What We Learn From the Extreme May Surprise Us or, An Interview with Emily Hunter McGowin on the Quiverfull Movement and American Evangelicalism

Who will win the first GOP debate lottery? We will know soon. The Donald is sure to be there as he continues to poll in the lead all the while holding a mirror up to the political condition in America.

The Mirror of the Extreme

Today Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC, will interview Jeb Bush and host a video interview with Marco Rubio. Talk about holding up a mirror. One wonders how this will play. I am betting quite well.

What would happen if we stopped long enough to survey fringe movements and discovered the way we talk about a given subject may actually foster said extreme? How would this work if we surveyed an extreme movement that is part of American Evangelical Christianity? What would we see in the mirror?

Privatized Faith, Privatized Families

What would happen if we learned that the phenomenon of the Nones included an ideology that shunned community? We regularly read of those disenfranchised by modern forms of church. What if we in the midst of all those numbers and reports someone decided to inquire of those whose vision of church grew so narrow they opted for something more private, their families?

Low Church/Free Church streams within Christianity may inadvertently lay the groundwork of a move to Family Church. Think about it. The ever independent ethos that pervades American culture, and adopted by Christians who tend to splinter over so many secondary things, may actually hold more a key than the failure of good music and good preaching.

Someone needs to take up that study. Ed Stetzer?

Complementarity Without Hierarchy

Gender issues remain at the forefront of Christian practice, or not. Some view the matter as settled. Others long for a move past patriarchy that seems rooted in another day, if not an intentional move to shutter the context of certain biblical passages.

Those who oppose egalitarian visions of gender roles in the church fear an androgynous church. Everyone is Pat. However, what if the matter were hierarchy and not difference?

Welcome Emily

This week on the podcast I am glad to host Emily Hunter McGowin. Emily just turned in her PhD dissertation to the University of Dayton. Her interest led her to research the Quiverfull movement. The object is not to engender scorn and derision but to unearth the practices of those committed to this small Evangelical Christian movement. Her interest is understanding what comprises the faith practices of the women involved in the movement.

Take some time to listen to her discoveries and observations. We all may take a second look at those on the fringe we mark off as wacky. We may end up seeing ourselves in the extreme.

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About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.