quick glance at the religious, political and socioeconomic landscapes of the United States easily reveals steeply increasing divisions and polarizations. Is your state blue or red? Do you identify yourself as "right" or "left," Republican or Democrat? Are you earning more than $1,000,000 or less than $200,000? Do you value more or less government regulation in health, finance, environment, and security?
In American Christianity, the trend of dichotomies is equally prevalent. Are you pro-gay or anti-gay, pro-life or pro-choice, conservative or progressive? Do you view science through the lens of evolution or creation? Are you more inclined to watch "Life of Brian" or "The Passion of the Christ"? Do you long for a Christian nation or for the separation of church and state? And so on.
Myself, I've come to believe that the differences among American Christians can be boiled down to one fundamental theological difference -- about hell. Specifically, do you believe that hell is a matter of the afterlife, or do you believe that hell is a reality in the earthly life? (Some of us believe in both, yet one or the other consistently takes precedence in our outlook on life.)
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