Brian Fisher, John Hagy, World Evangelical Alliance discussed on The Scathing Atheist
Given the promo code, really? Manscape. When the fear is gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain. Okay. I've got manscaped manners cost us so much money. It really has just a lot. What the fuck is an evangelical? The turbine evangelical comes from the Greek word for gospel Evangelion, which sounds way cooler than gospel, or evangelical. According to the dictionary, the term simply means of or denoting a tradition with Protestant Christianity emphasizing the authority of the Bible, personal conversion, and the doctrine of Salvation by faith in the atonement. And as concise as that definition may seem, it does beg the question, are there traditions within Protestant Christianity that don't emphasize the Bible personal conversion or Salvation? And if you ask an evangelical, they'd probably say yes and lump all such traditions under the heading of mainline Protestantism. But if you asked a mainline Protestant if their religious tradition emphasized the authority of the Bible personal conversion and Salvation, they'd almost certainly tell you, yes, so clearly someone's full of shit. And we're talking religion here. So odds are it's everybody. Now, if you trace the term back to the 16th century, it was largely a synonym for Protestant to find the point where it diverges into a distinct type of Protestantism. You have to fast forward to the first great awakening in the 1730s. In its early form, it was largely an amalgamation of the three P's of being boring as bucket a party. Pietism, presbyterianism and puritanism. Rather than representing a denomination or sect of Protestantism, the evangelical tag denoted a movement within a number of Protestant sects. In many ways, the movement can be described as puritanism light, and grew in direct response to declining attendance and local piety in the previously puritanical cities of Massachusetts. While less cynical historians described this as a method of refurbishing God's message for a more modern day, realistic as a bunch of puritan preachers removing all the inconvenient shit from their religion because they were running out of money. For example, during the great awakening denominations that used to say that it took a lifetime of sturdy contemplation to achieve true assurance of one's faith, started saying it was assigning bonus that you just got for saying the magic Jesus words. This do nothing and get rewards approach to religion caught on quickly in the North American colonies, but as much because of the evangelical focus on missionary work as the new low price. Unlike many of the traditional forms of Protestantism, evangelicals held a firm belief that one wasn't doing their true duty to God unless they were all up in everybody's shit about it. This led to an increase in religious influence in government, schools, and the average American social life. But like puritanism before it, the evangelical movement became stagnant and outdated and by the early 20th century it was dominated by fundamentalists so fundamentalists that they actually called themselves fundamentalists. A desire by some more PR conscious members of the movement led to the term neo evangelical in the post World War II era, which we now simply call evangelicals. So yes, the swath of Christians that include pat Robertson, Brian Fisher and John hagy started with an effort to be less fundamentalist. Of course, knowing where the evangelicals have been, doesn't get as much closer to understanding what the fuck they are, especially since the history of the movement is largely defined by what they're not. And modern evangelical groups are of no more use as their primary goal is to make groups of people they represent seem as large as possible, even if that requires using rather fuzzy definitions. For example, the world evangelical alliance claims to represent more than 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide, which represents about a 195% of the total evangelical population. They get there by employing the bevington quadrilateral, which you can tell us full of shit because they didn't just call it the bevington square. They did a 5 syllable word in there to make it sound thinky. Basically, this approach defines evangelicals through their theology. It posits four key theological elements and in the tradition of over naming laid down by gratuitously polysyllabic use of quadrilateral, they define these four elements as follows. Biblicism. The belief that all essential spiritual truths could be found in the Bible. Cruci centrism, a focus on the atoning work of Christ's death on the cross, conversion is the belief that human beings need to be converted and activism. The belief that the gospel needs to be expressed in effort. If anybody strongly agrees with all four of these statements, the NAE considers them an evangelical. The problem here obviously is that you're going to catch a lot of fish in that net that would vehemently disagree with your classification. Hell, by that definition, you can find an awful lot of evangelical Catholics. Even further confusing the definition is the tendency of the modern media to use the term evangelical as a shorthand for white Protestant, which is all the more baffling since wasp is already there and takes away less effort to say. So despite looking into the etymology, the dictionary, the history, the organizational definition and the demographic definition, I wound up back where I started. See, to me, the term evangelical simply means extra annoying non Catholic Christian and the more I dug into it, the more I realized that truly was an operational definition. In other words, an evangelical is a fundamentalist with enough PR savvy not to use the F word. And.