Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What is evangelicalism?

The problem we face today comes from contemporary definitions of words (noticed how I strayed away from "modern" as in modernsim?).

The correct etymological definition of evangelical is someone who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. By that definition, I am an evangelical. Evangelion is the Greek word, which means gospel, the good news.

My problems arise with the culture of many churches within modern evangelicalism. But I am struggling to find a word that clearly defines this culture. I suppose it can only be best described through common experience. Those who have that experience will know what I am talking about, the rest will be completely confused.

Suffice it to say, many evangelicals have strayed from the roots of the reformation. So, then I would have to say, yes I am a neo-evangelical according to this wikipedia definition. On the same note I am also a post evangelical.

For those who are worried let me reconfirm that I am an evangelical, but that much of the sheltered culture annoys me.


fletch said...

Pasha, after I read this, I went back to your "Mystery" post and read it again. While I saw you taking a few jabs at "evangelicalism", I really didn't see much that concerned me. I am about as squarely in the middle of least in my you can get! If I didn't find any real issues, it is either because you were fully in line, or else I just understand your thinking enough that I "got" it....and didn't worry about the particulars. :-) I am interested in your quest for words of meaning. I hope others will comment as well. :-)

Anonymous said...

In trying to understand who God is, and trying to understand Him, I am reminded of something that Billy Graham said many years ago, when he was in Australia around about 1957.
In trying to explain how the great God of creation reached out to mankind, he used an analogy about ants he would see in the garden. He was using this word picture to describe what God had done for mankind by sending his Son Jesus to be the Messiah.
He said, "I like ants. I would never deliberately step on any of them." In reflecting on how industrious they are, he said that if he were to be able to help them to in their society, he could think of no better way than if he could become an ant and teach them himself.
All of this now brings me to my point. God is far greater than we are, and we do not have the ability to understand him, in a scientific sense. God has offered us the opportunity to have a relationship with Him – He has made it possible for us to know Him as our heavenly Father. For all of those people who insist on knowing all about God – those people for whom knowledge is the most important thing, let me challenge you with this thought “When you can explain to an ant all the scientific progress made by mankind - how we have sent men to the moon and brought them back again – when you can explain that to an ant, then I will explain God to you.”

Pasha said...

Thanks Dad.

I really appreciate your comments and think they apply very well to the mystery element I was referring to. Secondly of some interest is the fact that Billy Graham fits into the "neo-evangelical" camp. Some evangelicals were quite annoyed that he took the time to carry out evangelism WITH Catholics.