David Brooks is one of my favorite writers, thinkers, columnists, and any other category I can put him in. In this piece he lays out what I am already familiar with: why white American evangelicalism is a hot mess.
What is more interesting for me, though, is his hope. He finds the stories of those who walk in hope as they cling to Christ. This is where I want to live in these tumultuous days.
Amid the storm, new coalitions are gradually forming, across many different kinds of Christians, among those whose eyes have been opened, who are rethinking old convictions, who are meeting and mobilizing in the hopes of renewing the evangelical presence in America. “As someone who struggled for three years with hopelessness and despair,” (Thabiti)Anyabwile tells me, “these last couple of years have been a rekindling of hope.”
I think he’s right. Hints of Christian renewal are becoming visible.
Keys to renewal:
Breaking ranks and rethinking. Places many of us thought we would be for life have failed us and we’re finding new spaces as we cling to Christ. I have gone through massive shifts in thinking and then walking in deliberate choices that has moved me from old spaces into new.
Bearing witness. I cannot be silent about abuses and systemic problems. Many are far more vocal than I am. I have to bear witness to issues and problems that exist so that what is wrong is exposed and healing can then be offered.
The social reorganization of American Christianity. Brooks says this: Denominational differences are becoming less important. People who used to be in different silos have been prompted by the turmoil to find one another and seek common cause.
Racial justice and reconciliation is an example of coming out of our silos and finding common cause for a deep issue in our nation.
Brooks lays out more areas for reorganization and renewal. It helps me to keep reaching for hope as I cling to Christ.