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In Search of True Evangelicalism

Evangelicalism

I could go through and trace the common accepted academic definitions of “evangelicalism.” They are out there. There are some great contemporary historical treatise on the subject. But that would be detractive and be an adventure in missing the point. Well, shoot. . . I suppose I will go on this adventure, but only giving the cliff-notes.

David Bebbington’s Evangelicalism

David Bebbington has created what has become the most accepted definition of Evangelicalism out there today. It is often called “Bebbington’s Quadrilateral.” Here are his four main criteria of what it means to be evangelical (it’s hard to know when to capitalize this darn word):

  1. Biblicism: Don’t you love that word? This simply means that evangelicals take the Bible seriously as the authoritative word of God.
  2. Crucicentrism: Try to pronounce that! This is a focus on the centrality of the cross of Christ and its atoning value for mankind. For evangelicals, the cross is the central event of all theology.
  3. Conversionism: Evangelicals believe that people need to have some type of conversion “event” where they accept/trust Christ as their Lord/God. In other words, without a true conversion to Christianity, people are lost.
  4. Activism: Evangelicals are, well . . .  evangelical. We believe that the Gospel needs to be spread in definite encounters through the various cultural means.

Book Recommendation: The Dominance of Evangelicalism by David Bebbington

 

While I believe that the characteristics of Bebbington listed above are all true, I am going to hopefully extend and (if possible) simplify our understanding of Evangelicalism by breaking it up into three areas: 1) Evangelical Doctrine 2) Evangelical Actions, and 3) Evangelical Attitude. All three are necessary to understand Evangelicalism as both a twentieth-century American Christian movement and as an historic representation of Christianity.

1. Evangelical Doctrine

Evangelical doctrine is simple and straight-forward: Evangelicals center on the person and work of Christ and the authority of Scripture. Most of the details are left open for debate.

Evangelicals believe that Christ is the second member of the Trinity, eternally sharing in the one Divinity. He became fully man in order represent man. In this, Evangelicals are Nicene and Chalcedonian Christians, believing in the central confessions of the Council of Nicea (325) and Chalcedon (451).

Evangelicals also believe in the authority of Scripture as God’s revealed word to mankind. While there is some debate as to whether inerrancy (the belief that the Scriptures do not have any errors, historic, scientific, or otherwise) is central to the evangelical confession, there is no debate about the authority of Scripture.

Other than this, evangelicals come in all shapes and sizes. Evangelicals can believe in young earth creationism or be theistic evolutionists. We can be Calvinists or Arminians. We can believe in padeo-baptism or believers-only baptism. Evangelicals distinguish between essentials and non-essentials, cardinal doctrines and secondary doctrines. We have a concentric circle of importance, like this represented below.

ConcentricCircle

This does not mean that evangelicals believe that non-essential issues are non-important issues. Indeed, evangelicals such as myself can hold very strongly to secondary doctrines and defend them with great resolve (as I do with Calvinism and complementarianism). But, when push comes to shove, we know that, as Paul said to the Corinthians, there are issues of “first importance” (1 Cor. 15:1-3). If this is true, it is like Reese Bobby said to his son Ricky Bobby, “You can come in second, third, or forth. Heck, you can even come in fifth.” Suffice it to say, while my Calvinism and complementarianism are important to me, they are certainly not in first place. I will not break fellowship with you if you don’t agree with me on secondary issues. You have the right to be wrong!

This is in contrast to some traditions who have very long lists that you have to commit to in order to be accepted into their fold. For example, Roman Catholicism has a very long official catechism that has an all-or-nothing price-tag. Fundamentalism has a very long list of spoken and unspoken rules and doctrines. Here is a comparison chart (I love charts! . . . although loving charts to not essential to evangelicalism):

creeds-evangelical

Notice how the creeds and confessions almost invariably grow extensively. The original creeds of the church, such as Nicea and Chalcedon list the essence of Christianity (the regula fide or “rule of faith”) and could fit on one page. Now the Roman Catholic catechism is nearly one thousand pages!

