As usual there has been a lot of ink spilled over a book by an atheist who went undercover as an evangelical who came out the other side with some empathy for the common believer. Our church and state issues have never been about the average John and Jane Believer. The issues come up and the anger boils because John and Jane remain silent while their leaders stir things up and cause the problems.
As one conservative blog post noted:
Reading Welch’s interview makes you wonder if perhaps those “objective” media people who rain fire on evangelicals ought to immerse themselves a little more. Welch felt she learned a little about how evangelism doesn’t have to be hostile:
Evangelism seemed invasive to me. I thought of it as an imperialistic arrogance — that they wanted to overpower people. My experience with evangelism was something very different. They felt that they could do something about the eternal suffering of others. I came to see evangelism instead as a kind of empathy. That made me feel like there was something in it I could respect.
For her part, Time’s Olofsson seemed skeptical that Welch would actually find nice, sincere people in the “enemy” camp…
So while noting that the atheist admitted she was wrong to paint with a large brush, the author of the blog post saw no reason to return the favor. At the end of the post they wrote this:
Welch clearly had a problem with “homophobia” in the church she investigated. It wasn’t explained how Jesus would have favored “gay marriage.”
We have once again seen where a public face of evangelical is at odds with the actual everyday evangelical in practice yet the average evangelical stays silent.
There might be more understanding and less hostility if angry evangelicals would go undercover in an atheist group and see how we aren’t all brainwashed and angry either.