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Sunday, November 13, 2005 

More Corroborating Evidence

John H Armstrong : Why I Am Not an Evangelical
John Armstrong, editor of Reformation & Revival, jumps ship from the current theological malaise. Some of you may remember that I also abandoned this theological ship. While my post was perhaps a bit more scatter-brained, Armstrong's thoughts, while brief, are helpful. He cites six reasons for why he no longer claimes the moniker evangelical:

1. The theological connotations behind evangelical can be articulated in other, more helpful ways.

2. Non-evangelicals don't have a clue what the term means. When they do, they associate it with the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, "Left Behind and Republican politics."

3. The recent cultural swings have added idealogical baggage to the idea of evangelical that are not desirable. Ed.- like myself, Armstrong also thinks the term "confessional Christian" carries more payload.

4 & 5. The historical roots of the word, originally in the Lutheran reformation, and then in the Anglican renewal movement, are arcane, ignored, unknown, and lost on much of society.

6. "Many evangelicals are, in actuality, fundamentalists."

I concur with all of Armstrong's sympathies. Though we may leave the camp for similar reasons, we exit out differing gates and travel in different directions.

One final reason I would add: while it is true that evangelicals are the new fundamentalists in lieu of #6, I am equally worried that most evangelicals are the neo-liberals of the twenty-first century. Devoid of a common doctrinal basis that provides any chance for unity and stability, evangelicals have largely sold their birthright for the Schleiermacher, Schweitzer, and Bultmannian overtures their spiritual forefathers overthrew. This is the new Germany, where subjective existentialism reigns, and historical narrative of redemption running through and encompassing history is unknown.

Helpfully, a certain John Z. comments to Armstrong's blog that it would be more positive to attempt to reclaim what evangelical really means. While I agree that this would be more positive, unfortunately:

1. I'm not worried about reclaiming the gospel or the word, I'm worried about being associated with a movement whose defining marks don't define me.

2. The rudder to turn the behemoth of evangelicalism is too small, short of a divine revival.

3. "Confessional Christian" is an even better term, since it is more specific (which confession?) and assumes a "gospel-centered" identity.



Thank you, that was just an awesome post!!!

That is great to hear, thank you for reading!

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Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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