Further Reading: Essentials and Non-Essentials in a [somewhat lengthy!] Nutshell

Related to this is the fact that evangelicals believe that there are degrees of certainty in our beliefs. In other words, not only are some doctrines more important than others, we are more sure about some things and less sure about others. We have a gradation of conviction based on the clarity of God’s revelation. This chart might help:

Chart-of-Certainty

For example, I am much more certain about the universal sinfulness of mankind than I am as to what the “mark of Cain”is in Genesis 4:15 (which I have no clue what it is and neither do you!). And although I believe in both, I have a much greater degree of conviction that Christ rose bodily from the grave than I do that the millennium is a future event (premillennialism) rather than an idealic or perpetual reality (amillennialism).

The point is that evangelicals have a doctrinal heirarchy and our theology is essentially Christocentric.

2. Evangelical Actions

Bebbington talks about this when he describes a key aspect of Evangelicalism as being evangelical. Evangelicals believe it is necessary to share the faith and call on people to “convert.” Evangelicals believe that if people don’t trust Christ for the forgiveness of sins, they are destined to the eternal judgement of God.

But a key aspect of evangelical actions is that not only do we engage with individuals, sharing the Gospel with them, but we engage in society and the world illustrating God’s universal redemptive purpose. The universe and all that it contains, even on this side of eternity, is the Lord’s and needs to be redeemed in many ways. Whether it be commerce, entertainment, love, sex, leadership, education, science, or politics, it is the Lord’s and is enjoyed most fully in recognition of him.

In our actions, Evangelicals are not separationists. Think of it this way (and forgive me for pointing out the obvious): when people become Christians, we don’t have a state that is a Christian land that we move them to (although I think many of my Texas buddies think that that is precisely what Texas is!). We stay in our own respective countries and states. Likewise, evangelicals don’t separate and start their own communities, armies, telephone companies, pharmacies, and airlines. We don’t create an us/them dichotomy. All things are God’s and when people engage in all activities, they are doing so due to the grace of God. Evangelicals recognize this and work hard within the industries that are God’s to begin with. We don’t have to start Christian Taco Bells to compete with the “secular” Taco Bells.

Again, so far this seems self evident, I know. But it is not always the case. For if one is truly an evangelical, they don’t start their own movie studios, education systems, and music industries. When such things happen, this is due to a more fundamentalistic mindset of separationism rather than an evangelical mindset of redemption. If a school goes bad and no longer recognizes God, we don’t kick the dirt and start our own school in protest by default, but we do everything we can to get an evangelical representation in that school. That is where we can do the most good. If the world talks about sex and enjoys it, we don’t shut up about it and act as if it is a necessary evil. When those without God are advancing in medicine to help people control depression, we don’t leave science in their hands as if science was not God’s to begin with. When Hollywood is making movies that bring about entertainment and laughter, we don’t create our own movies that bring about education and sadness. God owns entertainment and he created laughter. He is pretty good at it.

In other words, evangelicals see themselves as those whose actions are engaging in the world redemptively, not separating from it. We show how life is best lived with a recognition of God’s design. We show how commerce is God’s and how generosity brings about more satisfaction than hoarding. We show how monogamous marriages are so much more fulfilling than sexual promiscuity. We show how to enjoy alcohol in moderation rather than abuse it as a destructive escape mechanism that fuels depression. We show how there is a time to laugh, cry, and mourn with a great hope that transcends everything we do (1 Pet. 3:15). In short, we show how the earth and all that is in it is so much more satisfying when we listen to and believe the One who made it. We spread the word that God does not tell us to keep from sin in order to make our lives miserable, but to make it completely fulfilled.

3. Evangelical Attitude

Finally, we come to attitude. Evangelicals have an attitude of grace and mercy, both to ourselves and to others. The opposite of an evangelical attitude is one that is prideful and haughty in spirit. It is not only that we stay in the world, but that we are engaging others who don’t think or act like us with grace.

If there is an evangelical creed out there, it is this: “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity” -Rupertus Meldenius. This expresses a general disposition that evangelicals have of conviction and passion mixed with grace and love. It is so easy to have one to the neglect of the other. It is so easy to choose to be a kingdom of priests or a holy nation (Ex. 19:6 and 1 Pet.2:9). It is very hard to do both. Funamentalists have conviction, but often lack grace (holiness without priesthood). There is an old saying: What is an evangelical? A nice fundamentalist! Why? Because evangelicals believe very deeply, but this conviction is accompanied by grace. Because we recognize how much God is our only hope, we can’t look down our nose at others.

