If and when you read the new Counterpoints book Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology), and I really recommend you do,
Which view will you read first? And why?
The book presents four views on Evangelicalism:
- Fundamentalism (presented by Kevin Bauder of Central Baptist Theological Seminary)
- Confessional evangelicalism (presented by Albert Mohler of Southern Seminary)
- Generic evangelicalism (presented by John Stackhouse of Regent College [Vancouver BC])
- Postconservative evangelicalism (presented by Roger Olson Truett Theological Seminary)
I think the view that we are most interested in reading about is likely the one we’re most likely to identify with. For me that is the generic/postconservative evangelicalism of Stackhouse and Olson. I’m not saying that I agree with say Olson in every detail but I find myself most at home with these conceptions of the movement.
My own biography has spanned this spectrum. I was raised in a fundamentalist home and attended a university that was fundamentalist but on the move to confessional evangelicalism (for example they allowed us to attend a movie theater after my Freshman year . . hip hip who-ray!). I attended a seminary that was somewhere between fundamentalism, a confessional evangelical and generic evangelical institution (this range depended largely on the particular professor). After getting a Ph.D. at a university (of no religious affiliation) and studying at Tyndale House (a generic evangelical context) I now teach at an institution that would fall squarely on the left side of postconservative evangelicalism. I feel at home in this setting although I’m probably on the right side of most issues (theologically and politically) among the wider faculty of the university.