Philip Yancey is one of the great writers out there, and he more than anyone else tends to have his pulse on the evangelical mindset. His writing is both intellectually stimulating and academic, but personal and accessible to a reader. In his latest article in Christianity Today, A Quirky and Vibrant Mosaic, he explores the many facets, and multi-dimensionality of evangelicalism.
This mosaic often poses a challenge to evangelicalism and Christians who are looking for homogenity in every facet of belief, practice and doctrine. While some recoil from this variety, many embrace it, and tend to see this mosaic as one of evangelicalism’s strong points.
From my own experience, I attended a seminary, and am going back to graduate school again, to Fuller Theological Seminary, where there are over a 130 different denominations represented on campus. This makes theological education very interesting when you are sitting in class next to students who might be a Quaker, a Presbyterian, a Baptist, a Pentecostal, and a non-denominational. Everyone has different opinions on everything, but I think that is what enhanced my education. Some want to come out of seminary indoctrinated with all the right beliefs, but I enjoyed my experience of learning from this big mosaic. This mosaic is going to be even more prevalent in the coming decades as Christianity thrives in many countries outside of the US, where beliefs and practices tend to be very different than your typical non-denominational Bible church.
Yancey paints a good portrait of this group of people who are so hard to classify.