The Common Good

Will the REAL Evangelicals Please Stand Up?

Source: Patheos
Date: May 26, 2014

When I became a Christian at the age of twelve, I was quickly informed that I was a “fundamentalist” and we were the “true” Christians who stuck to the fundamentals of the Christian faith. For the next six years I would wear the title with a sense of pride. I was a fundamentalist- yes, a bible thumping, street preaching, republican voting (even though I couldn’t vote…) fundamentalist, just like Jesus. After six years of hardcore devotion to fundamentalism, I was forced to leave my community of faith because I had become a cause of discomfort to the pastor and many others. (I began asking theological questions about Calvinism which they considered heretical- amidst a number of other issues) After departing from my fundamentalist community, I ended up in a large evangelical mega-church and was informed that I was now an “evangelical.” At first, I was very apprehensive about adopting this new label, but as I began to see that many of the people I had come to admire as a fundamentalist seemed to use “evangelicalism” interchangeably with “fundamentalism”, I happily adopted this sleek new label. Thus began my journey of faith into evangelicalism…

To the contrary, based on the early vision for evangelicalism developed by Carl Henry, it seems that true evangelicalism is more closely aligned with the work of organizations like Sojourners, The BioLogos Foundation, Red Letter Christians, and Evangelicals for Social Action than with The Gospel Coalition, Answers In Genesis, or Focus On the Family. Why? Because the evangelicalism that Henry and his peers envisioned was a movement of bible-believing Christians who engaged honestly with academia.