I do not find, on the whole, that evangelicals are prone to unaffected removal from the world. Their world-loving God calls loudly. […] I find a great deal of intense, honest, and communal introspection—a passionate and persistent ambivalence toward the self that is of a piece with their passionate and persistent ambivalence toward their world. If through their self-examination evangelicals maintain hope for personal transformation (without which there is mute despair) and hope for the world’s transformation (without which there is self-righteous apathy), the ambivalence is productive: the beginning of all transformations.
Ok, so here’s another post on eschatology, as it shows up in art, specifically poetry. Harper examines the possibility of an evangelical poet – he makes concessions early in the article for the difficulty in defining an evangelical, although I tend to think of an evangelical as simply a person who holds the basic tenants of Christianity and aims to spread those tenants in her community.
The point of his article is not to define evangelical, but rather what a poet would look like in a typical evangelical community where linear communication is valued – simple, straight-to-the-point-sermons with little room for (mis)interpretation. And then he takes a look at what an evangelical poet would look like in the general literary world.
The quote I posted has to do with this trend that I’m seeing of new hopeful eschatologies, a reaction against the disinterested, disconnected, despair of post-modernism. A reaction, by the way, that I endorse with caution.
What shall we call this new age? Neo-modernism would be the most ridiculous appellation ever. And wrong, too.