Scot McKnight – Bury The Word “Evangelical”


Scot McKnight, at the centre of the picture

[This ia stern warning from a leading evangelical. We better listen. And, I openly admit, I fully agree with Scot.]

It’s time to bury the word “evangelical.” It’s both past time to bury it but it’s also time yet again to bury it.

I have a strategy for doing so, but first this:

Kate Shellnutt, at CT, writes,

More than 80 years ago, the first president of Princeton Evangelical Fellowship aspired for the organization to allow students “to enjoy Christian fellowship one with another, to bear united witness to the faith of its members in the whole Bible as the inspired Word of God, and to encourage other students to take, with them, a definite stand for Christ on the campus.”

In 2017, the Ivy League student ministry remains fully committed to this purpose … just without calling themselves evangelical.

The long-running organization changed its name this year to become Princeton Christian Fellowship, citing baggage surrounding the evangelical label.

“There’s a growing recognition that the term evangelical is increasingly either confusing, or unknown, or misunderstood to students,” the organization’s director, Bill Boyce, told The Daily Princetonian.

It’s not an issue limited to the 8,000-student campus; a number of evangelicals across the country share his concerns, particularly after last year’s election linked evangelical identity with support for President Donald Trump in the public eye.

Which leads me beyond the obvious: one of the more openly affirming institutions of evangelicalism, CT, records the news that evangelical is an embattled term while CT presses forward with no desire to diminish the centrality of the term for itself. But this essay is not about CT.

It’s about that dreaded term “evangelical.”

It’s a case of only a few who like the term while many despise the term, all the while knowing there’s no other term to use.

The issue is politics; the presenting painful reality is Trump. The reality is 81% of evangelicals voted for Trump. The word “evangelical” now means Trump-voter. The word “evangelical” is spoiled.

Which means the problem is not nearly so large among self-confessed evangelicals. They admit to being evangelicals and voting for Trump and evidently see no dissonance. We don’t know how many of that 81% held their nose when they voted for Trump but this is certain: they weren’t voting for Hillary Clinton. Their evangelical convictions and their political convictions were inter-looped into voting for Trump and not Hillary (or a Democrat). Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Bury The Word “Evangelical””

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40 Years in the Desert – 7. A Christian Critique of Capitalism 2

7.2 ‘God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican’

While visiting the States I was shocked to observe that the majority of Evangelical Christians traditionally voted for the Republicans and accused those who voted for the Democrats of being liberals and crypto-socialists. Now it may be true that the Republican Party in the US is closer to the conservative values that are so dear to Evangelicals; yet at the same time I was astonished to observe that: Continue reading “40 Years in the Desert – 7. A Christian Critique of Capitalism 2”

Despre diaspora evanghelica romaneasca – 3

Câteva observaţii personale – continuare

5. Evanghelicul român din diaspora votează în principiu cu dreapta şi în particular cu republicanii. Ferească Dumnezeu să îndrăzneşti a sugera altceva. Republicanii sunt binele (aproape) absolut, în vreme ce nenorociţii de „liberali” de la Partidul Democrat sunt, dincolo de orice îndoială. răul absolut. Continue reading “Despre diaspora evanghelica romaneasca – 3”

Martin E. Marty – Politics and Inerrancy

martinmarty

Sightings 11/24/08

Politics and Inerrancy

by Martin E. Marty

“From a perspective committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God,” the biweekly glossy World (November 15/22) asks at almost issue-length what went wrong with the Republicans in the recent elections.  To the editors’ credit, they do not spend much space in a blame game on what went wrong because of Democrats and liberals, but instead in self-examination of Republican faults.  Decades ago wags said that the Episcopal Church was “the Republican Party at prayer,” but in elections in our time it has been said that “inerrant Word of God” factions tended to find Republicans to be inerrant.  No more.  Let’s look at World.

Continue reading “Martin E. Marty – Politics and Inerrancy”