Beyond Fundamentalism & Cultural Captivity
REORIENTING EVANGELICAL PROTESTANTISM
One day last year I was drinking hot chocolate with your Editor in a small café in Berkeley. As one might expect, we soon began swapping anecdotes about our experiences. This led him to suggest that I should share some of my pilgrimage with you.
At first I demurred, insisting that the Christian world is already surfeited with first-person accounts by celebrities and spiritual leaders, and I certainly did not qualify on either count. I maintained that it would be arrogant of me even to consider such an undertaking.
But your Editor convinced me that I should put my reservations aside and jot down a few remarks. Besides, since I was passing the mid-century milestone in my life last year, I had to admit it was a natural occasion to pause and reflect on things that had touched my existence.
The details of my personal biography are of no great significance. I was born in Chicago of parents who had left smaller towns to find their fortune in the big city. Neither had any college education. My paternal grandfather was an immigrant Belgian coal miner (hence my Walloon name) and my maternal grandfather a Presbyterian minister. During World War II my father, who was a clerk and eventually an office manager, took a job in Washington state at a top-secret defense plant known as Hanford Works. It turned out to be part of the atomic bomb program, the Manhattan Project, and Dad stayed on as a permanent employee until his untimely death in 1965. Growing up in the atomic city of Richland, I was literally a child of the nuclear age.
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