James Wellman's fascinating Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest compares and contrasts evangelical and liberal Protestant (or mainline) churches along the Washington and Oregon coasts. Wellman's study was driven in part by his interest in religion in the Pacific Northwest, a region that boasts the lowest per-capita church affiliation in the nation, with 63 percent of the population not affiliating with any religious institution. Furthermore, this is a region that is predominately urban, very educated, maintains a median income level above the national average, and has in recent years voted overwhelmingly Democratic....All of these factors, Wellman believes, should guarantee the success of liberal Protestant churches. But they have not.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this study was Wellman's reflection on how his research had influenced him as a Presbyterian minister and professor of religion. "I began by sharing some of the biases of liberals toward evangelicals," he writes. "But through my research I have come not to agree with evangelicals but to respect the power of their convictions and the perseverance by which they serve one another, their communities, and their world. Evangelicals, in this study, put their feet and their resources where their mouth is." This is not to say that liberals don't. However, evangelicals have a far clearer sense of community and mission....For all of these reasons, evangelicals are winning the clash of Christian civilizations, not just across the nation, but even in the Pacific Northwest.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 11:36:22 PM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.