From evangelical to post-evangelical: a “conversion” story

Over at Faith & Theology, you can find my contribution to the new series, “Encounters with tradition”: from evangelical to post-evangelical. My post discusses the transition—even conversion, of a sort—from a fundamentalist evangelicalism to a broad “post-evangelicalism” (a term I explain at the end of my post).

At the start of my brief autobiography of faith, I list the ways in which I grew up in your textbook evangelical home. In retrospect, I think it works better if I paraphrase St. Paul:
If anyone has reason to be confident in the evangelical flesh, I have more: strong nuclear family, large extended family (presently over 50 first cousins), rooted in Scripture (devotions every night; Bible memory verses at every dinner), committed to biblical inerrancy and a male-female complementarianism (i.e., hierarchicalism), avid believers in six-day creationism, distrustful of anything related to the secular academy, loyal Republicans, Baptist heritage, descendants of Jonathan Blanchard (founder of Wheaton College), homeschooled, raised with strong moral principles; as to zeal, an active leader in our local nondenominational church at every level of ministry; as to devotion to evangelicalism, blameless.
To hear the rest of the story, check out the full post over at F&T.


Nice Pauline adaptation. Although a generation older, I can i.d. with some of your story. My folks were very warm-hearted evangelical Methodists--and so was I until my adolescent rebellion and sojourn to the far country of agnosticism.

But, unlike you, I grew up in an evangelical world in which theistic evolution was assumed. I never met a creationist (I.D. wasn't yet invented) until I went to an evangelical college--and then it took folk 2 hours to convince me they weren't putting me on!
Further, my folks were union folks for generations (I was the first gen to go to college), so we had no Republicans. In fact, when some of my sibs later became Republicans in the '80s, they broke with my family's tradition far more than I had.
And my parents had been bit players in the Civil Rights movement, too. So my encounters with the kind of evangelicalism that included Falwell and co. were quite shocking. When the media began to use the terms evangelical and fundamentalist interchangeably in the '80s, I felt robbed of a term I had always used OVER AGAINST "fundamentalist." Since my denomination was being taken over by fundamentalists at the same time, this was a profound period of loss for me.
D.W. Congdon said…
That's quite a story. I can only wish I had known that other side of evangelicalism growing up. Thanks for sharing that.