How to See Our Differences as Opportunities

Collin Hansen | May 5, 2015


So that we don’t squander hope, you and I need a new narrative to understand our debates in the church and engagement with the world. Since at least the late 1800s and early 1900s, American Christians have been preoccupied with the battle between fundamentalists and modernists. This struggle has sought to situate Christians along a spectrum where they tend toward one side or the other. Depending on your perspective, modernists either update Christianity as necessary for a changing world or sell out the fundamentals of the faith for popularity. As for fundamentalists, they either defend Christianity in a hostile world or consign their neighbors to judgment. You could try to make peace in the no-man’s-land at the middle of this battle, but that only means both sides shoot at you as they aim for their enemies.

I can’t muster much sympathy for the modernists, whose project has destroyed the very churches it has purported to save. When you lose the distinctive doctrines of Christianity—starting with the resurrection of Jesus—you lose everything. But I reject the narrative that offers only these two solutions to our problems. And I resent the skepticism that pushes Christians toward one pole or the other. Consider the…


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