Well, fresh from the Dave Fitch-Craig Carter smack-down at Theology Pub, we City of God bloggers managed to escape unscathed. Here’s proof:
Here are the dueling theologs with Darryl Dash mediating:
Pugilistic kidding aside, I thought it was a fruitful discussion between two knowledgeable theologians who obviously care about the role of the church in culture. Fitch addressed his concerns about evangelicalism’s relationship with broader, Americanized (maybe Republicanized?) society with a plea for a healthy dose of neo-Anabaptist theology to help settle things; while Carter in turn shared critiques of Fitch’s proposal coupled, in turn, with a plea for a robust Augustinianism in the church, focused on the preaching of the gospel.
For my part, I wish that there had been more clearly defined terms. What is an Anabaptist? Historically (though Fitch didn’t seem to think that historical matters were pertinent), Anabaptist is a very hard term to define. Surely he doesn’t want to be lumped in with John of Leiden! I also wished that we had a clearer understanding of what Evangelical means. Why no discussion of Bebbington’s definition?
At the end, Fitch suggested that we all read Scot McKnight and N. T. Wright on the kingdom and the gospel. I would like to see Fitch read more Herman Ridderbos. That, actually, is advice that comes in a round-about way from N.T. Wright who said as much in a debate with Richard Gaffin a number of years ago. That would prove the point I brought up that, aside from pacifism, every concern that Fitch has with Evangelicalism is met by Reformed theology (theoretically, one could be a pacifist and Reformed). His reply to me was that I am really an Anabaptist. Maybe my reply back should have been maybe he’s really Reformed!
He might also do well to read Carl Trueman’s Republocrat and D. G. Hart’s Deconstructing Evangelicalism. With the former, he would find a good argument for why conservative theology does not necessarily have to be wed to conservative politics; with the latter, Hart gives a proposal for doing away with the label of “Evangelical” that is more theologically informed than what I heard from Fitch tonight, and more historically consistent. While he’s at it, he might even want to read Hart’s latest book From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin.