Et in Acadia Ego

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Acadia.jpgAs I head off for another week’s R&R (with at most intermittent blogging) before the semester kicks in, one last reflection on Saddleback. Even for congenital skeptics, it has been hard to resist the prevailing storyline about the expansion and transformation of white evangelicals from footsoldiers of the religious right to a many-splendored faith community of varied policy commitments. That more than anything else, accounts for the media reaction to John McCain’s rolling into Rick Warren’s den and laying down a couple of boilerplate pronouncements about the beginning of life and Supreme Court justices who legislate from the bench, and win a big hand. Golly, evangelicals are pro-life after all.
It will be more than a little interesting to see how Warren handles his emergence as a truly national media figure. As is clear from his post-forum interview with Dan Gilgoff, he is not going to permit himself to read out of the conservative evangelical world as squishy on abortion. At the same time, he will continue to insist on civility and advance the big-tent view of evangelicalism. As the tectonic plates of American religion shift, big-tent evangelicalism is becoming the normative form of American Protestantism. And Warren is making a bid to be its main man.
Have a good week!

  • Rob Winslow

    What’s the truth of the claim that McCain was not in the “cone of silence,” but rather on his way to the church building as Obama was questioned? Is this, or is it not, another example of Republican dirty tricks–that McCain was forewarned of and able to be coached on the Warren questions?