There are continued debates about “What is evangelicalism?” and “Is it worth saving?”
Well, it depends what you mean by “evangelicalism” doesn’t it?
Sadly, the whole debate I read is incredibly US-centric where “evangelical,” especially “white evangelicals” are merely one demographic that comprise the GOP base.
One has to concede that the term “evangelical” in the US has now become politically partisan and tribalized. It seems to mean vaguely Protestant, quasi-fundamentalist, white, anti-immigration, conspiracy-theory-prone, and Fox-news consumers.
But there is also a lot of US evangelicalism that is not like that, I know that since I spend a lot of time with US evangelicals, and they are not all wearing MAGA hats, brandishing guns on family Christmas cards, and praying, “In the name of Sean Hannity.”
The irony is that “evangelical” is an adjective which now, because of American political divides, needs its own adjective. Something like "white-political evangelicals” compared to “missional and orthodox evangelicals.”
To be honest, I am still committed to the word, the idea, and movement that is global and historical evangelicalism.
Because I believe in the evangel and I believe that evangelicalism is a Protestant renewal movement that brought spiritual life, social action, catholic theology, and missional zeal to the global churches. I am not prepared to jettison the movement let alone the term “evangelical” because “evangelicalism” has become a demographic in some political proxy war in the USA.
But what I do think we need to do this:
Untether evangelicalism from American political tribalism.
Make evangelicalism centered on the evangel.
Give far more attention to the leadership of ethnic minorities and global voices in the broader evangelical scene.
Emphasize social action and social concerns that have traditionally united people.
Support ministries and institutions that bring people together rather than unite people based on mutual animosities.
But then again, since I am unlikely to be elected President of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Evangelical Theological Society, or The Gospel Coalition, that’s probably gonna be the extent of my advocacy in this area.
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