jonathan stone's blog

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is mississippi the center of evangelicalism?

6 comments on “is mississippi the center of evangelicalism?

  1. Don Warrington
    July 17, 2008

    Maybe that explains why the “Mississippi Mafia” is so influential in the COG. (And they know it too!)

  2. mike mcmullin
    July 17, 2008

    I love maps. I wish this one was a little bigger so I could see the counties better. Can I inquire where you found it?

    Does this high density of evangelicalism in the South mean that the Bible belt will need the most attention by missionaries in a post-evangelical society?

  3. jonathanstone
    July 17, 2008

    Don:
    Exactly! I still don’t trust anyone from Mississippi because of that.

    Mike:
    Now you’re thinking like a futurist! We can jump ahead of the trend here I think by anticipating this collapse. Living in Cleveland we appear to be on the fringes. Perhaps a move to Meridian is in order? I ripped the map off of Tally Wilgis’ blog.

  4. Don Warrington
    July 17, 2008

    Mike, your use of the term “post-evangelical” society may need some amplification and clarification.

    If you look at the map, vast portions of the U.S. have a very light evangelical presence. For evangelicals who a) believe they are the entirety and the essence of Christianity, and b) believe that the U.S. is a Christian nation, this map poses some major problems.

    The U.S. has certainly been a predominantly Protestant and Christian nation for most of its history. That sets us up for a “post-Christian” situation. But an evangelical nation? Not really. Vast portions of this country, geographically and otherwise, have been “beyond the pale” of evangelicalism (such as this one. )

    As far as the South is concerned, obviously a “post-Christian” and “post-Evangelical” society would be nearly synonymous. But the South has always gone its own way. After the Civil War, Northerners, nourished by revivalists such as Charles Finney, regarded the slavery-supporting South as needing evangelisation itself. But Protestant Christianity there soon experienced the Fundamentalist-Modernist divide, while the South was transformed largely through its own churches from the Booze Belt to the Bible Belt. Both of these set the stage for the shifting of the centre of American Christianity southward and more towards an Evangelical construct.

    One liberal Baptist scholar is of the opinion that the Southern Baptist Convention–surely the vanguard of Southern evangelicalism–has always been on the wrong side of history. But looking at Southern history should give pause to linear extrapolations. As this piece shows, history areound here doesn’t always move in a straight line. That being the case, which side of the road–and history–you’re on depends on where it has curved to where you’re at.

  5. Louis Morgan
    July 18, 2008

    It is good to know the low level of trust I have attained on this board as a result of being from Mississippi. It gives me much better perspective on my acceptance here. j/k 😉

    Let me just say… I am not sure about Mississippi’s connection with evangelicalism, but I can tell you the closest thing to heaven is located in Mississippi– northwest Marion County and right on the banks of Pearl River. It is called Morgantown. 😀

  6. jonathanstone
    July 19, 2008

    Louis, any town that would name itself after you must be a beautiful place! 🙂

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This entry was posted on July 17, 2008 by in trends and tagged , , , .
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