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Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 21 2009 7:37 PM

jeff beard:
My hope is that Warfield's description would be received and deeply applied, more than with mere verbal and skin deep acknowledgement in the evangelical faith.

Jeff

Your comments have been very good and this whole discussion has been good.  I would tend to say that Warfield's statement once defined evangelicalism.  It no longer defines the movement and as others have pointed out, it is hard to define evangelicalism today.  The movement has been set adrift trying to be inclusive and has set a worldly course to which there is no turning back.  But Warfield's statement is still true, and while many in Christendom may reject it, the Lord knows those who are his.  And those who are his is not defined by a man named movement or theological box.  Christ is the Savior and he knows whom he has saved and he knows who are wearing masks.

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Kevin Wells | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 14 2016 4:07 AM

I know this is an old post, but I just want to assert that man's categorization and definitions are a moving target, and therefore unimportant. We are taught certain things unequivocally via God's word. Other things we just do not, will not, and cannot understand comprehensively. Nor should we expect to. Our job is to obey and be taught by the Holy Spirit those things which God wants us to understand, and to make sure our theology and church life rests on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. We should vigilantly refuse to be impressed with historical figures, and judge their teaching with the same criticism (as regards conformity with apostolic teaching) that we would the teaching of a first-year youth pastor. In other words, where the Bible is ambiguous, we must remain ambiguous, until we can see the resolution of the paradox. And that is a gift only the Spirit of God can give. We must also remember that, if we feel we have understanding about some issue, it's not our job to build a schism (i.e. a denomination) around it.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 14 2016 1:27 PM

Welcome to the forums Kevin. Despite this thread, our focus is on Faithlife software and resources, with the guidelines available at http://community.logos.com/forums/t/10072.aspx . If you're a Logos user this is a great place to learn to use it more effectively.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 14 2016 2:35 PM

I know I shouldn't, but 2009 was the 'day' the music died (Libby of course). And the best definition in Logos.com is that evangelical is whatever everything else isn't (book assignment by tradition).

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 1977
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 14 2016 3:05 PM

Yes, Kevin, welcome to the forums. This thread was written before guidelines became available.  I agree with MJ Smith who has written that the forums are a great place to learn about Faithlife software and resources.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 14 2016 3:54 PM

Kevin Wells:
I know this is an old post ...

+1 Welcome Big Smile

Thankful for Christian Discourse where this definition could be discussed more.

Thankful can use Logos or Verbum to search for articles (Logos 4, 5, 6, & 7 have been released after Libronix 3)

(reformed,evangelical) NEAR theology

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 270
Kelvin Niblett | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 14 2016 8:58 PM

Mark:
Your comments have been very good and this whole discussion has been good.  I would tend to say that Warfield's statement once defined evangelicalism.  It no longer defines the movement and as others have pointed out, it is hard to define evangelicalism today.  The movement has been set adrift trying to be inclusive and has set a worldly course to which there is no turning back.  But Warfield's statement is still true, and while many in Christendom may reject it, the Lord knows those who are his.  And those who are his is not defined by a man named movement or theological box.  Christ is the Savior and he knows whom he has saved and he knows who are wearing masks.

Here is a good discussion on evangelicalism from a useful book you can get on Logos called Evangelical Theology by Michael Bird

Here's a promo video too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtXofha3kxw

From the book:

What is an evangelical? The term evangelical can be used in diverse ways. For some it is a pejorative term meaning basically the same as fundamentalist. For others it is largely a cultural term describing those aligned with a particular social, political, and moral bent associated with conservative American politics. When I refer to evangelicalism, I am referring to a historic and global phenomenon that seeks to achieve renewal in Christian churches by bringing the church into conformity to the gospel and by promoting the gospel in the mission of the church.1
In my reckoning, six key factors led to the formation of modern evangelicalism.

1. The Protestant Reformation with the rediscovery of the doctrines of grace over and against medieval Catholic notions of salvation through merit and penance.
2. The convergence of Puritanism and Pietism in North America and the British colonies that brought together diverse groups in shared social and religious causes like seeking revival and working for the abolition of slavery.
3. The missionary movements of the last two centuries with newly planted churches established in the Majority World.
4. The liberal versus fundamentalist controversies of the early twentieth century over core Christian doctrines.
p 20 5. The separation of “evangelicals” from the fundamentalist movement in the mid-twentieth century.2
6. In the last quarter of the twentieth century there has been a steady decline of Christianity in the West and a surge of evangelical Christianity in Asia, Africa, and South America. This surge has led to increasing interaction between the Western and Majority World churches through more affordable international travel and because of increasing access to the Internet, so that churches and organizations are becoming more readily aware and influenced by what is happening in other parts of the world. The international representation in the World Evangelical Alliance and Lausanne Covenant shows that evangelicalism is a truly global phenomenon.3

Evangelicalism as a theological ethos can be defined by a number of cardinal points. One way of summarizing these points is the “Bebbington Quadrilateral”:4

• conversionism, the belief that human beings need to be converted to faith in Jesus Christ
• activism, the belief that the gospel needs to be proclaimed to others and expressed in a commitment to service
• biblicism, a particular regard for the Bible as inspired and authoritative
• crucicentrism, a focus on the atoning work of Christ on the cross

I think Bebbington’s scheme holds true enough, though I would want to add a few nuances, such as that “biblicism” is not bibliolatry, and “crucicentrism” does not mean ignoring the resurrection. We also need to add something on respect for historic Christian orthodoxy (what I call the “catholic” dimension of evangelicalism).5
Another summary of the cardinal points of evangelicalism is given by Alister McGrath:

• the supreme authority of Scripture for knowledge of God and as guide to Christian living
• the majesty of Jesus Christ as incarnate God and Lord, and the Savior of sinful humanity
• the lordship of the Holy Spirit
• the need for personal conversion
 • the priority of evangelism for both individual Christians and for the church as a whole
• the importance of Christian community for spiritual nourishment, fellowship, and growth6

I have written this volume in the first place for the benefit of evangelical churches who embrace this general pattern of belief and practice. It is a gospel-centered theology for Christians who seek to define themselves principally by the gospel. What we need, as a matter of pastoral and missional importance, is an authentically evangelical theology—that is, a theology that makes the evangel the beginning, center, boundary, and interpretive theme of its theological project.


Michael F. Bird, Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013), 19–21.

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