Evangel Conversation

First, I appreciate Bruce and Margaret Young in risking conversation with the likes of me.  Because of Margaret’s recent post, To The Pastor:, I wouldn’t mind meeting this particular family one of these days.  God has definitely given Margaret a talent in writing.  In the days and years ahead, may this talent be used fully to the glory of God that all might glorify God for his mercy.  My heart cry is sincere because the vision laid out in Scripture is stunningly and wonderfully gigantic. 

Secondly, I appreciate the blog, By Common Consent, for providing the platform.  God is good.  In fact, He is good all the time in the Intermountain West.

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14 Comments ↓

14 Comments on “Evangel Conversation”

  1. Jay May 7, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    Could you define what an Evangelical Christian is? How does it differ from Baptist? I hear the term Evangelical Christian a lot, but no one ever says what that means.

  2. Todd Wood May 7, 2007 at 1:36 pm #

    Jay, there are as many stripes of Baptists as there are Mormons. But in America with our huge line of religious smorgasborg buffet tables, such general labels are oftentimes meaningless. I have to ask each Baptist what they believe personally. Likewise, I must do the same with each Mormon.

    I respect the Baptist, Charles Spurgeon, in church history. In fact, if Margaret and Bruce Young do any research in London, England, I would love taking them to the cemetery where Spurgeon was buried. Much of Spurgeon’s theology reflects mine. But in the end with the Downgrade Controversy, many intellectual Baptists shafted Spurgeon and spurned his sincere, loyal conviction on many aspects of Scripture.

    “Evangelical” use to be a tag, deeply labeling one (no matter what your religious denomination) as firmly believing in the Triune God, the deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of the Savior, the inerrancy of the original autographs, the sufficiency of Scriptures, etc. and etc. . . . all the fundamentals spelled out in Scripture.

    But this is no more in America. The evangelical movement is shot through with intellectual pride, emergent ecumenicity, shallowness, entrepreneur leadership, the pressure of big numbers to validate success, and postmodernism (for a Scripture verse that use to be black and white for propositional truth, now there are innumerable interpretations).

    Quite frankly, all the same problems splinter and fragment the Mormon movement where so many in the intermountain West fall under the umbrella title – “Mormon”.

    Evangelical use to be defined as someone who believed in historic, conversative Christianity, where they would preach, defend, and give their lives for the gospel, the good news, the glad tidings, the evangel. But today, the lines are blurred. The doctrinal landscape in America today is wild. Everybody is dreaming up and deriving their own systematic theology from Scripture because there is no more desire for the plain sense of biblical language.

  3. Jay May 7, 2007 at 2:35 pm #

    So an Evangelical Christian is a fundamentalist Christian? Is that what you mean? Can you be Evangelical and Methodist, Catholic, Baptist or is it its own seperate denomination? It seems like a lot of what you said is believed by other Christians as well.

  4. Margaret Young May 7, 2007 at 3:20 pm #

    Todd–I read your latest post on BCC, but it had been lopped to the toes by the time I looked the second time. Do you want to post it again here? Or is there another website you use?

  5. Todd Wood May 8, 2007 at 10:08 am #

    Margaret, popping in here today. Last night, I had a good “Monday family home evening”. Took the family to the Cress Creek trail out near Heise Hot Springs. Several LDS families with lots of kids had the same idea. It was fun. Coming back home, I set up the tent in the backyard and told spooky stories late in to the night.

    I am not opposed to everything in LDS culture. :) Family Home Evening time is the best.

    Yes, let me post again here on this website what I wrote earlier.

  6. Margaret Young May 8, 2007 at 10:13 am #

    Great! I closed the thread at BCC. It had run its course and the latest comment was simply inappropriate and rude. I requested that it be deleted so that my husband’s comment would finish the thread.

    Happy to continue respectful conversation here.

  7. Todd Wood May 8, 2007 at 10:51 am #

    Margaret, I noticed you responded to me on BCC’s thread. Any of the gang is welcome to cut and paste below my last edited comment at BCC and bring it over here.

  8. Margaret Young May 8, 2007 at 10:55 am #

    There’s not much to cut and paste. Do you have a copy of what you said?

  9. Todd Wood May 8, 2007 at 10:58 am #

    Yes, I just put it all in the most recent post, Evangel Conversation, Part 2.

  10. Todd Wood May 8, 2007 at 12:39 pm #

    Jay, I didn’t mean to ignore you. Yes, a fundamental Christian is an evangelical Christian in the historical sense. But there are many in evangelicalism that would not want to be labelled fundamentalist Christian. Either they don’t like the narrowness of scriptural inerrancy, the passionate defense of biblical fundamentals before others (makes them very uncomfortable), or some of the kookiness they see in the fringes. And besides who wants to be broadbrushed that as a fundamental Christian you are just the same as a fundamentalist Muslim or a fundamentalist Mormon.

    Are you very familiar with the history of fundamental Christianity versus neo-evangelical Christianity?

    To your other question, evangelicalism crosses denominational barriers. But so does Christian fundamentalism . . .

  11. Jay May 8, 2007 at 4:50 pm #

    Todd,
    I am ignorant about the history of fundamental Christianity versus neo-evangelical Christianity. Can you fill me in? I’m very interested to know how it all fits in. Thanks!

    P.S. I love FHE2!

  12. Todd Wood May 9, 2007 at 1:13 pm #

    Jay, this is quite an in depth story. When I get back to the home study, I will try to think of some of the top books on the topic. And also, I will try to just give you a little summary synopsis.

  13. Todd Wood May 11, 2007 at 10:40 am #

    Jay, I have been trying to find a particular book underneath all my stacks in order to bring out some choice quotes on new evangelical theology.

    The book is (if I remember correctly) The New Evangelical Theology by Millard Erickson. This book was the outgrowth of Millard’s doctrinal dissertation. Persuaded by neoevangelicalism, he directly evaluates and compares new evangelical Christianity with fundamental Christianity.

    Of course, neoevangelicalism today is quite different from when he first authored this book.

    Let me keep looking.

  14. Todd Wood May 18, 2007 at 11:00 am #

    Jay, I found the book. Finally. :)

    Here are some key issues you could explore:
    1. The Niagara Bible Conference of 1895 and Curtis Lee Laws, the editor of the Baptist periodical, The Watchman Examiner.
    2. Lyman and Milton Stewart investing their money for the publication of a multi-volume series of articles,The Fundamentals, 1909.
    3. The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy
    4. The Scopes trial, the Clarrence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan debate
    5. Sixty years ago, 1946, and the men: conservative Harold Ockenga; young, brilliant 27-yr old, Edward Carnell; Carl F. H. Henry, professor of philosophy of religion at Northern Baptist Seminary; and later, the cooperative, ecumenical evangelist, Billy Graham.

    Books, magazines, seminaries, organizations:
    1. Carl Henry’s The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism, and a series of articles on “The New Evangelicalism” in Christian Life and Times
    2. The founding of Fuller Theological Seminary (Oct. 1, 1947)
    3. The establishing of Evangelical Theological Society (December 27 and 28, 1949)
    4. The magazine, Christianity Today, 1956
    5. The National Association of Evangelicals, originating from a meeting on April 7-9, 1942.

    Jay, the new evangelical movement (a reactionary movement) that had its genesis 60 years ago, sought to avoid all the errors propogated in American Christian fundamentalism. Today, the movement is riddled with moral and theological problems.

    After another 60 years pass by, I can only imagine what the religious climate will be like in America.

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