“1984” and the Protestant Reformation

As the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is upon us next year, my thoughts are going toward Orwell’s 1984 and the church. There are uncomfortable parallels that keep popping up as I am rereading 1984 for the second time this year.
Churches refusing transparency, the manipulation of language, the prominence of the single charismatic leader, the false theological wars fantasized, the increased power of propaganda to brand, and the neglect of serious biblical/theological education which put the tools of analysis and discernment into the hands of the laity all track with some of the themes Orwell is concerned with in the political arena.
The Evangelical Protestant church of which I am a part needs ongoing conversations about such matters as it reflects, reforms, and visions. I hope these intentional conversations emerge. I hope grassroots laity engage and intellectually engage their church leaders about trends and traps.

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