William Pannell on White Evangelicalism

pannell

William E. Pannell

I just came across an old 1985 interview with William Pannell, a black evangelical who was a longtime professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. Here he is not mincing words about the ideology of most white evangelicals:

The curious thing in American culture, that [George] Marsden points out in his book, Fundamentalism and American Culture, is that white, North American, conservative, evangelical types have this conflict working: On one hand they want to say that this world is a sinking ship and want to do evangelism to get people off this “sinking ship” before it goes under, and on the other hand they are always voting conservative to maintain their property rights and the status quo. That’s the problem, that’s the contradiction. It is difficult to deal with but it is very real. I think it is a real challenge to the so-called Christian institutions.”

It’s still true. Funny how we manage to be so otherworldly about other peoples’ suffering and so pragmatic about our own interests.

2 thoughts on “William Pannell on White Evangelicalism

  1. A very timely observation from Pannell. I just finished Marsden’s “Religion and American Culture.” His book on fundamentalism is next on my list.

    I found your blog via a tweet from Justin Taylor. Keep up the good work. Racism in the church has been swept under the rug for too long.

    Like

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