Posts belonging to Category Evangelicals

4 Features of Evangelicals

There has been a lot about the evangelical church in the news lately. Scot McKnight highlights the four features of evangelicalism as found in David Bebbington’s book, The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody. To one degree or another, all evangelicals are characterized by these four features:

  1. All evangelicals are committed to the primacy of Scripture for shaping faith and practice. All Tradition, however respected, will have to answer to scriptural warrant. All Praxis will have to answer to scriptural warrant. This approach to faith and practice characterizes evangelicals.
  2. All evangelicals are committed to the saving power of the cross. The cross, tied as it is both to the incarnation and to the resurrection, is the act of God that not only unmasks injustice but restores — via substitution — humans to God by dying our death.
  3. All evangelicals are committed to new birth as a personal experience. Indeed, the necessity of new birth, of the need for life in the face of death. Evangelicals believe the Christian life begins with new birth, and it is here that most evangelicals tie the power of the Holy Spirit to the saving power of the cross (and resurrection). Evangelicals have always worried about the liturgical and liberal approaches to conversion through sacramental or nurturance processes.
  4. All evangelicals are committed to an active Christian life that involves personal pieties like prayer and Bible reading, corporate fellowship like church attendance and participation, and social activism like justice efforts of all sorts, both locally and globally.

What do you think? Do these four features accurately represent evangelicals? I would want to add something about the importance of witness and sharing the gospel, perhaps under point number four of leading an active Christian life.

An Evangelical Manifesto

The document, An Evangelical Manifesto: A Declaration of Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment, was released this morning at the National Press Club.

An Evangelical Manifesto is an open declaration of who Evangelicals are and what they stand for. It has been drafted and published by a representative group of Evangelical leaders who do not claim to speak for all Evangelicals, but who invite all other Evangelicals to stand with them and help clarify what Evangelical means in light of “confusions within and the consternation without” the movement. As the Manifesto states, the signers are not out to attack or exclude anyone, but to rally and to call for reform.

As an open declaration, An Evangelical Manifesto addresses not only Evangelicals and other Christians but other American citizens and people of all other faiths in America, including those who say they have no faith. It therefore stands as an example of how different faith communities may address each other in public life, without any compromise of their own faith but with a clear commitment to the common good of the societies in which we all live together.

For those who are Evangelicals, the deepest purpose of the Manifesto is a serious call to reform—an urgent challenge to reaffirm Evangelical identity, to reform Evangelical behavior, to reposition Evangelicals in public life, and so rededicate ourselves to the high calling of being Evangelical followers of Jesus Christ.

The manifesto was charter signed by more than 70 evangelical leaders.
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5 Things You Should Know about Evangelicals

John Mark Reynolds shares five things you should know about Protestant Evangelical Christians in hopes of lifting some cultural stereotypes and building a bridge towards greater understanding.

  1. Evangelicals are not just white, despite media perceptions.
  2. Evangelicals (in general) hate anti-Semitism.
  3. Evangelical culture values education highly.
  4. Evangelicals help the poor.
  5. Evangelicals help hundreds of thousands with severe personal problems become productive citizens.

Those are just the main headings. Reynolds elaborates on each of these points further in his article. Do you think Evangelicals suffer from stereotyping? Do most people today know these five things about Evangelicals?

Memo to Evangelical Leaders on Romney

Prominent PR specialist and evangelical Mark DeMoss has circulated a memo to leaders of evangelical organizations urging support for Mitt Romney. Hugh Hewitt has reprinted it over at Townhall.

When I began surveying the landscape of potential candidates I was looking for three things:

  1. Someone who most closely shared my values;
  2. Someone who has proven experience and competence to lead and manage large enterprises;
  3. Someone who can actually win the nomination.

DeMoss makes a strong case for Romney fulfilling all three of these qualifications. Personally, I am still trying to decide between Romney and Fred Thompson.

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Evangelicals and the Front Line of the Gospel

Mark Dever over at Together for the Gospel contends that the gospel is the real front line for evangelical Christians. After reflecting on Evangelicals and Catholics Together, (and joking about Calvinists and Arminians Together), Dever makes the following great point:

The real front line is not between Calvinist evangelicals and Arminian evangelicals. It is between those who are lost in their sins and those who have been saved by God’s sheer grace in Christ. Here, there is much togetherness in the Gospel by evangelical believers. 500 years ago Rome warned us that we Protestants would continue to split into countless groups, if we split with them over this. Well, 500 years of history have passed, and the verdict is in resoundingly. Rome was wrong. The Gospel is clear . . . the good news about the Holy God who sent his Son to die and be raised for the justification of sinners. And that we experience God’s forgiveness and new life through faith alone in Christ alone. We don’t need a bishop in Rome or anywhere else to tell us this. We don’t need a world-wide organization. We just need the Holy Spirit, the Bible and the faithful teaching of this gospel by any one of thousands of congregations around the globe faithful to this gospel.

The Gospel is the real front line. And the Gospel is what all of us evangelicals are really together for. Whatever conference we may go to.