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Evangelical culture requires that the people in the know lie to their flock, constantly

An interesting series of posts by Fred Clark here, about how a certain mythology of Christianity is pushed in Evangelical/Protestant circles despite everyone involved knowing that what they are saying is not true.

(Example here: The Second Epistle to Timothy is attributed to Paul, but biblical scholars know Paul was long dead when it was written and yet it still gets attributed to him.)

Secrets and lies and the deeper scandal of the evangelical mind

I think it’s actually worse than that. The culture of expectation and fear Enns describes doesn’t only require certain predetermined conclusions — reaffirmations of a particular party line. It also requires the pretense of affirming some official, party-line conclusions that most evangelical academics know to be false.

It requires duplicity, forcing us to keep certain uncomfortable truths secret or, even worse, to deny in public some things we know to be true and will acknowledge as true in private.
. . .
But this isn’t just a problem for professional scholars and academics. It affects thousands of evangelicals with undergraduate degrees from mainstream evangelical institutions like Wheaton, Calvin and Gordon. It affects every seminary educated evangelical pastor.

Those folks studied things and learned things. And now they know things. But they also know that much of what they know is not welcome, not accepted, in the wider evangelical subculture. So they have to keep quiet, because if they say in public what they know — what they know to be true — they’ll wind up in trouble with members of their congregation or with donors to their institution or with the evangelical customers of their publishing house.

Who wrote 2 Timothy? How old is the Earth? Does carbon trap heat? Does reparative therapy produce “ex-gays”? Is contraception “abortifacient”?

Evangelical scholars and graduates — including most pastors — know the answers to such questions. But they also know what will likely happen to them if they provide accurate, honest answers to such questions. And they are, as Enns writes, “legitimately afraid of what will happen to them if they do.”
. . .