I’ve given my theory of Christian Middle Earth (CME) so many times that I can’t remember who’s heard it and who hasn’t. So I thought a post on it was long overdue.
In over-simplified terms, Christian Middle Earth is that realm between actual biblical scholars (people with real credentials who write for peer review — and mostly write for themselves) and the largest realm, the local church, where serious biblical content is like a Bigfoot sighting. CME is home to the prophecy teaching circuit (think John Hagee or Jonathan Cahn, or Planet X nonsense), charismania (think Bill Johnson or Benny Hinn), Christian conspiracy talk (aliens, nephilim, and UFOs are part of the end times; the Catholic church is hooked up with the Illuminati), Bible codes, Christians who believe in a flat or hollow earth, etc., etc.
Christian Middle Earth has a lot that’s wrong with it. Three-quarters of what gets taught there doesn’t have a prayer of being correct. But it has one important thing going for it. It’s filled with Christians who desperately want content — so much so that they venture out to teach themselves via the Internet and YouTube. They haven’t quite the faith or trying to learn Scripture. CME is all they know since the real scholars aren’t producing material for them in a deliberate way. I admire them, but CME is often soul-crushing for a scholar.
I first coined the metaphor and spelled out the theory on Canary Cry Radio, hosted by CME “traffic cops” Gonz and Basil. Here’s a 12-minute audio segment (MP3) from that episode that helps explain the metaphor. Enjoy!