The article that Becky mentioned in her comments was not near as long as I had expected, so it was a breeze. I will post the essence here:
Forgiving love is a possibility only for those who know that they are not good, who feel themselves in need of a divine mercy, who live in a dimension deeper and higher than that of moral idealism, feel themselves as well as their fellow men convicted of sin by a holy God and know that the difference between the good man and the bad man are insignificant in his sight. St. Paul expresses the logic of this religious feeling in the words:"With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not thereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord." [1 Corinthians 4: 3-4]When life is lived in this dimension the chasms which divide men are bridged not directly, not by resolving the conflicts on the historical levels, but by the sense of an ultimate unity in, and common dependence upon, the realm of transcendence.
So it got me thinking some more about this. I'm not going to have time today to write what I intended but just to start.
I was thinking though about the fundamental issue that we all face, and which I think is the deepest value of our soul, that is the desire to feel significant. Some of the methods of feeling significant are; a) knowing something that others don't and acting as their teacher (like the Gnostics), b) seeing yourself on the higher moral ground than others, c) accomplishing something that few others have (Guinness Book of World Records catalog these people), d) being rich (money gives us significance . . . so we believe), and e) being famous . . . I could go on.
But my point is, I don't think evangelicals are in touch with this primal draw of human behavior. They are emotionally dishonest to the point that they see it as a true issue of "knowledge" (doctrine in other words) and a true issue of morality. So, it is scary trying to hang out with them, because you know inevitable, they will find an area that you are factually wrong about (in their view) or worse, they will find a moral failure.
They strive to feel significant on a psychological level, but they don't know that's what's going on. So their radar is on to find flaws in you, chinks in your armor. This is why I think they are scary.
Of course the same can happen in non-Christian settings. We (especially guys) know obnoxious people that we work with (and who have no religious affiliation) who do the same thing. We don't want to hang out with them either.
So, the paradox is that the Gospel supposedly fixes this deep psychological problem. We are created (on purpose) by a loving God so we have great significance. We, on a moral level, are completely clean in God's sight. So, why is this problem of insecurity seem to be more prominent with Evangelicals?