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The Death of a Personal Savior

I've been thinking about this topic for a while, but this recent essay from Laura Turner, daughter of megachurch pastor and author John Ortberg, crystallized things for me - uniting together what I had seen traveling the country last year interviewing primarily conservative Christians for my book, Red State Christians, witnessing the death and destruction of so many Evangelical giants, and feeling inside myself that something was deeply amiss in American Christianity and also that something new was rising in its place.

I am Turner's age, 34, and while I share some of her remembrances of Evangelical teenage culture (yes I did attend a day-long purity retreat that was an excused absence from public school) I've also spent much of my time on the sidelines of Evangelical culture. After all, I went to seminary and was ordained in a mainline denomination (Lutheran). Unlike many of my fellow female Christian writers, my dad wasn't a pastor. Actually, he kind of hated the chur…

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