“Have you heard this podcast going around Christian circles?” My friend asked, referring to the Holy Post Podcast, Why We’re Divided & Positive Pluralism with Bob Roberts. Full disclosure, I have not listened to it. But Roberts references The Splintering of the Evangelical Soul, by Christianity Today Editor in Chief, Timothy Dalrymple, which I have read. My friend continued, “I have a close group of Christian college friends where this divide is blatantly evident. I would be curious to hear your thoughts as I think it is a big issue facing the Church.”

Dalrymple frames the issue in his lead:

New fractures are forming within the American evangelical movement, fractures that do not run along the usual regional, denominational, ethnic, or political lines. Couples, families, friends, and congregations once united in their commitment to Christ are now dividing over seemingly irreconcilable views of the world. In fact, they are not merely dividing but becoming incomprehensible to one another.

This blog is too short to cover all the issues Dalrymple raises in his 3000-word article. But I can tell you three fundamental things that are missing. And without those fundamentals, evangelicals have no center.

First and foremost is Christ and his gospel. But we immediately have to ask, whose Christ, whose gospel? Is he the Jesus of the New Testament who created the world, came to die a substitutionary atoning death for sinners, rose from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of God?[1] Is he the head of the body, the Church, the firstborn from among the dead, who has supremacy in everything?[2] Is he the same Christ who said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”?[3]

The first thing that is missing is the centrality of Christ. Is he the Christ that Christians must obey, or is he only someone whose opinion we should consider? Dalrymple says the “sense of commonality grew increasingly strained as groups not formerly identified as evangelical came to be lumped together, defining the category “evangelical” less in theological terms and more in social, cultural, and political terms.” But “Evangelical” divorced from its fundamental theology is not evangelical at all.

The second thing that is missing is the influence of our sinful nature.[4] Dalrymple talks about how desire and experience shape our “plausibility curve” but makes no mention of the spiritual forces shaping our desires.

“The heart has reasons reason knows not of.” When our sinful nature wants something, and it always wants something other than God’s way, it will cling to any rational explanation for abandoning the Biblical Worldview.

One college course questioning the authorship and authority of scripture is not enough to unravel a young believer’s moral code unless that code was already under assault by the sinful nature.

The third missing piece, already alluded to, is a commitment to the Biblical Worldview that flows from a commitment to the authority of scripture as inspired by God. Our world and everything in it, including humankind, was created good. But men and women rebelled and brought all of life on earth under the curse and fell into bondage to sin. That is the source of all of our problems. Christ’s mission, and thus the mission of his Church, is to redeem what was lost: men, women, children, civilization, and the earth. He will return one day to restore all things and bring all who oppose his righteousness to account.[5] We should analyze every social, moral, ethical, political, and personal issue through that rubric. Without that, evangelicals have no common ground, only the vagaries of experience and whichever information stream we tap on a given day.

As John Stonestreet often says, evangelicals need to walk and chew gum at the same time. If we subject everything we hear to the Lordship of Christ through the biblical worldview, we will arrive at conclusions that upset right and left, moderate and progressive, but we will be faithful to Christ.World News Group avoids these extremes and holds itself accountable to the biblical worldview. Its process for doing so is very well-defined. They write as people who know that they will give an account to God, and it shows. I commend them to you.


[1] Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 4:10.

[2] Colossians 1:18-20.

[3] Matthew 24:35

[4] Romans 7:18

[5] Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:9-11

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