I just finished reading Warren Cole Smith’s book A Lover’s Quarrel with the Evangelical Church, and wanted to post a few thoughts about it.
It’s easy to find books that critique American evangelicalism. It’s not so easy to find books that do it with the kind of rootedness in history, tradition, and theology that Smith has. He skillfully points out several pathologies that infect much of American evangelicalism:
- An unmooring from historical theology and tradition that has resulted in a “new provincialism.”
- A triumph of sentimentality over reality.
- An inextricable connection to the “Christian-industrial complex” that is more interested in selling merchandise than living out the gospel.
- A “body count” philosophy of evangelism that counts numbers of “decisions” and people in a building instead of true conversions to Christ.
- A wholly uncritical acceptance of mass media and video and broadcast technology as philosophically neutral.