Gina Welch at the Zoo

Over the weekend, I watched @GinaWelch interviewed by Richard Metzger of the LA Times, and I thought it worth passing along. The discussion of her book In the Land of Believers is very interesting, though Metzger reveals some astonishing naiveté about evangelicals. Metzger suggests, for instance, that evangelicals would make America into a theocracy if they could—which is really ironic given that the notion of separation of church and state derives in part from early American Baptists. Southern Baptists today also believe in “the separation of church and state,” not theocracy. Apparently, Metzger thinks secularism and separation are synonyms. He’s wrong, and Welch politely disagrees with him on that one.

Metzger also frames a question that suggests evangelicals are what they are because they have a lower IQ than progressives. Welch disagrees with him on that one as well, though she does think that evangelicals tend to value education less than progressives.

Probably the chief irony of this interview, however, came from Welch herself. She suggests that evangelicals have a fear of “the other” (i.e., non-repentant sinners) because of their insularity from the wider culture (by which I think she means elite, progressive culture). It seems to me, however, that the insularity goes both ways. Coastal elites can be just as insular as what she observes among some evangelicals. That fact is the premise that makes her book work.

If you’re watching this interview as an evangelical, don’t be surprised if it makes you feel a little like a caged animal at the zoo. Metzger gawks warily at the dangerous and exotic beast, wondering what will happen if it ever escapes. Kind of creepy. Anyway, interesting interview.

[I wrote a review of Welch’s book In the Land of Believers last week. Click here to read it.]

5 Responses to Gina Welch at the Zoo

  1. Lucas Knisely March 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Nice video. It almost gets comical how smug and out of touch he is. He keeps expecting certain things to be true about Evangelicals and Conservatives that she refutes by actually being around them and having conversations with them. I think he proves through his own arrogance and disconnection with the real world that he is more insular than the low IQ uneducated evangelicals he is so scared of.

  2. Ben March 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Denny,
    I would be interested to know how has Thomas Road Baptist church responded to Gina Welch’s confession. My understanding is that Ms. Welch joined the church. If that is true, how has the church responded to her deception?

  3. Andrew March 30, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Can someone inform them that we’re not that isolated and not afraid of them… It’s almost comical how little they really know about the church.

  4. Nathan March 31, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    It’s the church’s responsibility to make themselves known rather than the other way around. So, if “they” don’t know about Christ and the church, then the church isn’t doing its job – teaching, preaching & making disciples. BTW, I realize that some people are willfully ignorant of the Gospel and reject honest attempts by individuals representing the church to show them the truth.

  5. Jason April 4, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    I’m reading the book right now. It’s really quite fascinating. I like her questions about child evangelism! I’m glad she’s seeing the disconnect of not baptizing infants yet immediately pronouncing a child saved because they said a sinners prayer. It’s sad that that’s part of the vernacular as well…sinner’s prayer. Makes me wish she could see the substance of what that sinner’s prayer (which is never mentioned in the Bible) is supposed to represent – THE GOSPEL.

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