Further Reading: “Four Characteristics of Legalism

As well, evangelicals don’t go to the opposite extreme and take on a liberal anything-goes approach. Though we have great understanding of sin and how hard of a battle it is, we don’t say it doesn’t matter what you believe or how you behave. It does. We can look at the world and its sexual perversion, destructive selfishness, and neglect of hard work and stand up against it. Yet we do so with the attitude that outside of God’s grace we would be caught up in the exact same destructive patterns as those who we seek to help. And we also know that we are pretty messed up ourselves. We are, at best, sinners coming to the aid of other sinners.

Follow me on Twitter: @cmichaelpatton

Conclusion

Of course, I would hope that we would all strive to be more evangelical. Indeed, there are so many of these things that all Christians would agree with. After all, don’t all Christians believe that we should be gracious. No one is trying to create a Christian state (that I know of), and I don’t know of anyone who would separate with someone else if they don’t agree with them on what the “mark of Cain” is all about (although I am sure they are out there). But evangelicalism is different. These three hallmarks, doctrine, action, and attitude, are not just the periphery of what evangelicalism attempts to be after their morning devotionals, they represent the essence of what it means to be an evangelical.

I know a lot of people and organizations who claim to be evangelical, but do not meet the qualifications as I have described them. I don’t normally name names in my blogs, but I think that this is important right now, so please forgive me. People like John Macarthur, Ken Ham, Albert Mohler, James White, Norman Geisler, Roger Olson, Wayne Grudem, Rachel Held Evans, Tony Jones, Hank Hanegraaff, Richard Muller, and Ray Comfort, many of whom I respect a great deal and have learned so much from, are not really evangelical (at least in attitude), are they? I am open to correction here. (And I know that not all of them would necessarily claim the name “evangelical” in the first place.) Heck, just about all my hard-line Calvinistic brothers and sisters would not fit the bill!

But there are so many of out there who I do think are truly evangelical. I think of people like Charles Swindoll, Billy Graham, Michael Horton, Darrel Bock, Tom Schreiner, Justin Taylor, Thomas Oden, Dan Wallace, Dan Kimball, Justin Brierley, Os Guinness, Scot Mcknight, Mark Noll, Mary Jo Sharp, Ed Komoszewski, Mike Licona, and Paul Copan. It is interesting that most apologists tend to be more evangelical as it is their mission to defend the essence of Christianity, leaving the details to the theologians!

I think the word “evangelical” has lost so much of its meaning that it had in the 1940s and 50s. Maybe it is time for a new designation. After-all, when people hear the word “evangelical” they think a variety of things. Some have no clue what it means. Others think that it is another word for closed-minded fundamentalists. Some think it means “liberal Christian.” Or what about those who think it means “the Republican party at prayer” or homophobic Christians?

There will never be a perfect word that does not get tainted. Some would just rather get rid of any descriptive handles altogether. But we need to have a way of distinguishing ourselves. I am not sure what the solution is, but, for now, this is what I believe to be a proper understanding of the word “evangelical.”

What do you think? Do you agree with these three aspects of evangelicalism/Evangelicalism?

20 Responses to “In Search of True Evangelicalism”

  1. I think the problem comes in the list of those who are not evangelical. Most of them would call themselves Evangelical. So, no matter how me might want to define it, the word has lost its meaning.

  2. Evangelicals don’t believe in “One holy catholic and apostolic church” as the council of Nicea proclaimed and AS THEY UNDERSTOOD IT. Sure, you can rewrite history and make the words mean something that they didn’t at the time, but not exactly honest is it? When Nicea made this statement, they weren’t proclaiming that there is some vague mystical idea that in some undefined way Christians have unity. No! They were saying that there is literally one church, physically, visibly, and demonstrably! The fact that the church in the whole world came together in one place at one time in Nicea proved it!

    But now you want to say evangelicals believe in Nicea?!? NO! It isn’t true, it just isn’t. Tired of hearing the lies, tired of listening to the fake rhetoric.

    • John, yours is an issue of interpretation that would have to be argued, not asserted. Otherwise, we both just make assertions and it does not help. Wouldn’t you agree.

      The point about Nicea is that evangelicals believe in the unified confession of the homoiousia of the Son to the Father. This is the basic building blocks of the Trinity. This is why Nicea is seen as a Trinitarian Creed with the additions of 381 adding to its substance a bit.

