“Evangelical Paradox # 1”
(Evangelical) Christian history in the United States of America is a narrative of redemption and conflict, but not a story of reconciliation and unity. The notion of redemption here is often portrayed as spiritual, but the narrative of conflict is social and interpersonal. Evangelical theologians accentuate the significance of the Gospel as spiritual transformation; yet they jettison the social aspect and responsibility embedded in the content and message of the Gospel to manage/solve conflict and achieve reconciliation and unity.
Theologically speaking, redemption just like the concept of biblical justification and justice has both a spiritual & social dimension. Evangelicals emphasize the former while undermining the power & value of the latter. Contemporary American Evangelicals must admit these are deep “Gospel problems” of our times that need to be resolved. Gospel issues are also social and human problems that need to be diagnosed, effectively treated, and taken seriously.
The practical truth is this: American Christians or Evangelicals have never been reconciled socially and interpersonally; hence, the promise of Gospel unity, interracial harmony, & ethnic bonding in society and Christian circles and Churches will continue to be delayed.
The attitude of American Christians toward redemption & conflict resolution & their unwillingness to alter their ways and behavior to support one another and promote the dignity of all people will continue postponing the manifestation and empowering presence of the the Spirit in their lives and his cleansing intervention to heal their deepest wounds.