The E-Word

I recently came across an editorial from Christianity Today magazine
regarding saving the E-Word. The E-Word being “Evangelical(ism).” In America this word has changed in its perception and understanding among the public sector. It no longer carries the nuances and intent of the Church leaders who brought this label to promenence a half a century back. The editorial lists a few of the misperceptions the word evangelical now carries, such as; being defined in and by what evangelicalism is against rather than what it is for. Also being associated in the public’s mind with extreme fundamentalism and the secular political agenda of the hard-right.

The evangelical label still works for some, and probably for most, but I’m finding it personally more difficult. If we (evangelicals) are honest, we’ve earned most of the current cultural perceptions. I’m too old and tired to place much energy in trying to rectify the damage that has been done in the past, and that which is happening currently. In fact, I’m finding my response to be one of distancing myself from those who want to be (strongly) identified as such.

Over the past couple of years I’ve been somewhat restless within evangelical label (box)and have been in search of a new and different label. Something that I could be more comfortable with as one who considers himself a serious Christ follower, who has been raised and trained within the bounds of evangelical orthodoxy I need something more realistic, more engaging in regard to the post-modern culture I find myself in.

I admit that I might have found a new label — at least for now — it is “post evangelical.” We have post everything now days, why not a post-evangelical. Just kidding!! About six month ago I read Dave Tomlinson’s book The Post-Evangelical. I’ve been pondering much of what I read in his book ever since, and often going back to it. Many of the issues I have as a discontent evangelical and the dissonance I feel within the evangelical box are shared by others.

Tomiinson actually endorses steps toward evangelicalism rather than away from. So for now, I prefer being identified among others things as a post-evangelical.

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