Guest / Limited Access /

It's an American pastime to speculate about the future around the New Year. And it's an evangelical pastime to take stabs at defining the movement. A recent Touchstone magazine symposium of evangelical leaders offers a little of both.

Touchstone pulled together an eclectic group of contributors: Russell Moore, Denny Burk, John Franke, D. G. Hart, Michael Horton, and David Lyle Jeffrey. Horton offers the most provocative observation about the movement's theological character. "Ironically, [evangelicalism] is a largely anti-creedal, anti-theological movement that has nevertheless defended the Fundamentals enshrined in historic Christianity more faithfully than many creedal and confessional denominations."

It's hardly fair to call a movement shaped by Carl Henry "anti-theological," but Horton's point finds support on a popular level. Otherwise Henry and Mark Noll and many others would not have needed to issue calls for academic engagement. Franke, an unusual choice for this conservative group in a conservative magazine, says evangelical theology has matured. Looking toward the future, he foresees a breakthrough. Perhaps those calls have been heeded.

"In the middle of the last century, very few evangelicals were highly respected in the broader world of biblical studies, F. F. Bruce being a notable exception," Franke says. "Today evangelical biblical scholars are among the best in the world. They are prominent in the Society of Biblical Literature and produce high-quality academic books and journal articles that demand attention in the guild. I think a similar development has started to take place in the discipline of theology more recently, and I expect that, in time, evangelical theologians will enjoy the same widespread reputation ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedHow John Piper Knows the Bible Is True
Subscriber Access Only How John Piper Knows the Bible Is True
His latest book makes Scripture's case for itself.
TrendingChristians Can Hold Their Bladders and Still Shop at Target
Christians Can Hold Their Bladders and Still Shop at Target
Consider the missional implications before you boycott.
Editor's PickWhat Jen Hatmaker Gets Right about Christian Love
What Jen Hatmaker Gets Right about Christian Love
Reactions to her message to LGBT people highlight how confused we are about love and repentance.
Christianity Today
Do Evangelicals Have a Future?
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

January 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.