“I Don’t Recognize Their Piety”

I heard an evangelical leader say this a few weeks ago with respect to liberal protestants, and it further convinced me that posture, as much as belief, is what distinguishes evangelicalism from the historic mainline. I’ve heard mainline leaders say the same thing about their evangelical counterparts.

The posture of evangelical prayer is expressive, warm, personal, and rooted  in the cadences of New Testament epistles. Mainline worship is senatorial, polished, and sounds out the prophetic tones of King and Oscar Romero as much as Amos and Hosea.

To evangelicals, mainline preaching is Biblically illiterate and more about culture than Christ.

To mainliners, evangelical worship is overly emotional.

Of course, posture not only expresses belief but shapes it.