How Will Protestants Maintain Orthodoxy In A Changing America?

It is now clear that orthodox Protestants, specifically evangelicals, do not own the country. Whether they ever did is a matter for debate; that they thought they did is indisputable. It serves to explain, for example, the rather odd (from an English perspective) American evangelical habit of telling other people for whom they should vote and declaring that any who disagree are thus rendered damnable sinners. On this score, Jerry Falwell Jr. and David French are two sides of the same coin, functions of an evangelical culture where a kind of moral absolutism applies even in the voting booth. But voting is a nasty, dirty business, an act of fallen people in a fallen world, an unavoidable trade-off of evils. Sure, one must do it as one’s civic duty. Yet one must do so in such a way that one can live with one’s conscience thereafter. And no one should presume to bind another’s conscience in this matter, neither the Falwells nor the Frenches of this world. Indeed, voting might be the one thing in life that makes the loss of penance as a sacrament in the Reformation seem perhaps regrettable. At least Catholics can go straight from the voting booth to the confessional to ask for forgiveness.

…First, as the terms of membership in society’s officer class change, those who value their social status will likely change too. I anticipate that the standard “personally opposed but publicly supportive” argument that has served Catholic elites so well for so many years will become a standard part of the elite Protestant playbook, replacing the current penchant for specious “third ways.” It will, of course, only be selectively applied when necessary to slough off the practical implications of embarrassing points of orthodoxy—such as those connected to sexuality—which might interfere with club membership. Do not expect its power of absolution ever to be extended to those who voted for Trump or who reject critical race theory. Read More»

Carl R. Trueman | “David French and the Future of Orthodox Protestantism” | November, 25, 2022


Heidelberg Reformation Association
1637 E. Valley Parkway #391
Escondido CA 92027
The HRA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!