Evangelicals at a Crossroad: A Dialogue
This past summer two professors at Bethel University, St Paul, Minnesota and one at sister institution Bethel Seminary (me!) were invited to participate in a recorded dialogue that would become a printed piece in the schools' magazine. The three of us, guided by questions posed by a moderator, considered where evangelicalism is today and where it may be headed.
By necessity tentative and partial, our wide-ranging conversation nonetheless raised some important issues. When we were done, we had a meaty article, of which (for reasons of space) only a brief portion ended up being printed in the magazine.
Though somewhat longer than our typical blog posting, we offer the full edited article ("never before published," as the marketing wallahs might say) in hopes that it will spark some conversation among our readers who care about the historical movement called evangelicalism:
Moderator: Scott Wible / Editors: Scott Wible, Heather Johnson, and Holly Donato
Are you an "evangelical"? For 60 years, the word has been useful as shorthand for "born-again and Bible-believing, and more open to dialogue than a fundamentalist." It's allowed like-minded people to select churches, colleges, and even reading material that line up with their brand of Christianity.
Now, though, many fear the evangelical movement is in disarray due to deep differences among its members, and a new generation with relativistic, postmodern beliefs. Others still see a solid core of common theology that has held strong for more than 500 years, a healthy and growing activism, and hope for the future. What does the word "evangelical" mean now, and where is the movement going?
For the benefit of Bethel Magazine readers, three Bethel professors with interest and expertise ...