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How to sum up evangelicalism worldwide

John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge describe the spreading evangel in their Saturday Times article:  "God is back: How Ned Flanders won the evangelical crusade".

Virtually everywhere in the developing world fiery preachers are preaching a faith that would appeal to Ned Flanders: live your life according to God's law, read the Bible as the literal word of Truth, treat your neighbour as yourself.

The sad thing is, that might be a fair summation.

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0 thoughts on “How to sum up evangelicalism worldwide

  1. Paul Huxley

    Well, hang on a minute...

    If that's all that's being preached, amen and amen to Glen and David. That would be awful.

    But... it's really just a poor description of the third use of the law isn't it? Which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to teach Christians would it?

    Obviously if that's the Christian message according to these preachers - then we should probably ask God to send down fire to consume them because the Christian message is Christ and him crucified. And that is the heart of our message, our beliefs and our lives.

  2. Paul Huxley

    I think the interesting point in that article is the evidence that Jesus is conquering the world with the gospel, and transforming the culture for good wherever it goes.

  3. glenscriv

    I was wondering what my more Auburn coloured friends would make of this :)

    Yes fair cop. It's an optimistic article and I'm being pessimistic.

    I'm all for the gospel spreading. Praise God that it is - and of course there'll be compromise attending.

    To be honest I'm not sure about the 3rd use, but that's a whole other discussion.

  4. dave bish

    I did smile at the rest of it.
    And you're right, if the law is preached right then it's just a way of saying that Christ is preached... :)

  5. Paul Huxley

    You're both welcome (and don't need my permission) to question the third use of the law, and that debate is far too complicated and technical for my liking/training etc.

    Sadly, you'll either have to abandoned any reformed label, or rename it like the baptists and charismatics. So Bish, that'll make you a Reformed Antinomian Charismatic Baptist :P

  6. Bobby Grow

    I don't like the "third use."

    And the Federal Vision, well you know, if you're into biplueric covenants and all . . . ;-).

    As far as reading the Bible as "literal truth," amen . . . ah but you all are amillers/postmillers ;-) ---- that's reserved for us premil dispys.

  7. pete

    'live your life according to God's law'

    Surely though, a Scrivenerian (actually, a biblical, trinitarian) 'reading' of that phrase renders it something we could all say amen to doesn't it, third use or not? Who is this God who gives us this law? Isn't it the Father we meet in his Son (by the Spirit)? So surely, it's the law of Christ, and there's nothing wrong with living according to that, is there? ;)

  8. glenscriv

    Hi Pete

    With caveats, footnotes, nudges and winks you could summarize the evangelical message to be anything. "Women will be saved by childbirth" said Paul. But that wouldn't be a very good summary of the Pauline gospel. You can find scores of positive statements about the law in his writing. But if you said "The faith Paul preached boiled down to: live according to the law" you'd be about as wrong as it's possible to be.

    If anyone summarized the 'faith' that I 'preach' as:

    "live your life according to God’s law, read the Bible as the literal word of Truth, treat your neighbour as yourself"

    I'd be ashamed. I think Paul would be too.

    My problem here is that thorough researchers of the evangelical movement have distilled the message they hear from our pulpits. You could argue that they've been spiritually blind to the overwhelming Christ-focus of our preaching. But I don't think so. And I think I have the whole weight of the Scrivenarian movement behind me. (Right Mum?)

  9. Pete

    Yeah, totally agree. I'd be gutted if that's how someone summarised my 'gospel' too. I believe in the third use of the law, but I'd be really ashamed if that was the keynote of my ministry. Same as I believe in male headship, but would be seriously annoyed if someone said my 'gospel' was 'dudes be dudes.'

    My comment about Scrivenarian readings was kinda meant to be more cheeky, sneaky and jokey than how it evidently came across. Maybe I need to use more emoticons?!

  10. Glen

    No, no - I understood that 'Scrivenarian' was tongue in cheek. Sadly our movement split years ago when mum started preaching a fourth use of the law. Lawyers are now battling over the naming rights. Mum's a Quadranomistic Scrivenarian. I prefer to call myself neo-Scrivenarian.

  11. Glen

    Cousin Jared is definitely hyper.

    When we first started going out, my wife was solidly Scrivenarian. These days she's totally 'post'. Sigh. Such is marriage I guess...

  12. bobby grow

    uh, argh, huh &@*$, what is today . . . oh yeah premil for today (but you failed to recognize that I'm progressive dispy not just 'dispy') ;-).

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