In this month of Thanksgiving, there is much for which to give thanks to God. In addition to the life, breath, and everything else that God has given us in Christ, there are specific kindness that God has given to us at Christ Over All. There is the ongoing contributions of old friends writing new articles, the new friendships emerging at places like the Evangelical Theological Society, and the testimonies coming from Canada, Germany, and America, that our content is hitting its mark. And then there is the prayerful and financial support that Christ Over All has received from friends of this ministry.
For all these graces, we give thanks to God!
Indeed, we have a Father in heaven who is the source of every good and perfect gift. And in the last few months, he has shown his faithfulness and grace to us in multiple ways. With his gracious provisions in view, I want to share a few things in this Intermission—things visible, things less invisible, and things coming visible.
Things Visible: November’s Engaging Evangelicalism
If you have been paying attention to Christ Over All during the month of November, you will have noticed a historical progression. At the beginning of the month, we began a slow march through the decades of North American Evangelicalism. Through two longforms, thirteen concise (and not so concise) articles, and three podcasts, we traced the key persons, events, and institutions of the last one hundred years. From the time of J. Gresham Machen and the Fundamentalists of the 1920s to Tim Keller and the Young, Reformed, and Restless movement of the 2010s, we attempted to show the best (and sometimes the worst) of evangelicalism.
Indeed, all who have watched the progress of evangelicalism have seen that the unity enjoyed by neo-evangelicals under the aegis of Carl Henry, Billy Graham, and Fuller Theological Seminary did not last past the 1970s. Instead, with debates related to inerrancy, and then men’s and women’s roles in the church, and most recently by things that go by the name of “wokeness,” evangelicals have splintered in a myriad of directions.
Along the way, there have been strong renewal movements, but there have also been trends moving more negative directions. In the past few decades, Evangelicals have left the “positive world” and “neutral world” and have entered into the “negative world” stage—to borrow Aaron Renn’s taxonomy—we have seen Evangelicals shift along the way. In our attempt to trace this history and engage it theologically, we have sought over the last month to capture many of these features and to evaluate them biblically and theologically for the sake of the church. And for all of our contributors, we give thanks to God for their insights and biblical fidelity.
If you didn’t catch the articles of this month, you can find the full index below, followed by the podcast discussions:
- The State of the American Evangelical Church By Stephen Wellum – If 100 Evangelicals took a basic theology test, how many of them would pass? The answer? Call the fire station, because our house is officially on fire.
- What Would Francis Schaeffer Say to Today’s Evangelical Church? By Ranald Macaulay • Longform Essay – Two words: “true Truth”. . . and the rivers of implications that flow from this mighty waterfall. Read what Schaeffer would say from his own son-in-law, Ranald Macaulay.
- What Is Faith? How J. Gresham Machen’s Call for Doctrine Informs a Century of Evangelicalism By Paul Kjoss Helseth – When the new Ligonier Survey shows that there’s something rotten in the pantry, J. Gresham Machen speaks from the past and tells us how to recognize and remove what no longer belongs.
- Evangelicalism in the 1940s and 1950s By Jeff Straub – How did Christian evangelicalism split with fundamentalism, and what did the evangelicals go on to do? Read and learn about the roots of a movement and some of its key leaders.
- Reflections on Evangelicalism in the 1960s–1970s By Fred G. Zaspel – What year did TIME magazine list as “the Year of the Evangelical,” what is the ICBI, and what seminary began during this time? Learn about the shaping influence of these decades for Evangelicalism.
- A Reflection upon Pragmatic Evangelicalism in the 1970s By C. Berry Driver – Does a person just need to “let go and let God” to reach the victorious Christian life? Is the Christian an eagle among turkeys, only held back by his “miserable sinner” mentality?
- Evangelicalism, Whence and Where? By Brad Green • Longform Essay – Where has Evangelicalism come from, and where is it going? Join Brad Green on his personal journey into the movement, and learn some roots, fruits, and lessons along the way.
- Evangelicalism in the 1970s and 80s—Scripture’s Inerrancy and Errant Evangelicals (Part 1) By Ardel Caneday – What is the common thread between the “Battle For the Bible,” “limited inerrancy,” the “Year of the Evangelical,” and two professing “born again” presidential candidates? The pivotal year that forever changed the Evangelical landscape.
- Evangelicalism in the 1970s and 80s—Scripture’s Inerrancy and Errant Evangelicals (Part 2) By Ardel Caneday – What is the difference between “limited” and “full” inerrancy? Did God God inspire the human authors to write falsehoods as a form of divine accommodation?
- The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church By David Wells – David Wells spoke prophetically to the church in his day, and his voice still carries to our own. Read an excerpt from this important address.
