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Thread: Definition of Evangelical

  1. #71
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    For now, I am wondering if you, as an Evangelical, are generally accepting of the points stated in the Apostle's Creed.
    Not sure if you noticed it, but Rushing Jaws is a big "C" Catholic. I mean, I know there are Evangelical Catholics, but just so you weren't confusing him with an Evangelical Protestant as "Evangelical" is often used.

  2. #72
    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    I started a very similar thread to this last year. My focus though was on a podcast by William Lane Craig where he attempted to point out that Evangelical Christianity is not a political movement. It was in reply to an article that Brian McLaren wrote called "Breaking with Evangelicals."

    Here's the bit I quoted in that thread which offers Craig's historical definition,

    An Evangelical is theologically defined. An evangelical is someone who is committed to historic Christian orthodoxy: The deity of Christ, substitutionary atonement, the need for personal conversion, and faith in Christ, salvation by grace. These are the earmarks of Evangelical Christianity, and it would indeed be a matter of deep concern if he [McLaren] decided to walk away from Evangelical Christianity, but that's not what he means by the "Conservative Evangelical Project". As he says earlier in the article he became disenchanted with the political project to which Evangelicalism was giving it's soul.

    . . .

    He's not talking theology here, Kevin, he's talking about politics. And what he's describing for us in this article is why he's not politically conservative, but he's politically progressive. Now what I think what's unfortunate about that is that he thereby identifies Evangelical Christianity with a political movement or persuasion, and that's wrong. Evangelical Christianity is a theology and among Evangelicals there are those who are conservatives, others who are moderates, others who are progressives, and in ceasing to be a political conservative, he shouldn't pin the blame on Evangelicalism, or describe it as walking away from Evangelicalism. I think that's falling into the trap of those who see Evangelical Christianity as a kind of political movement, and that is very wrong, and something that we need to repudiate very forcefully. Evangelical Christianity is not a political movement.

    . . .

    The word Evangelical originated during, I think, during the late 1940s or so, when people like Billy Graham, Carl Henry, Harold Ockenga, others, wanted to distinguish themselves from the old line Fundamentalism of people like Carl McIntire for example. And they wanted to disassociate their Christian belief from the anti-intellectualism and cultural isolationism of Fundamentalism, but in terms of theological doctrine Evangelicals have been committed to the same theological fundamentals as Fundamentalism. What's odd about this, is according to what I've read at least, in the popular perception of our culture the word "Evangelical" has now become just as hated a term as "Fundamentalism" was, and maybe perhaps more so, so that in the long run changing terminology doesn't really work, uh, these terms get degraded after several decades of use, and you find yourself branded with the same sort of bigotry and regressive thinking that you wanted to disassociate yourself from.


    The entire transcript in case you're interested: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/medi...-evangelicals/
    This statement by Craig is most surprising: “The word Evangelical originated during, I think, during the late 1940s or so, when people like Billy Graham, Carl Henry, Harold Ockenga, others, wanted to distinguish themselves from the old line Fundamentalism of people like Carl McIntire for example.”


    Not to mention Lutheranism - about which I know little - Evangelicalism as a distinct form of Christianity in the UK goes back to the early 19th century. The Evangelical Alliance was founded in 1846. Evangelicalism was very influential in the UK from the Wesleys, to at least the 1920s.

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  4. #73
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
    This statement by Craig is most surprising: “The word Evangelical originated during, I think, during the late 1940s or so, when people like Billy Graham, Carl Henry, Harold Ockenga, others, wanted to distinguish themselves from the old line Fundamentalism of people like Carl McIntire for example.”


    Not to mention Lutheranism - about which I know little - Evangelicalism as a distinct form of Christianity in the UK goes back to the early 19th century. The Evangelical Alliance was founded in 1846. Evangelicalism was very influential in the UK from the Wesleys, to at least the 1920s.
    Lutheranism, atleast confessional Lutheranism, is quite distinct from Evangelicalism, or atleast the Evangelical movement that Adrift mentions in post #66. It's quite a bit more sacramental, for one (although that's not the biggest difference).

