I am done trying to convert people from the old ways – it is time to live into the new ways.

Nearly 20 years ago I attended the Billy Graham School of Evangelism and even over the last 10 years, as my faith has changed, adapted, expanded, and evolved, I have labored to help those who wanted a bridge to a new kind of faith.

In the past, I have held a deep sense of obligation to help those who were asking questions to get a sense of how things were assembled … or for those who were in transition to find a landing spot for their new conviction.

I didn’t want anyone to get left behind. We live in a time of constant change and fluid social settings. I always tried to account for various perspectives and to give a generous a framework as I could imagine.

I am satisfied that I have done that well.

No longer will my primary concern be explaining the faith and providing access points for those who want to understand. I have left a substantial bread-crumb trail for those who are looking to migrate.

Starting in 2019 my primary concern will be professing faith that works in the 21st century and postmodern context.

I am retiring from evangelism and moving to profession – from apologist to professor.

It takes a lot of energy to account for and attend to the various perspectives and then to frame them and present them in a way that any genuinely interested person could gain access. It has been a wonderful 10 years and it has been a very formative experience.

I will now put my energies toward a constructive and innovative project where my primary concern will not be translating or explaining for those who believe a different way … but professing a forward-leaning faith for those who are interested.

I am done trying to convert people from the old ways – it is time to live into the new ways.

Here is the upside: because Protestantism (in general) and Methodism (in particular) provide me an already assumed structure  – complete with content, praxis, and institutional frameworks … I will be free to play off of the as-is always/already and put my energy into the:

  • Playful
  • Irreverent
  • Creative
  • Poetic
  • Whimsical
  • Melodic
  • Critical
  • Ironic (and at-times)
  • Transgressive

I am moving from being a builder who feels obligated to provide a constructive apparatus for those who are migrating and need a completed faith that they can live in (which is now available), to an artisan or song writer or analyst.

This is a big shift for me.

I have spent the last 10 years honoring, explaining, translating, and mediating between the Evangelical world of my upbringing and the new constructive, philosophical, and diverse approaches of the late 20th and early 21st century.

Those who have wanted to make the migration have largely done so – I leave them to be the new translators, practitioners, and guides. Evangelicalism has changed even more than I have in the last 10 years. It has become something in its contemporary manifestation that I barely recognize from my youth. [1]

I have thought about this long and hard. I am at peace with this change. I am confident of the timing. The reality is that Evangelicalisms is a closed-system (or what system theory would call a ‘bounded set’). It is has its own borders, its own gatekeepers/guards, and its own internal logic.

I will still be available to help those who are genuinely asking for clarification but I am retiring from the business of attempting to convert anyone.

I want to thank you all for the support and feedback during this journey. If you unsubscribe, I bless you and wish you well. If you choose to continue on, buckle up … some changes are in store.

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[1] Evangelicalism (and its charismatic offspring) has its own operating system (based on inerrancy) where the Bible becomes a science text book, a history book, a counseling manual, a financial spreadsheet, an explanation of world religions, a road-map to the future, and guide the end-times/afterlife . The evangelical operating system is incompatible with nearly any other program that you might seek to run. It is an all-or-nothing- machine.

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