Critical histories of evangelicalism, or modern culture (or whatever else) are super illuminating and helpful. But these histories, themselves, need to be read critically. Be alert to:
  1. Assertions of causation where correlations are found;
  2. imputation of motivations;
  3. explaining the reason for theological beliefs largely by sociological/psychological concerns (mainly used of views the author is critiquing);
  4. lack of balancing considerations of various kinds;
  5. anachronisms that draws too close a connection between values/people/institutions of the past and present… or create too wooden a division between things of the past and present;
  6. too much dependence on the large explanatory frameworks (around class/social imaginary/sin/race/gender/the Enlightenment etc);
  7. what is and isn’t established by the evidence (sometimes a lazy look at the footnotes alone can be revealing).

ABOUT XIAN REFLECTIONS

Xian Reflections is written by Mikey Lynch.

Mikey graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Arts in 2002. In 2000 he became one of the founding leaders of Crossroads Presbyterian Church where he was the lead pastor for 7 years from 2003.

Mikey now works as the Campus Director of the University Fellowship of Christians, University of Tasmania, Hobart. Mikey is the chairman of The Vision 100 Network (Tasmania) and a founding director of Geneva Push (national) – both church planting networks. He is also a chaplain at Jane Franklin Hall and the chairman of New Front Door: the Church IT Guild.

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