Selected Evanjellicle types have been on the phone lately, calling around, asking questions, filling out forms, getting their wee heads together, and discovering what it is they are all about.
(I can imagine that periodically throughout the Reformation, and then often later during the Counter-Reformation, celebrity protestants would scribble out a series of questions, have Gutenburg print them up in tall stacks, and send them out by horseback to other celebrity protestants to discover where and how their movement was, as they say incessantly these days, “going forward”. I envision local pastors, after tucking in their kinder and bairns, putting in some very tense thinking before blowing out the day’s candle.)
LifeWay Research “released an evangelical beliefs research definition”. It took two years, but I think you’ll be glad you waited.
NAE initiated development of the research definition more than two years ago. In partnership with LifeWay Research, the definition was crafted, reviewed and tested for validity.
Crafted, reviewed and tested for validity.
An apparently cumbersome seventeen questions were cleverly reduced to four. Yes, the number of fingers you have on one hand. Then, between September 8th and 21st of this year, they asked 1000 people* (fewer than the number of people in my high school) how they reacted to this short list, which they themselves call without apology, and with no evident embarrassment, “the first research-driven creed”.
The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their savior.
Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
They tabulated the results and feel they have something the world wants to know.
I’m just trying to help them get the word out.
* They actually called more than a thousand people, but from the total number of calls they concluded from the thousand of their choosing.
A reader sent me this link; nothing ground-breaking, but he said it helped put things together for him.
It is good and well worth reading for its own sake and for the helpful way it might tie things together for you too. It may be especially helpful for us and what we do here. What Evangelicalism is doing—has been doing for a long time now—is struggling to make the transcendent, the eternal, the invisible, and the true "relevant" to the lowbrow and middlebrow clot of humanity that doesn’t care anything about what is transcendent, eternal, invisible, or true.
You heard it from David Prince: “I consider sports to be a competitive manifestation of the performing arts”.
I believe that the last thing we need is another generation of clergymen confused by the cloddish insights of Mohler, Bock, Carter, Keller, Prince, Stetzer, Challies, Jenkins….
What we also don’t need is another generation of clergymen who believe that the remedy lies with more knowledge, greater awareness, more conferences, another booklet, another podcast…. We need to form a contempt for nonsense, a recognition of animal droppings when we see them. We need sentiments that will produce the right impulse for proper reform.
Disney Pixar is putting out a new movie in time for Thanksgiving, The Good Dinosaur. I tell you this so you can brace yourself for some trenchant contemplation and spiritually uplifting commentary—perhaps even some fruitful sermon material—coming from the Evanjellicle movie-watching community.
Have your Bible handy because verses will probably be cited.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Certain men knew when the papacy went off the rails. We call that the Reformation. Certain men knew when Modernism deviated from Christianity. We call that the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy.
Who knows what is wrong with this picture, and what might we call a proper response to it?
This is Reformation Sunday; I hope you are as chuffed as I am.
Do you reckon unser Gott is still ein feste burg? Who are our Luthers, Calvins and Zwinglis? Do we even have any Huses, Waldos, and Wycliffes?
If someone were to publish ninety-five theses, what would they be? And who outside the evanjellicle ghetto could list them?
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