- Inerrancy and Its Impact on Evangelicalism: A Personal Reflection By Tom Nettles – How did the larger battle over inerrancy decades ago affect the life of a seminary student who would eventually become one of the foremost baptist historians in our present day?
- My Two Decades among the Young, Restless, Reformed – Part 1 By Jeff Robinson – What was the YRR movement, and what was so sweet and happy about it? Read part one of a two-part series that praises and prods this unique movement.
- My Two Decades among the Young, Restless, Reformed – Part 2 By Jeff Robinson – What is the YRR movement, and what is concerning about its current state? Read part two of a two-part series that praises and prods this unique movement.
- Black Liberation Theology and Woke Christianity By Samuel Sey – What’s the difference between black Liberation Theology and Woke Christianity? And how did Calvinism find its way into the mix?
- Evangelicalism from 2000–2020 By Mark DeVine • Coming November 30 – Who were some of the leaders of reformed Evangelicalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century? And what storm clouds would eventually break open?
- Evangelicalism in the 2020 and Beyond By Mark DeVine • Coming November 30 – What happens to Evangelicalism after Ferguson, Trump, MLK50, Coronavirus, George Floyd, Critical Race Theory, immigration flashpoints, identity politics, and widespread sexual confusion? Read this sobering assessment of Evangelicalism’s immediate past and future.
- “What Would Francis Schaeffer Say to Today’s Evangelical Church?” Interview • Ranald Macaulay, Stephen Wellum, David Schrock – What is the Evangelical Theological Society, why was it started, and what purpose does it have today? Listen to a team of Christ Over All contributors giving their thoughts on the good, the bad, and the ugly of what is likely the largest regular gathering of evangelical scholars in the world.
- “Evangelicalism, Whence and Where?” Interview • Brad Green, Ardel Caneday, David Schrock – What happens when three scholars/churchmen talk about 100 years of evangelicalism in 42 minutes? Listen in to this insightful and edifying conversation to find out!
- Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) Roundtable: Ardel Caneday, Brad Green, Trent Hunter, David Schrock, and Steve Wellum – Listen to Ranald Macaulay (Francis Schaeffer’s son-in-law), Stephen Wellum, and David Schrock as they discuss Schaeffer, evangelicalism, and of course, true truth.
Things Less Visible
In addition to the podcasts, longforms, and essays that we published online in November, the editors of Christ Over All enjoyed a great time of fellowship at the Evangelical Theological Society in Denver, Colorado. This included meeting some of our writers (present and future), spending time with some of our readers, and simply checking in on the state of evangelicalism at this year’s annual meeting.
While in Denver, we recorded a podcast about ETS. (You can listen here.) We also hosted an impromptu fellowship, which included sharing David Wells, The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church and monogrammed notebooks. Face-to-face meetings prevailed, and allowed us to make many plans for the new year. Indeed, while in Colorado, we sketched out our calendar for 2023 that will, as the Lord allows, address things like the theology of Genesis 1–11, the role of men and women in the church, the exegetical support for Progressive Covenantalism, and this little thing called Christian Nationalism. Maybe you’ve heard about it?
Indeed, there are many things brewing at Christ Over All, and we give thanks to all those who have helped us and supported us in this new endeavor. If you have questions, or comments, or ideas, feel free to drop us a note.
Things Coming Visible
Finally, as we turn the corner from November to December, we prepare for a new month with the new theme—namely, Christology for Christmas. While October and November have taken on some polemical matters, complete with A Christian Manifesto and evangelical engagement, we want to finish the year meditating on the good news that is Christmas.
Indeed, over the next month, we have recruited some excellent biblical scholars (e.g., Jim Hamilton, Thomas Schreiner, Nicholas Piotrowski) and Christian theologians (e.g., Kyle Claunch, K. J. Drake, Keith Goad) to join us in writing a series of Christmas meditations that will consider various biblical themes, biblical passages, and theological concepts, all of which relate to Christ’s Advent.
Indeed, if you are a pastor, teacher, or a serious student of Scripture and theology, you will want to stay tuned as we think carefully about Christology this Christmas. As I will share next week, pastors should take Christmas as a time to teach their people things like the Extra-Calvinisticum, the hypostatic union, and eternal generation of the Son. To that end, we will provide help in December.
Our prayer is that God would edify the church with the evergreen content we produce. And to that end, we ask that you would pray for this ministry and support this work financially, as the Lord allows. We can only do this work with the generous help of our friends. Especially on a day like Giving Tuesday, if you have been edified by our content and want to join us in building up the broader church, we would invite you to support our labors—all for the glory of God.