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Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by alexander284, Apr 17, 2005.
How do we define "evangelical" Christian these days?
We? Or I?
I define them as the "weaker brethren". How do you define them?
In HIS service;
The main UK definition can be found here and here
Yours in Christ
Paul seems to suggest that the weaker brethren are the ones who limit the biblical freedom they have in Christ.
Some say "evangelical" means "any Christian who isn't a Catholic."
Others say "evanglical" excludes mainline Protestant denominations, too.
I'd just like to hear opinions from those who post here.
"Evangelical" with a capital "E" can simply be shorthand for "Lutheran" ( in the same way that "Reformed" means "Calvinist" or presbyterian). The UK definitions given by me above are obviously different from that but with some overlap.
Yours in Christ
Thanks, Jim. Now if you would be so kind to elaborate as to why you believe such, I would love to be enlightened.
To understand the term "Evangelical" one must first understand Fundamentalist.
The term Fundamentalist originally referred to a doctrinal emphasis--those who adhered to the fundamentals of the faith. As the twentieth century wore on it took on another distinctive meaning, and that was separation from all apostasy and unbelief.
By the middle of the twentieth century Liberalism had infiltrated many of the mainline denominational churches. However, a new phenomena arose. Harold Ockenga of fuller Theological Seminary coined the term "New Evangelical, using it in a convocation speech. It referred to those who professed to adhere to orthodox doctrine, but would, at the same time, see no problem with seeking to associate with Liberals and unbelievers. They were seeking a middle ground. Thus they were called the "New Evangelicals." Today, many have dropped the "New" and they are just referred to as "Evangelicals."
The term evangelical well predates the liberal-conservative controversy of the mid-twentieth century.
It is associated with the Great Awakening of the 1700s lead by Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley and George Whitefield among others. The move towards emphasizing the conversion experience and evangelism also sparked some of the first major unifications of Baptists (Baptist Union of Great Britain - 1813) for the work of missions by men like William Carey and Andrew Fuller.
Wikipedia - Evangelicalism
Luther also referred to his movement as evangelical although most modern self-identifying evangelicals would probably identify with the Great Awakening more than the Reformation as the start of evangelicalism.
Wikipedia - Evangelical
The word "evangelical" in the strict sense of the word simply means one who evangelizes, one who preaches the gospel. An evangeliestic person is one who preaches the gospel to others. This is not what the question was referring to.
It is well known fact that Harold Ockenga coined the term "New Evangelical" and that in more recent days they have bemome know simply as the Evangelicals.
Thanks, Jim. Now if you would be so kind to elaborate as to why you believe such, I would love to be enlightened. </font>[/QUOTE]As you wish. Prepare to be enlightened!
Evangelicals as we know them today do not have the character to seperate from doctrinal error nor do they have the character to seperate from they who tolerate doctrinal error. (Speaking in general terms as it applies to the "movement" as a whole)
Hence, they are the "weaker" brethren since they fear man rather than God, and they haven't the "guts" to seperate from they who teach/tolerate error.
In HIS service;
That's a very American perspective; my understanding is that the terms 'evangelical' and 'fundamentalist' used to be fairly interchangeable in the States. The UK definition, as I've indicated above, is a little different and in fact predates fundamentalism (the UK Evangelical Alliance started in 1846)
Yours in Christ
I have called myself an evangelical Christian in the past. Maybe wrongly.
I always thought it meant that I was a born again Christian who likes tells people about Christianity.
Sometimes simplicity is best
Very broadly speaking that is not incorrect.
But there was a movement that was definitely termed "New Evangelical" that had never existed before the middle of the 20th century. The lines of demarcation between the fundamentals of the faith and apostasy were broken down, and a new breed of "evangelical" was born.
A good example of that today is Billy Graham. Graham claims to adhere to orthodox doctrine of the faith. He seems to preach a good salvation message. But yet he puts his arm around the Roman Catholic Bishop and says that this man believes everything that I believe. What heresy is that!
He hobnobs with liberals and unbelievers alike. His associations with apostates is well known. This kind of activity was unknown among believers before the middle of the 20th century. There was always a separation of believers from apostasy and unbelief. Now it is not so, except with Fundamentalists. Graham is no longer a Fundamentalist, though he started that way. He is now a New Evangelical, or as some have deemed it today: an "Evangelical," dropping the adjective "New."
Very broadly speaking that is not correct.
The term evangelical meant exactly what David Michael Harris explained. The liberal-modern-fundamentalist controversy of the late 1800s resulted in much of evangelicalism following the fundamentalist movement which was ecumenical in nature (amongst fundamentalists).
However, the evolution of the fundamentalist movement resulted in a change of both evangelicalism and fundamentalism towards views of the Doctrine of Separation like the ones DHK espouse. Some evangelicals felt they needed to distinguish themselves from the extreme separatist form of evangelicalism propogated by fundamentalists and the label neo-evangelical was adopted. This has resulted in many fundamentalists disassociating from the label evangelical which now as DHK rightly describes as consisting mostly of what would have previously been known as neo-evangelical.
Of course there are many evangelicals that never got caught up in the earlier (ecumenical) and later (separatist) fundamentalist movements who share many values with neo-evangelicals.
Before the Englishspeaking section of the world had it's wicked way with the term it simply meant Lutheran....
Nowadays outsiders usually perceive it as the term for describing those Protestants who spend a lot of time with their hands in the air during their churchservices.
Ofcourse that's assuming those same outsiders realize there is a difference between Protestants and Catholics, if they don't replace Protestant in the definition above with Christian.
Moique this is completely untrue and seems to be deliberate misinformation. The fact of the matter is that the term "New Evangelical" was a term coined by Harold Ockenga in 1948 in New York. That is a known fact documented in many different sources. Why the misinformation?
From the OP, my understanding of the question was what was the meaning of "evangelical," as it related to how it is commonly used to today in America. Fifteen to twenty years ago the term New Evangelical was commonly used to designate those that held to orthodox doctrine but did not separate themselves from liberals or apostates. Nowadays the adjective "New" is often dropped, and the same group is simply referred to as "Evangelicals." It is not so hard to understand. It never had a Lutheran meaning. It never referred to Protestants. And it certainly does not refer to the Charismatics in general as you seem to imply. Why the misinformation? What are you trying to imply?
The word "evangelical" does have other meanings. I doubt if anyone would deny that. Most words have more than one meaning. That is not the debate here. We are discussing the OP here.
To give you an example, the definiton of "Thursday" today is simply the fifth day of the week, a day that follows Wednesday, and precedes Friday. We do not define it today as a day to worship the god of Thor. Words have more than one meaning, and they change in their meaning over time.
The evangelicals of today are the New Evangelcals of 15 to 20 or more years ago. They are those who tried to find a middle ground between Fundamentalism and Liberalism, and thus did not separate from the Liberal camp.
Not in the US. But in Europe it did and still does.
I don't think this is a reference to Charismatic worship but a reference to non-liturgical worship. But I could be wrong.
In addition to those traditional evangelicals who never joined the fundamentalist movement.
They do not agree with Liberalism, but recognize that you don't have to consider everyone you disagree with about the colour of the church carpet (or more serious issues) to be Satan.
Usually when something is called New _______ there was an old _______.
York - New York
Mexico - New Mexico
Coke - New Coke
Nazi - Neo-Nazi
Conservative - Neo-Conservative
Evangelical was a phrase coined before New Evangelical was coined. It was used by Luther to refer to the movement he started and much of Europe uses it to refer to Protestantism.