This has been a journey for me, and part of the at journey has been a movement away from Evangelicalism. Like many of our readers, it has been a journey into a “Post-Evangelical Wilderness.”
There is, I realize, a difference between being evangelical (the witness) and being Evangelical (the movement), and it is the latter that I want to discuss.
In a future post I would like to detail how in some senses I am no longer an Evangelical, but in other ways I still am. What I would like to discuss today, is how do we define the term Evangelical? Most of the definitions I have read are wholly unsatisfactory.
What are the traits of an Evangelical? How is it differentiated from the term Christian? If you were drawing a series of Venn diagrams, what intersection would you see? What beliefs would put you outside Evangelicalism but still leave you inside Christianity? Are there certain beliefs that maybe don’t define Evangelical, but if you are outside on enough of them you won’t feel comfortable inside an Evangelical church? Are there practices that most or all Evangelicals have in common?
Give me as much as you can. Think as widely as you can. Challenge or affirm each other’s statements as much as you can. I really want to flesh out the term Evangelical here.
There are some guidelines that I want to put into place.
1. No bashing of Evangelicals or their beliefs or practices. This is to be a learning exercise for me and for anyone else reading this.
2. No snark or sarcasm. If you have a point to make, make it clearly and plainly.
3. Avoid going down political rabbit holes. Again, if you think there is a political connection you can make it, but keep to the topic please.
I will be following up in another post by coalescing your comments and discussing how I fit or no longer fit the mold.
I am very much looking forward to your comments.