Today I direct your attention to Morgan Guyton’s tribute to Rachel Held Evans. Guyton is a Methodist campus pastor on the campus of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He blogs at Mercy Not Sacrifice.
We are living in an age comparable to the 1500’s, when Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press set the stage for the Protestant Reformation by making the Bible widely available for the first time in history, thereby allowing individual believers to circumvent the church authorities who read and interpreted Scripture for the masses at that time and read/interpret things for themselves. In our day, the rise of the internet and the blogosphere have created a space where our authoritative biblical interpreters are not vetted by carefully controlled publishing houses and theological education centers (the vast majority of those who gain authority and influence under this system are white and male, but that’s another diatribe for another day), but by the likes and shares of the masses. Rachel Held Evans was a driving force in this movement.
Many Christians of a more conservative bent see these developments and quake with fear, because to them it looks like 2 Timothy 4:3 (“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear”). In all honesty, I look at 81 percent of American evangelicals unabashedly and enthusiastically supporting a president who is the exact opposite of anything even remotely connected to Jesus Christ, and I think they have it backwards.