Everybody knows that evangelical churches are more theologically conservative and orthodox. And everybody knows that mainline Protestant denominations are liberal and heterodox....
It goes something like this:
1: Find the most liberal theologians you can from mainline Protestant denominations — Tillich! Spong! — and then sketch caricatures of them that make them seem as outrageously liberal as possible.2. Make these caricatures the avatars for mainline Protestant churches, always suggesting that they are typical, hugely popular and influential.3. Cite this outrageous theological liberalism as the cause of mainline “decline.”4. Contrast this mainline liberalism with the orthodoxy of evangelical churches.5. Cite evangelical orthodoxy as the cause of the rapid growth of evangelicalism.6. Lather, rinse, repeat. For years and years and years.
This is propaganda. It’s the shell-game that we evangelicals have been playing for decades now. And it’s a shifty, dishonest trick.Fred, you nailed it.