Meaning of Post-Evangelical

I’ve been wrestling with this term Post-Evangelical for some time.  I continue to find resonance with this term within my own spiritual pilgrimage.  The Internet Monk in a post from 2006 clarified the meaning of the term, which more and more describes what I’m becoming: a Post-Evangelical.  Here are some of the Monk’s thoughts on the subject. He begins by defining the term ‘Evangelical.”

My son Clay asked me the other day, “What do you mean by post-evangelical?” That deserves a good answer.

Let’s start with this: By evangelical, I do not mean, as some on the Internet have labored to prove, a line of Christianity extending from the Reformation through Calvinism to a handful of modern day independent Baptist fundamentalists. Nor do I mean, as Lutherans have the perfect right to historically assert, that Lutheranism has the right to the term evangelicalism.

Instead, I mean evangelicalism as a twentieth century movement meeting the following qualifications:

1. Protestant, even strongly anti-Catholic
2. Baptistic, even in its non-Baptist form
3. Shaped by the influence of Billy Graham and his dominance as an symbol and leader
4. Shaped by the influence of Southern Baptist dominance in the conception of evangelism
5. Influenced by revivalism and the ethos of the Second Great Awakening
6. Open to the use of technology
7. Oriented around individualistic pietism and a vision of individualistic Christianity
8. Committed to church growth as the primary evidence of evangelism
9. Committed to missions as a concept and a calling, but less as a methodology
10. Asserting Sola scriptura, but largely unaware of the influence of its own traditions
11. Largely anti-intellectual and populist in its view of education
12. Traditionally conservative on social, political and cultural issues
13. Anti- Creedal, reluctantly confessional
14. Revisionist toward Christian history in order to establish its own historical legitimacy
15. Attempting, and largely failing, to establish a non-fundamentalist identity
16. A low view of the sacraments and sacramental theology
17. A dispensational eschatology, revolving around the rapture and apocalyptic views of immanent last days

For more on the subject go here


One Response

  1. The irony is that what is being described as “post-evangelical” is really quite close to what “evangelical” meant in the first place. I notice the author narrowly defined evangelical as it is used by one particular conservative subset of evangelicals and specifically rejected the “mainline” churches. Reintroduce Methodist evangelicalism (for example) and I think we get back to a more accurate usage of the word.

    I’m not post-evangelical. I’m just not conservative baptist evangelical, either. 😀

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