Apr 19, 2023
* Guest Bios
* Show Transcript
Evangelicalism was once known for its theological convictions, like the centrality of Scripture and the need for personal conversion. Now, it’s known for Trumpian politics, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, megachurch scandals, and grift.
Clearly, it’s a movement in crisis. And according to New Testament scholar Constantine Campbell, if the movement doesn’t correct course, it’s in danger of becoming shipwrecked.
In this latest podcast, Dr. Campbell, author of Jesus v. Evangelicals: A Biblical Critique of a Wayward Movement, critiques evangelicalism using Scripture as his standard. And he shows that it’s not Christianity that’s failed in this present age. Instead, it’s evangelicalism that’s failed in recent times to behave Christianly.
For example, Jesus taught his disciples to win the culture by making disciples. But today, evangelicals are trying to transform culture by gaining political power.
Similarly, evangelicals today rail against some sins, like sexual immorality or perversion. But we wink at equally, or even more pernicious sins, like pride and arrogance.
Those grieved by what we’re seeing in the church will surely be encouraged by this podcast. In discussing what’s wrong in the church, Dr. Campbell also describes what it would look like to do things right and to truly follow the example of Jesus. Dr. Constantine Campbell
Dr. Constantine Campbell is Professor and Associate Research Director at Sydney College of Divinity. He is a New Testament scholar, jazz musician, and the author of several books, including Jesus v. Evangelicals: A Biblical Critique of a Wayward Movement. Dr. Campbell also teaches jazz performance at The Australian National University. Show Transcript
JULIE ROYS, DR. CONSTANTINE CAMPBELL
JULIE ROYS 00:04
For many evangelicals, evangelicalism and Jesus are one in the same. But according to New Testament scholar, Dr. Constantine Campbell, that’s no longer the case. The movement is in disarray and unless evangelicals correct course, they’re in danger of shipwrecking their faith. Welcome to The Roys Report, a podcast dedicated to reporting the truth and restoring the church. I’m Julie Roys. And today Dr. Constantine Campbell, author of Jesus versus Evangelicalism, A Biblical Critique of a Wayward Movement, joins me, and if you’re a regular listener to this podcast, it’s not going to come as any surprise that evangelicalism is in trouble. But what Dr. Campbell does so well is explain why what’s being modeled in evangelicalism is antithetical to the gospel. To quote G.K. Chesterton, “It’s not that the Christian ideal has been tried and found wanting. It’s been found difficult and left untried”. For example, Jesus taught His disciples to win the culture by making disciples. But today, many evangelicals are trying to change the culture by gaining political power. Similarly, evangelicals today railed against some sins like sexual immorality, or perversion, but many wink at equally or even more pernicious sins, like pride and arrogance.
Friends, if you’re aggrieved by what you’re seeing in the church, I believe this podcast is going to encourage you. Yes, we’re going to be talking about what’s wrong in the church, but in doing so, Dr. Campbell describes what it would look like to do things right and to truly follow the example of Jesus. I’m so excited to share this podcast with you.
But first, I’d like to thank two of our sponsors, Accord Analytics and Marquardt of Barrington. In your ministry, your business, your reputation is your most valuable asset. But what do you do when you suspect misconduct? Hopefully, you do the opposite of many of the organizations I report on. Instead of covering up wrongdoing, you investigate it, and Accord Analytics can help. In just 72 hours, their team of experts can scour emails, call logs and other records to produce usable evidence. They also can analyze your organization to identify specific threats and to suggest best practices. For a free consultation go to ACCORDANALYTICS.COM. Also, if you’re looking for a quality new or used car, I highly recommend my friends at Marquardt of Barrington. Marquardt is a Buick GMC dealership where you can expect honesty, integrity, and transparency. That’s because the owners there Dan and Kurt Marquardt are men of integrity. To check them out, just go to BUYACAR123.COM. Well again, joining me is Dr. Constantine Campbell, a New Testament scholar, author, and documentary host. Dr. Campbell is a Professor and Associate Research Director at Sydney College of Divinity in Sydney, Australia. He’s also the author of several books, including his latest, Jesus versus Evangelicalism, A Biblical Critique of a Wayward Movement. So, Dr. Campbell, welcome, and thanks so much for writing this book and for taking the time to join me today.
* CONSTANTINE CAMPBELL 03:08
Oh, thanks so much for having me. Julie. It’s great to meet you and speak with you today.
JULIE ROYS 03:12
Well, I feel the same way. And I’m honored that you referred to The Roys Report several times in this book, it’s always just super, super encouraging when we see the impact of the work that we do, not just here in the US, but in Australia, too.
* CONSTANTINE CAMPBELL 03:28
It’s so important. I mean, I can’t think of another ministry really like it. Just so important to be keeping churches and church leaders accountable. And not in a sort of policing kind of way, but in a way that has genuine concern for the church. I just think it’s so important, and I’m really thankful for the work you’re doing.
JULIE ROYS 03:47
Well, thank you for saying that. It is a joy to speak with you. To get to our topic, I don’t think it probably comes as a surprise to anybody that’s followed my work that evangelicalism is, as you say, a wayward movement, a movement that’s lost its moorings. Yet, It’s sad to speak of it that way because I know historically and for me and my family, which goes back many generations of following the Lord, evangelicalism has been known as a movement that really is about vibrant faith in Jesus Christ. And so, I think that’s hard to come to grips with. But I think any evangelical who really loves Jesus has to admit that that’s what it at least is becoming, or in fact, has become, and you even call it perhaps a pseudo-Christianity. What led you to the conclusion that we are in this state?
* CONSTANTINE CAMPBELL 04:41
Well, you know, as you say, it’s difficult for anyone who has really identified with the movement that we call evangelicalism. It’s difficult to sort of stand back and critique it. For a long time, you know, I became a Christian as an adult in an evangelical church and I was trained in an evangelical seminary, and my entire academic career has been teaching in evangelical institutions. And that label that badge means so much to the people who wear it, who use it. And nevertheless, as you say, these are very troubling times for evangelicalism. And what tends to happen here in Australia is we say, oh we’re not that sort of evangelical. We say, well, they’re the Americans, or they’re this sort of evangelical, we’re another sort. But the reality is, that distinction really doesn’t mean very much to anyone who’s not inside the movement. And even within the movement. A lot of people don’t really understand what the label is supposed to mean, you know. A lot of people think it just means evangelistic, rather than a set of theological convictions or a way of being a Christian. But I sort of came to this point of critique, I touched on it briefly in the book, but kind of as a quiet critic over the years, since I’m a biblical scholar in New Testament in particular, there’s so many opportunities when we’re looking at the text of Scripture with students to be thinking about, well, there’s hear what the Bib…