November 21, 2017
Stand up for Christianity in the face of evangelicalism’s mess
To the editor:
Dr. De La Torre’s opinion piece (“The death of Christianity in the U.S.”) is striking not for its harsh tone, but for its intellectual laziness. He sloppily conflates Christianity — a religion over 2,000 years old — with the irresponsible, shortsighted behavior of contemporary American evangelicalism over the last few decades. His analysis of evangelicalism’s shortcomings is accurate, but his conclusion that these shortcomings have killed Christianity in America doesn’t follow. Dr. De La Torre seems a smart enough man; he should know better.
Retitle the piece “How American evangelicalism divorced Christianity” and write something other than, “See, look how bad things are!”, and I’m sure Dr. De La Torre would garner the unqualified support of many people like myself: Christians who are angry and disenchanted with the evangelical church we grew up in. The thousands of signatures on the Liturgists Statement’s condemning the Nashville Statement suggests that there are many of us out there, critically thinking about how we can build a future church that has learned from the profound mistakes of the Jerry Falwell Jr.s and Franklin Grahams of today.
It takes no bravery to point out the obvious, as Dr. De La Torre has. American evangelicalism is obviously off the rails. What does take bravery is standing up for Christianity even while evangelicalism’s old guard make Christians look dumber and dumber by the day. A person of Dr. De La Torre’s intelligence should commit his mind to supporting those of us who are trying to find something to stand for amidst the mess, rather than writing articles declaring that, yes, of course, there is a mess.
David Hicks, Shanghai, China