In Part — the magazine of the Brethren in Christ Church in the U.S. — has just completed a four-part series titled “We Believe,” focusing on the four theological traditions that have shaped and continue to shape the Brethren in Christ Church. The first three installments focused on Anabaptism, Pietism, and Wesleyanism, respectively.
The latest — and final — installment, the fall 2013 issue, focuses on Evangelicalism. Specifically, it details how (for the Brethren in Christ) Wesleyanism represents “Jesus is sending us.” The issue tackles this theological tradition from a number of angles: historical-theological, pastoral/practical, and autobiographical.
As readers of this blog will know, Evangelicalism (specifically in the U.S.) is the theological and historical tradition that I know best — the one that I read about, write about, and (increasingly) speak about at conferences and other seminars. So I was thrilled to hear that In Part was planning to tackle this tradition, one that has clearly influenced our denomination (for better or for worse) but has — unfortunately — been woefully mis-understood and under-critiqued by our people.
My favorite article in the issue is — perhaps predictably — the one that focuses on the history and theology of Evangelicalism in the Brethren in Christ tradition, written by Dulcimer Hope Brubaker. The piece is very balanced — rightly affirming of what Evangelicalism has given to us, rightly critical of how it has corrupted and/or diluted our previous streams of influence. I particularly appreciate its call to continue dialoguing, as a community, about this tradition’s influence on us.
Also worth reading are Ruth Dourte’s description of how Evangelicalism helped her discard the physical emblems of her nonconformity, Nicole Hoover’s moving reflection on her husband’s incarceration, and Michael Shipman’s interesting tale of his church’s quest to be a more embracing community. You can also learn more about the basics of Evangelicalism and check out a brief timeline of Evangelical-related events in Brethren in Christ history.
To read all the articles in the summer 2013 issue, click here.
Readers: What are your favorite articles in this issue of In Part?