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Mere Evangelicalism?

There’s a helpful discussion over at Mere Comments [1] on the nature of evangelicalism. First, a post from S. M. Hutchens [2], and a response/follow-up from Russell Moore [3].

Hutchens rightly identifies some of the problems within evangelicalism as a movement. Moore follows up, pointing out how viewing even viewing evangelicalism as a corporate movement is problematic. A person does not become an evangelical so much as they become a Christian — even more particularly, a member of a specific local body of believers.

I think this is one of the reasons the media has such a large problem dealing with evangelicalism. They tend to paint too many particularities with a broad brush, and end up muddling the whole portrait. It hasn’t taken long to have everybody from Benny Hinn to Fr. Richard John Neuhaus is being lableled evangelical [4]. The term evangelical is thus rendered meaningless, and the media might as well just substitute “churchgoers.”