Hubris And How We Attained It (Whatever 2)

Long post alert! Some things just can’t be explained briefly.

Last week I posted the first of a multi-part series discussing worship in the independent Evangelical church settings like our own. I discussed what I believe is the fatal flaw of worship in many Evangelical churches. That flaw is a propensity toward man-centered worship where we view worship not as a something we do in response to the revealed truth of God in the presence of other Christians, but as a worship experience we manufacture to help us express how we feel in a given moment. This month, I want to examine the historical roots of the trend of populist Christianity in America. By populist Christianity, I am referring to a way of shaping Christian practice so as to appeal to the masses with little or no regard to historic Christian practice, and a simplistic understanding of scripture. This trend toward populism is profoundly American. While there is much positive in it, there is also an inherent danger in it we need to address. In writing this essay, I’ll be drawing on multiple resources I’ve read over the years, but will primarily refer to The Democratization of American Christianity by Nathan Hatch.

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