Evangelicals and Pentecostals, now in the Mainstream, are not as rough around the edges as their fathers. They’ve moved their window dressing up nine floors. They’re not quite so fundamentalist, so dogmatic, so doctrinaire, so old. As I look back at the battles my father fought with an eye toward my own future, I can’t honestly say I’m happy to see all the errors he fought go, if it means my generation swings to new extremes.
Maybe the Hell Houses and fire baptizers are finally ignored as irrelevant, but will the prospects of no hell and closet tongues leave us any better off? Maybe we’re laughing at the old, but averting our gaze from the new silly hubris. What good are theology and doctrine if they don’t serve to empower the Church into being for others?