“How can Christians support Donald Trump?” by Diane Winston, Religion News Service, 12/17/18.
…While conservative white evangelicals are a significant voting bloc and, as such, command cultural cachet, they’re not monolithic. Millions of evangelicals, notably those who aren’t white, didn’t support Trump.
The evangelical world is more complex than news coverage of Jerry Falwell Jr. and Franklin Graham would suggest. A handful of white conservative leaders, even if they don’t all agree, isn’t representative of American evangelicalism’s breadth.
That’s why a group of scholars, including evangelicals, former evangelicals and non-evangelicals who are black, white and brown, met regularly this fall to discuss and develop a typology that would describe the complexity of American evangelicalism. Those discussions eventually led my colleagues and me at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California to create a short guide on the varieties of American evangelicalism.
Illustrations classify five types of American evangelicalism. Image courtesy of USC
…The guide breaks evangelicals into five groups: Trump-vangelicals, Neo-Fundamentalist Evangelicals, iVangelicals, Kingdom Christians and Peace and Justice Evangelicals.
We used three sorting criteria.
First, each group shares a basic agreement on evangelical theology. Second, they each understand themselves as existing within the larger tradition of American evangelicalism, whether or not they refer to themselves, their churches and other organizations as “evangelical.”
Third, their theology motivates how they act in the world, including social and political activities, and their attitudes toward people who do not share their faith.
Trump-vangelicals are the most visible inheritors of the religious right’s mission to make America a Christian nation. The majority of this group is white, but some Latinos, Asians and African-Americans also belong. Many are not just concerned with electoral politics but also see their work as preparation for the Second Coming. Members stay connected through educational and media networks, including Fox News, and look to men like James Dobson, John Hagee and Franklin Graham for leadership.
Fundamentalist Evangelicals share the same worldview as Trump-vangelicals but cite moral and theological reasons for not supporting the president. However, they appreciate Trump’s making good on their agenda, and many voted for him, some holding their noses.
Unlike the Trump-vangelicals, neo-fundamentalists strive to be politically pure, motivated only by Christianity’s teachings. Notables include Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention and Tony Evans of the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas.
iVangelicals, the largest division of American evangelicals, belong to megachurches. Mostly white, they also include Latinos, Asians and African-Americans. Though socially conservative, they are more concerned with church life than politics. Social change, they say, comes from individual conversion: people need to be saved before political structures change. Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston represents this group, as do T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House Church of Dallas and the leadership of Hillsong.
Kingdom Christians are the most racially and ethnically diverse of the groups. Churches tend to be urban and hyper-local, and members are active in their communities, working for grassroots changes that mitigate human suffering. Because of their local orientation, few leaders are nationally known.
Peace and Justice Evangelicals make up a small but growing movement of older leaders, mostly white men, and young adherents who are racially and ethnically diverse. Though many are pro-life, they part company with other evangelicals by focusing on issues such as racial justice, gender equality, immigration reform and “creation care” — what the rest of America calls environmentalism.
Read more at … https://religionnews.com/2018/12/17/how-can-christians-support-donald-trump/