Newsflash: Non-Evangelicals Are Non-Evangelical

First Challies became alarmed that he might have mistaken Bonhoeffer for an evangelical (he is very popular among evangelicals for, you know, being against Hitler and so on). It turns out that evangelical hagiographies of Bonhoeffer might not have jibed with what the actual man was like – a German swimming in German textual criticism and holding positions that would upset many an evangelical today. At the end of the post Challies seems like the kid confronting Shoeless Joe Jackson after the Black Sox scandal, “say it ain’t so, Dietrich.”

Now I see that Kevin DeYoung is really upset about C.S. Lewis’ explanation of the atonement as presented in Mere Christianity. He also warns that Lewis might have some kind of inclusivist/universalist bent. As is often the case with DeYoung’s writing, he never explains why his position (penal substitutionary atonement) is the only correct one, just that someone else doesn’t agree with it and is therefore wrong and a threat to sensitive Reformed minds everywhere.

If I had to pick two European non-evangelical Protestants that American evangelicals love, it would have to be Bonhoeffer and Lewis and yet here we are with the shocking reports that it turns out that non-evangelicals from another continent believe different things about Christianity than evangelicals! Now, I suppose that there is nothing wrong with pointing how your theology is different from someone else’s theology or even arguing that yours could be superior to theirs, but there seems to be an innuendo (particularly on the part of DeYoung) in these posts that reading about other versions of Christian theology is dangerous.

It reminds me of the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa decides she is a vegetarian and there are all those “Independent Thought Alarms” hidden around the school. I sometimes wonder if DeYoung is going to start outfitting his office and church with them.