Ep 29: Has evangelical become a dirty word?
Trump-supporting fundamentalists or radical social reformers?
Episode 29 of Eternity‘s podcast With All Due Respect
*Content warning: In the Marge & Dave section of this episode, the Netflix series discussed contains sexual assault.
For argument’s sake: where we take a debate, cut out the party politics and try to talk it out
Evangelicalism: is it on the nose?
“To own the name evangelical is a difficult thing to do in public these days … It perhaps means what fundamentalist meant 15-20 years ago,” says Michael.
Megan clarifies: It’s often equated with being a Trump voter.
So what does the term evangelical actually mean and how does it apply to Australian Christians today?
Mentioned in this segment:
- What is an Evangelical?, National Association of Evangelicals (using evangelical distinctives of historian David Bebbington)
- NAE, LifeWay Research Publish Evangelical Beliefs Research Definition
- Lifeway Research Many Who Call Themselves Evangelical Don’t Actually Hold Evangelical Beliefs
- Joel Osteen – American pastor, televangelist and author
- Hymn And Can it Be That I Should Gain
- 12 ways to be a true evangelical
- Australian College of Theology’s June 2019 Nexus magazine (edited by Megan Powell du Toit)
- Evangelicals: Who They Have Been, Are Now, and Could Be, Mark Noll (Ed), David Bebbington (Ed), George Marsden (Ed) – coming soon
Be our guest: opening up the conversation to others
Stuart Piggin and Australian evangelical history
Winner of the 2019 Australian Christian Book of the Year award, Stuart Piggin, knows more about the true history of evangelical Christianity in Australia than most. He has been at the forefront of religious history study in Australia for more than three decades as Director of the Centre for the History of Christian Thought and Experience at Macquarie University (2005-16) and Head of the Department of Christian Thought of the Australian College of Theology.
On accepting this year’s award for his book The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740-1914 – written with Robert (Bob) Linder – Piggin said that we’ve “got our Australian history terribly wrong … Jesus has been everywhere in Australia: in every community there are stories of him everywhere.”
On the release of his second book in the series, Attending to the National Soul: Evangelical Christians in Australian History, 1914-2014, Megan and Michael chat with Stuart about the massive impact of evangelicals on our nation.
Mentioned in this segment:
- Stuart Piggin’s books (written with Robert D. Linder): the award-winning The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740-1914 and the newly released Attending to the National Soul: Evangelical Christians in Australian History, 1914-2014
Glossary – Michael has been using big words again:
- Hegelian synthesis: the philosophy of 19th-century German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel which says there is a higher stage of truth that combines the truth of a thesis and an antithesis.
- Egalitarianism: the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
Marg and Dave: reviews from two people obsessed by stories, but not always the same ones
*Content warning: this section of the podcast discusses sexual assault.
Michael leads us into the murky depths of the Netflix true crime series Unbelievable, starring Toni Collette. A dramatisation of the 2008-2011 Washington and Colorado serial rape cases, Unbelievable follows “Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the two detectives who followed a twisting path to arrive at the truth.” The miniseries is based on the 2015 news article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape“, written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong.
So what does this series say about the role not only of faith but of evangelicalism in society? Listen in to this episode to find out.
Also mentioned in this segment:
- This American Life podcast Anatomy of Doubt
- Article Unbelievable: Netflix Shows Christian Faith at Work
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We got the idea of our two-header theology and culture podcast from this show: The Movie Show/At the Movies.