Evangelical Christianity continues to be a patchwork quilt—a pretty messy one to say the least.
Look at the emergents and the young Reformers and the church-growth gang and the house-church advocates and the ancient-future "priests" and the Pentecostals and the institutional evangelicals (the National Association of Evangelicals, InterVarsity, the Navigators, World Vision, Christianity Today International, and so on), and you'll see what looks like a school playground—lots of cliques, and not much interaction between them.
We often long to return to the time when evangelicals were of one mind and heart. But such a time never existed. To be sure, the Internet has fractured us to an even greater degree, and has allowed us to coalesce around even more narrow concerns (pro-environment, anti-immigration, high-church, tattooed, left-handed evangelicals unite!), and to argue with un-likeminded evangelicals across the great electronic divide. We talk—no, mostly shout—past one another. Very few places remain in our subculture for us to "reason together" about the great issues we must face.
Hoping against hope, Christianity Today is trying to be such a place, and we have the quixotic notion that this can strengthen the spread of the gospel. We not only try to report on a variety of movements within evangelicalism, we also feature voices from diverse perspectives, from Rob Bell to Chuck Colson, from Jim Wallis to John Piper, from Donald Miller to J.I. Packer.
A number of vital issues divide our movement: gospel priorities, biblical interpretation, social justice priorities, the theology of church, the meaning and manner of evangelism, and so on. These disagreements—some of which are deep and serious—do ...1