul Metzger argues that the evangelical movement needs reform.
How did we get to the current situation in the evangelical church? Metzger argues that three historical themes converged to make us who we are:
- Anti-intellectualism – a fear that “head knowledge” will cancel out “heart knowledge” which has led to an activistic, populist, pragmatic, and utilitarian movement
- Antipathy toward the “social gospel” which has led to antipathy toward social engagement
- A form of pre-millennial eschatology which promotes a pessimistic view of cultural engagement because it anticipates escape from a world that will be destroyed, leading to a focus on saving souls for heaven rather than mending a sinking ship
Each of these is worth exploring. Some of this overlaps with what Keller said in the talk that I mentioned last week.