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  6. #74
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    I think you'd be surprised by how diverse both orthodox and heterodox branches of Christianity were by the time things started getting nailed down in the 4th and 5th century, and how diverse it remained some time after that. Also, Christian Universities and Seminaries already have issues with faith statements that are far more exacting than the Apostle's Creed, especially when they tip into things like inerrancy. But the same is true of even many secular universities, where they have certain contracts or statements, some written, some oral, that professors are required to abide by.
    In studying Christians creeds and confessions, we learned that this is this study of heresies, since the confessions and creeds arose to differentiate the orthodox from the heterodox.

    Thanks for your interesting contributions.

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  8. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    Would most evangelicals hold to the definition that 'evangelicalism' has its foundational meaning as "people who hold to, at minimal, some of the ancient Christian confessions?"

    (I am fine including 'mainstream' Christian groups who also adhere to some of the ancient Christian confessions. I was sort of focused on the term 'evangelical' here. )

    I might moderate the definition by noting that such evangelicals may be consciously aware of the connection of their faith with the confessions. (If someone has an improved definition of evangelical, that would be helpful.)

    If I end up having to define those who are Christians, I would tend to speak of confessional Christianity -- those holding to, at minimal, the Apostles' Creed.

    I suppose we could also ask what makes Christians also evangelical.
    Oops. I meant to say that "such evangelicals may not be consciously..."

    I may write papers where I need a definition of 'Christian.' This term can have many interpretations. I would tend to use the term 'confessional Christian' or creedal-agreeable Christian. The minimal creed would be the Apostles' Creed -- including those church groups and people who would concur, at minimal, with the apparent meaning of the Apostles' Creed. (Or that people in these church groups would reject use of the term 'Christian' for people that do not basically accept the Apostle's Creed.)

    Note that the discussion on Evangelicals was more of a test case rather than being the main concern here. But I did like how the discussion went.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    I've always thought it had to do with the emphasis of "evangelizing" to spread the gospel... not whether it was credal or not...
    Evangelicals are defined by eisegesis of the 'Great Commission', claiming that it is meant for all believers. (It is not.)
    Trump is basically "Bruce Wayne pretending to be a foppish retarded billionaire" tier genius, in case nerds need a simpler metaphor.

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
    This statement by Craig is most surprising: “The word Evangelical originated during, I think, during the late 1940s or so, when people like Billy Graham, Carl Henry, Harold Ockenga, others, wanted to distinguish themselves from the old line Fundamentalism of people like Carl McIntire for example.”


    Not to mention Lutheranism - about which I know little - Evangelicalism as a distinct form of Christianity in the UK goes back to the early 19th century. The Evangelical Alliance was founded in 1846. Evangelicalism was very influential in the UK from the Wesleys, to at least the 1920s.
    I believe Craig is referring to what is sometimes called New Evangelicalism. At any rate, it's the prominent form of Evangelicalism that remains popular today I think.

  11. #78
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    Oops. I meant to say that "such evangelicals may not be consciously..."

    I may write papers where I need a definition of 'Christian.' This term can have many interpretations. I would tend to use the term 'confessional Christian' or creedal-agreeable Christian. The minimal creed would be the Apostles' Creed -- including those church groups and people who would concur, at minimal, with the apparent meaning of the Apostles' Creed. (Or that people in these church groups would reject use of the term 'Christian' for people that do not basically accept the Apostle's Creed.)

    Note that the discussion on Evangelicals was more of a test case rather than being the main concern here. But I did like how the discussion went.
    Is this for some sort of thesis or something?

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  13. #79
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demi-conservative View Post
    Evangelicals are defined by eisegesis of the 'Great Commission', claiming that it is meant for all believers. (It is not.)

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    Thanks for your interesting contributions.
    This is about me, isn't it?
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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