      • I think [homoousia], not [homoiousia], was meant! The controversy over an iota. On [church], I think the term is often abused – there in not Catholic Church, but only a catholic Church comprised of numerous local churches and many networks, such as Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Orthodox, etc. Representatives from the church met at Nicea, and helped clarify trinitarianism

  3. Thanks for sharing this Michael. For a long time, I’ve been looking for something that better articulates what I believe, and it seems God has used your love of charts to help.

    I agree broadly with your definition. I think most of us want to fit your definition, but we all have places where we stumble. Some people are more prone to liberal theology because it isn’t as controversial, while others are so fundamentalist that the love is lost.

  4. Michael, as you could imagine…that was a hard list to write. I have a couple of questions:

    1. Do you agree with the lists? (look at me, trying to throw you under the bus with me)
    2. What do we do if it has lost its meaning?

    • Hey Michael,

      I really appreciated your article. I have have often thought in terms of ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘orthopraxy,’ but I really like your inclusion of ‘orthopathy’ as well. I am just curious about your inclusion of Wayne Grudem in the list of people who claim to be Evangelical but are not. It is very possible that I do not know enough about him, but I have always thought of him as an Evangelical. If you do not mind me asking; what camp would put him in, and why? Thanks!

  5. Hi Michael Patton,

    Notice how the creeds and confessions almost invariably grow extensively. The original creeds the church, such as Nicea and Chalcedon list the essence of Christianity (the regula fide or “rule of faith”) and could fit on one page. Now the Roman Catholic catechism is nearly one thousand pages!

    The Catholic Church is nearly 2,000 years old though. A church, along with the Coptic, Assyrian Church of the East, Orthodox and a few others were founded by Apostles and Disciples of Christ Jesus. There history is littered with such things as marytrs, confessors, sinners and saints, the blind, the lame, the deaf, the broken, the fractured, the healed, the poor, the rich, etc.. Are they also not Evangelical?

    The New Testament can be read in a day or two. Think of the oceans of ink spilled on just the books of Romans and James alone. A thousand pages is really not a lot. Thomas L, Schrieners commentary on Romans is probably bigger than the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    In Christ,

    Ron Sr.

  6. I keep telling folk that to any extent I have a god, I have not God, and then Bebbington goes ahead and tells me I’ve gotta accept Jesus as my god to be an Evangelical. Sounds backward to me. Jesus is the permanent temporal mode of the eternal uncreated second person of deity, and Thomas did blurt out in rough “my lord and my god”, but good philosophy & theology surely should oppose citing him too readily: there was a time when Jesus was not. Even Paul’s bit in 1 Cor.8:6 lists only the father as God, though obviously not ruling out lordship to the father, therefore not ruling out deity to his son (http://mdtc.eu/wggc.html: huiology). Systematics looks to get to root meanings. I do wish that in today’s west we’d get over calling Jesus ‘god’ (http://mdtc.eu/wggc.html: God-type). I’ve had this in the neck from Muslims. But by and large, Bebbington looks to me to have a pretty good handle on a very slippery term: one could more easily define what a man thought when there was only Adam.

  7. Why not cite him readily, Holy Spirit did, as its scripture. Jesus is as much God as Father and Holy Spirit. And what does “permanent temporal mode of the eternal uncreated second person of deity, mean? Col. 2:9, “For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” It can not mean we should get over calling Jesus God, as He is, “ I and my Father are one.” John 10:30.
    • Heb. 1:8, “But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.” So, it should be quite clear that the writers of the New Testament considered Jesus to be divine.

