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
Current IssueWhen Modern Medicine Becomes a False God
Subscriber Access Only
When Modern Medicine Becomes a False God
A doctor reflects on what healthcare can—and can’t—accomplish.
RecommendedMormons and Christians: So Close, Yet So Far Away
Mormons and Christians: So Close, Yet So Far Away
What should we make of claims that the two faiths are on a path to reconciling?
TrendingResearch Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
Research Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
A study of 250 congregations suggests that youth and young adults want substance rather than style.
Editor's PickOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
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.