Will the Last Evangelical Please Turn Out the Lights?

Will the Last Evangelical Please Turn Out the Lights? July 21, 2011

Deacon Bo at Homebrewed Christianity asks if Anyone Is Evangelical Anymore? He asks because, it seems, C.S. Lewis may have been a secret Bellian — Lewis hinted in one book that maybe people get to leave hell for heaven.  (I’ve long considered Lewis among the most overrated writers and thinkers in all of Christendom.  So sue me.)

Bo writes,

Over the past decades there has been an increasingly contentious debate about the invisible boundary of evangelicalism. Apparently some have become so concerned that even historical figures who were previously safe (even adored) are in danger if their views are found to be too loose for the contemporary conservative backlash.

His is a perceptive post, which you should read.  In it, he leans on David Bebbington‘s rubric of evangelicalism:

conversionism: new birth and a new life with God

biblicism: reliance on the Bible as ultimate religious authority

activism: concern for sharing the faith

crucentrism: focus on Christ’s redeeming work on the cross

You’ll notice the absence of any mention of hell, or of the penal substitutionary atonement.

Read on for Bo’s progressive recapitulation of these four marks of evangelicalism.

As card-carrying evangelicals continue to take me to task because I’m asking questions, I get Bo’s predicament.  As evangelicalism shrinks smaller and smaller, I think more and more of us are going to be looking for another flag to gather under.

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