    • “Curse God & die” is also Scripture – I would not cite it readily. Sure, Thomas had insight, as had others. I could equally take 1 Cor.8:6 and say that the father alone is God – and that’s Scripture too, superficially contradicting Thomas (unless the Witnesses are right). We put scriptures together (systematise) to get a balanced view. Col.2:9 is good, not least in preferring talk of deity (theotēs) rather than divinity (theiotēs): N T Wright notes how the latter can carry lesser weight. Jhn.10:30 is irrelevant – the Greek neuter means “one in purpose”, not in person (masculine). Heb.1:8 could mean other than what you perhaps think, as it did in its OT setting, so is at best a secondary, supporting scripture, once the primary ones yield their fruit. Have you seen my web chart on huiology: deity?
      “Jesus is God” lacks clarity – Jesus was mortal; therefore God was mortal? Jesus got tired; therefore God got tired? The trinity is three eternal persons, one of whom (“the eternal uncreated second person”) incarnated himself into time & space as the man, messiah Yeshua. The sun can shine a light on earth (Irenaeus), yet the light is not the sun. That spot of light, that incarnation, possibly having been in temporal (time/space) mode for brief appearances (huiophanies – manifestations of God’s son (Gk. huios)) has via incarnation become permanently human – hence “permanent temporal mode”. Jesus has committed himself to us forever. I am strongly affirming the deity of God’s son, yet seeing Jesus within that sphere as a huiophany. The issue is more about how we best express such things. Back to Bebbington, as a trinitarian I would not even say “Yahweh is my god”, since it’s a poor expression of truth.

  8. Michael, I like your addition of “right attitude”! Interesting that the last 2 days I’d been doodling with a 3-part chart similar to yours, but from a Process perspective (for others perhaps not familiar, that’s generally “progressive” or “liberal” but not in the “oldline liberal” sense). I also had “right attitude” but also “right vocation”… in place of “right belief”. (Vocation in the broad Lutheran sense.)

    But it’s not entirely tidy, as no paradigm (or theological system) gets off easy, which you know. So, as a much more progressive Christian (for 20 years, having been Evangelical in your basic description till age 45), I struggle with how to understand and describe “right belief”. I strongly affirm that “ideas matter” but can come to no other conclusion than that Christianity has historically (from both before and after Nicaea) been misguided and too often MISGUIDING here. It has had undue or distorted emphasis on it and been way too speculative-yet-adamant, at least in RC and Protestant versions, which I know better than Orthodoxy (or Coptic, Chaldean, etc.)

    It seems much easier to find general agreement on what “right attitude” looks like, and even “right actions” — across the theological spectrum and denominations. And restricting the need for unity to “essentials” doesn’t solve the orthodoxy problem that I can see, tho it does allow a bigger “tent”. So Process seems unable, from about any definition of Evangelical, to be able to be considered Christian, if for no other reason than this: It envisions (as I do) a NONviolent God, as I believe Jesus did. In other words God neither threatens nor executes punishment on anyone, although painful consequences often do result from doing wrong.

    Thus, the traditional view of “final judgment” is out, along with “substitutionary atonement” theory and other things…. And how important do I think such a view of God/Jesus is? Pretty important, but not to the extent I’d use it to define who is or is not “Christian”.

  9. Rob Eaglestone June 23, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Ah, you’re trying to boil it down. Well, I like the way you take things one step at a time — in other words, you have a big picture in mind, and by defining terms, we can therefore talk rationally about the Church and Christianity, and so on.

    While I *LIKE* your list ‘o three, I wonder if that’s everything there is to it. Let’s see.

    1. Chalcedonian, ok. But note your first paragraph: you’re holding up the Solas as well.

    2. Witnessing / Sharing the Gospel, ok. Maybe you need to define this better, because I think that all churches have this to *some* degree. Some are better at it than others, but I suspect that any local church that doesn’t live their faith typically tends to decay. As you have said, orthopraxy is as important as orthodoxy.

    3. Attitude. Well… I don’t know of any church I’ve been to that doesn’t have legalists in it, but perhaps your point is more about the Leadership of a churches. If the leaders are prigs, then the church tends to become priggish.

    Which brings me to ecclesiology. It seems that the easy, no-work-required theory of “spiritual unity” is just as hollow a mockery of Christ as an imposed unity based on the political power of remote men. What has to be resolved for churches to be considered “one”? Start small: what has to be resolved for evangelical churches to be considered “one”?

  10. Michael, Agreed. Good job putting this together. I’m not quite sure how to interpret the words ancient and future on the arrows in the diagram. I like what George Barna did in his surveys regarding the criteria for “born again”, “evangelical” and “biblical world view”. I wonder if you’re familiar with those. It is not mentioned here that the equivalent words for “evangelicals” in certain other languages, especially European languages and in Africa, have taken on general meanings of “non-Roman-Catholic” Christians. Your discussion is limited to a meaning widely used in the USA.

