Category : Newsletter Blurb
Hi. Been pondering about things a little and came across this from Rodger E Olsen…
My experience is that the richer and more educated we evangelicals and Baptists become the less likely we are to really believe in or expect miracles. We relegate the supernatural to the inner world of persons believing that God can change people’s hearts, but we do not really believe God intervenes in the physical world. Yet the Bible is full of examples of God’s interventions in the physical world, it commands us to pray for such, and evangelical (and Catholic) Christians in the Global South almost all believe in and pray for God’s miraculous interventions—especially in healing the sick… I suspect our contemporary evangelical avoidance of the supernatural in the physical realm of reality has little to do with intellectual questions and issues. I suspect it has more to do with wanting our religion to be respectable; above all we don’t want to be viewed by the world around us as fanatics. The abuses of the supernatural seen on cable television cause us to drop it entirely. But, as the old saying goes, the cure for abuse is not disuse but proper use. We have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
Over the years of teaching theology I have made a point of interrogating Christians who come to America to study theology from Africa, Asia and Latin America. I ask them about their view of American Christianity. Normally they are very reluctant to open up and say what they really think. But when I give them absolute freedom to be totally transparent they often say that they are shocked by American Christianity—including evangelical Christianity—because of its individualism, consumerism and lack of belief in the “spiritual world” by which they mean the supernatural. I, too, am shocked by these conditions of American evangelicalism.
What do you think? Have a great day, Kevin