03/14/2007 07:38 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Preaching Revolution

I've got an article in the magazine In These Times this week. (Buy it and support In These Times, which is a non-profit. The issue hits newsstands today and includes a great article by Barbara Ehrenreich too.) You can read it online here.

My article is about a rising movement of "revolutionary" evangelical Christians. "Revolutionary" is not my word, it's theirs. George Barna--the Stan Greenberg of the Christian Right, with clients like James Dobson and Billy Graham--estimates there are 20 million of these "Revolutionaries." It's a complicated topic, and I couldn't do it justice in one short article--look for more posts here on this in the future.

This movement blows away a lot of the excuses the left makes for itself at the expense of American people. These preachers are filling churches with a challenge to sacrifice for the dream of making a whole new world (here on Earth, not in heaven). They're asking people to change their lives in ways that go far beyond switching to florescent light-bulbs or voting--they're asking people to turn their lives upside down in service of the poor and oppressed, and to overturn "systems of oppression". Rather than running away, people are flocking to these churches and building incredibly powerful communities based on liberation.

The church I focus on in my article attracts 10,000 West Michigan suburbanites each Sunday. It meets in what used to be shopping mall. They've converted over the WHOLE MALL--with shops now serving as Sunday school classrooms and meeting spaces for events throughout the week.

You really need to flush all the stereotypes you might have about Bible-based Christian churches out of your mind in order to understand what these folks are up to. I've tried to capture something of what they're about in the article, so please do check it out.

(Also check out a post I wrote here last year about this movement.)