Mere Evangelicalism?

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

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. The term evangelical is thus rendered meaningless, and the media might as well just substitute “churchgoers.”