Darrow Miller and Friends

The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism

  1. Understanding the Times and Seasons
  2. Gothic Images from Today’s Culture
  3. The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism
  4. The Need for Symbols
  5. The Wilderness
  6. Evil Dwells in the Wilderness
  7. The Habitation of the Demonic (includes audio and video links)

As we have seen in the last blog, we become like the God or gods that we worship. To say it another way, culture follows “cult” or worship, and culture is upstream from social, economic, and political policies and institutions. In addition, we have seen that we live in a season of a rising culture of death.

Reformer Aaron M. Renn’s article on “The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism,” is in my view, a milestone analysis of where the evangelical church is in the larger culture today. Renn argues that in the last 100 plus years, the world has changed dramatically, and over time, the culture has presented three radically different contexts for the church.

From the founding of the nation until nearly the end of the 20th Century, the church experienced the “positive world.” It was Judeo-Christianity that provided the philosophical/theological framework for the nation’s founding and development. Christians were seen in a positive light within the nation. They were generally considered honest, hardworking, and virtuous.

Then, we moved from a Theistic worldview to an Atheistic framework made plausible by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (1859). This theory became a generally agreed upon “fact” and turned into an ideology – Evolutionism. This, in turn, brought a cultural shift that ushered in the Modern world of secularism and materialism. Renn argues that this shift eventually manifested itself in the “neutral world” between 1990 and 2010; in other words, Christians were neither seen positively or negatively by the larger culture. Churches responded by becoming “winsome” and establishing “seeker friendly” cultures that grew into megachurches based around an entertainment motif.

After 2010, with the rise of post-modernism, a.k.a. cultural Marxism and critical theory, the church found itself in a “negative world.” With any major cultural shift, it is wise to ask, “Where has it come from? And where is it going?” We are living in a moment of history that has been going on for about a hundred years and it is now manifesting itself in real time.

The philosophic shift was born in the Frankfurt School of Social Research at Goethe University. There, a group of Marxist scholars realized that economic Marxism would not bring about the massive changes these Atheists wanted to see. They understood that culture was upstream from economics and politics. If you want to change society, you first need to change the culture. So, their ideology became known as Cultural Marxism, Critical Theory, Postmodernism or now it’s popularly known as wokeism.

The world as we know it is being intentionally and systematically destroyed by what Scott Allen and I have called A Toxic New Religion.

Now Judeo-Christianity, the theology and worldview that founded the United States and Western Civilization is the enemy that must be destroyed. Postmodernism rejected the “three books” of Reason, Reality and Revelation that created the West.

With that, the foundations of the West are being dismantled and demolished along with the institutions that were built on those foundations. Orthodox Jews, Christians, and classical “liberals” who believed in truth are despised by these cultural Marxists who are bringing chaos and darkness to the Western World. These Cultural Marxists are obliterating the once honored and cherished culture of the West by:

  1. Rewriting our history and our vocabulary (shifting the meaning of words).
  2. Destroying the basic social, economic, and political institutions of Western Civilization.
  3. Eradicating the nuclear family as the building block of a healthy society.

It is time for believers to wake up and realize that the world has changed, and we now live in a hostile environment with forces that are out to destroy our nations, churches, and way of life. Like Mao’s China, and Stalin’s Russia, they will silence anyone who would seek to oppose them.

One of the things that we will need to oppose this ruthless “religion” will be a new set of symbols. In the next blog we will return to Nathan Stone’s argument that in this negative world, we will need new and powerful symbols.

print this page Print this page

Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Nova Smith

    March 21, 2024 - 11:16 am

    I mean the tendency for churches to do nothing about domestic abuse or support abusers, all while propping up a “wholesome” image does nothing to help our current predicament.

    • admin

      March 26, 2024 - 9:54 am

      Nova, thank you for reading and your comment. Hope all is well with you and hope these blogs are an encouragement.

      Thanks again,