    John, the church in the whole world did not come together in one place at Nicea. I know what you mean about being tired of hearing false rhetoric, and your words fall into that category when you claim that the church west of the Euphrates represented the whole church of that time period. There is substantial evidence that the Apostle Thomas made his way all the way to India, and that part of the Church existed in India until about the year 1500, even though they did not have any connection with the other Apostles or Rome.

  11. Rob, For churches to be considered one … by whom? By Jesus? By the Pope? By a majority of American Christians? By Muslim Background Believers in persecuted Islamic nations? When we talk about churches, I don’t foresee any unity of the institutional type. When we read the letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, the churches were very different, and groups within each church were different from each other internally. When we speak of “one church” on the other hand, we understand the word “church” to mean all people who have been “called out” from the world into the Kingdom of the Son, regardless of what city we worship in or who our overseers are. Follow Michael Patton on “Catholicism in a Nutshell”, and you’ll see the Protestant idea that the passing on of the authentic body of teaching (and I would add the ministry of the Holy Spirit) is what gives authority and authenticity to the Church, as opposed to the idea that the authority is inherent in the people themselves.

    The thesis here is that evangelicals are on church by virtue of having “unity in essentials”. The reason we see multiple denominations and communities (besides just geographical and linguistic differences) is because we have diversity when it comes to the important non-essentials, the unimportant, and the pure speculation. The Pope – just today I read the news – pronounced that there should be peace with Protestants, since unity does not require uniformity. As long as we are not uniform, we can expect different churches and disunity on those things. As long as we are one in Christ, we can expect unity in the faith, in baptism, in the Spirit, in doctrine, in essentials as God’s people.

    • Rob Eaglestone June 27, 2015 at 9:05 am

      > evangelicals are on church by virtue of having “unity in essentials”. The reason we see multiple denominations and
      > communities (besides just geographical and linguistic differences) is because we have diversity when it comes to
      > the important non-essentials, the unimportant, and the pure speculation.

      To a large degree this sounds right. If I can attend a communion at A. Random Church and they say “all (baptized) believers may partake” then I feel we have unity. In my mind this spells out the difference between diversity and schism.

      > “unity does not require uniformity”

      The pope might be on to something there. I like Francis’ style: classy, informal, and genuine.

      Until the doctrines of the various churches, to some reasonable degree, acknowledge this sort of thing, defining a sort of Mere Christianity as a baseline for acceptance of others (and Lewis would be a great place to start), then we do not have any kind of visible witness or confidence in being one. And I’m looking at the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches here.

      Yes, there is a universal church, which includes a communion of saints, all the chosen. But we still want things to be “on Earth as it is in Heaven”, to some reasonable approximation, though fallible.

      Back to the Bible. When we see the churches in Revelation, aren’t we assuming that these are churches founded by the apostles directly and (perhaps) secondhand at best? I imagine that, in general, each might gladly have received communion at each others’ churches, and gladly received members from each other.

      In his Institutes, Calvin says that the essential marks of the church are (1) right preaching of the gospel, and (2) right administration of the sacraments. Does this sound reasonable, and if so, how can this be overcome when #2 (sacramentalism) appears to form part of the key difficulties between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic on one side, and the various Zwinglians on the other side? Shall we all move to a Lutheran-Anglican view of the sacraments?

    • Clark Coleman July 1, 2015 at 9:05 am

      The seven churches of Asia in Revelation 2-3 were not divided from each other in the way in which denominations today are divided from one another. Yes, they were “different” from each other, but let’s not use word games to excuse denominational divisiveness by making it sound like it is similar to the church of the first century. One major reason we cannot achieve unity today is because it is not a priority, and a second reason is because we excuse our divisions, which are contrary to the words of Christ in John 17.

  12. The current Pope, while asking forgiveness for the inhumane and un-Christian violence the Catholic Church committed against the Waldensians, repeated the phrase “unity does not mean uniformity”, and highlighted the diversity (of organization, etc.)among the early Apostolic communities. In my mind, it was the Catholic Church taking a step closer to evangelicalism.

  13. I submitted two attempts at replies yesterday, but they seem to be lost in cyberspace somewhere.

  14. I recommend: CT magazine (Christianity Today) Nov. 2016 has a review (reviewer Fred Sanders of Biola Univ.) of two books. The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church (by Peter Leithart), and Biblical Authority after Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity (by Kevin Vanhoozer). The books shed light on this blog topic.

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