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  1. The idea that the United States are becoming predominantly not-Christian has been a chronic scare over the course of its existence. The view expressed here in particular is a product of the late 1960s and early 1970s and has been heard all throughout this period. It is the basis for every call to arms by culture warriors. My concern is it does not support calm, clear thinking.

    I’m also skeptical that you can tell a “true Christian” by the litmus tests given here. Throughout most of the church’s history and even today, most Christians have not been regular church attenders, Bible readers, or followers of ethics we would recognize as Christ-like, or as people who “believe in the Bible” correctly. The same can be said of Abraham or nearly any biblical figure. That is because these are very cultural markers modern evangelical protestants recognize, not trans-historical essentials. Plus, people are all pretty bad, hypocritical, or simply prone to change, wander, fall and grow over time. How fair is it to generalize who is in and who is out?

    What is essential? What is the core of the gospel? To me it is that God has become human and shown that all people are equally valued, equally loved, equally identified with Him. But “believing the Bible” to others means supporting very anti-egalitarian policies that are punitive toward others based on essential, intrinsic categories of race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. This is where things really break down today, as it always has in the past: disagreement on what the gospels is and what it implies for our relations to others.

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