Back on form: defining evangelical

One more post on Adrian's comment on: 42: Back on form through atonement. There Adrian wrote:

I think there is an interesting issue here about what is the definition of an evangelical

I don't agree and am going to respond first with a repost (see 42: Unattractive Restoration Confusion):

The "classic" view of what evangelicalism is. From the Evangelical Alliance: What is an Evangelical?.

this historical and theological background, the following five points,
adapted from key studies of the movement by David Bebbington and
Alister McGrath, represent a workable summary of Evangelical

  • Biblicism – Through the Scriptures of the Old and
    New Testaments, the God who is objectively 'there' has revealed
    universal and eternal truth to humankind in such a way that all can
    grasp it.
  • Christocentrism – God's eternal Word became human in the historical
    man Jesus of Nazareth, who definitively reveals God to humanity.
  • Crucicentrism – The good news of God's revelation in Christ is seen
    supremely in the cross, where atonement was made for people of every
    race, tribe and tongue.
  • Conversionism – The truth of the eternal gospel must be
    appropriated in personal faith, which comes through repentance – that
    is, a discernible reorientation of the
    sinner's mind and heart towards God.
  • Activism – Gospel truth must be demonstrated in evangelism and social service.

Secondly, Adrian's post makes clear that it is entirely deliberate that the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith does not explicitly mention Penal Substitution.

So no I do not think there is anything interesting at all in trying to change the commonly accepted understanding of evangelical in order to fit with Adrian's own view.

2 thoughts on “Back on form: defining evangelical

  1. Blue, with a hint of amber

    Dave – genuine questions, are you a member of the EA?
    Is your Church?
    Is the methodist conference?
    Are there Methodists on the EA board?
    No hidden agenda with that question – it is just that some of the Methodists I know locally would not call themselves evangelical whatsoever.

  2. Dave Warnock

    I belong to MET (Methodist Evangelicals Together – used to be called headway). It is affiliated to the Evangelical Alliance.
    None of my Churches are currently affiliated to the EA, although of them Raunds would be the most likely to do so (but Methodist Churches tend to not be great joiners of organisations).
    No the Methodist Church is not affiliated with EA (but MET is). The Methodist Church includes a wide range of traditions (not as wide as the CoE) and so not all would consider themselves evangelical (and of those that do many would consider themselves “liberal evangelicals” or “open evangelicals” or more often simply “methodists”).
    Just checked and I don’t think any Methodists are on the board of EA at the moment.
    Note that I choose refer to EA when responding to issues about evangelicals so as to be less biased rather than giving a Methodist viewpoint.
    Plus I think Joel Edwards is an excellent example of an evangelical – he spoke superbly about Evangelicalism at Greenbelt this year.


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