Can Evangelicalism Survive Donald Trump and Roy Moore?

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Jim's picture

In the nineteen-forties and fifties, Billy Graham and others promoted the word to describe themselves and the religious space they were seeking to create between the cultural withdrawal espoused by the fundamentalist movement, on the one hand, and mainline Protestantism’s departures from historic Christian doctrine, on the other.

 

When I became a Christian in college, in the early nineteen-seventies, the word “evangelical” still meant an alternative to the fortress mentality of fundamentalism

 

“Evangelical” used to denote people who claimed the high moral ground; now, in popular usage, the word is nearly synonymous with “hypocrite.” When I used the word to describe myself in the nineteen-seventies, it meant I was not a fundamentalist. If I use the name today, however, it means to hearers that I am.

Bert Perry's picture

He ably maps out the difference between "Evanjellyfish" evangelicalism and the genuine article, really in about the same way I'd differentiate real fundamentalism (five fundamentals held by true evangelicals as well) from cultural fundamentalism focusing on things like music, dancing, cards, and the like. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

C. D. Cauthorne Jr.'s picture

The evolutionist condemns moral relativism!  Keller is no more than a hypocrite himself.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I don't know enough about Keller to say too much about him. I tried to read two of his books, and don't like his writing. I know many folks in the fundamentalist world really don't care for him, so I take the normal criticisms of him with a grain of salt. He just isn't in my orbit, so to speak. I didn't think the article was that bad. i think many people don't "get" where he's coming from, because Keller works and ministers in a very unique place, and his perspective comes through that lens.

For example, I'm not at all sure people out in Olympia, WA tie "evangelical" to the word "hypocrite." In the progressive den of NYC, however, I'm sure they would. I don't use that identifier, though - so I'm really not sure.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

huh. Wow.

If evangelical means "I am not a fundamentalist", then why are "fundamentalists" snuggling up with them. Just a thought.

Because it's cold, of course.  :^)  Seriously, I'd say that while you've got big E evangelicals and small e, and big F fundamentalists and small f, representing cultural and theological perspectives respectively, and quite simply believing small e evangelicals have a lot in common with small f fundamentalists, and in the same way, a lot of small e and small f fundagelicals really get uneasy at the excesses of the big E and big F groups.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.