Saturday, November 04, 2006

evangelical Blog

11/4/2006 3:52 PM

A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative,...emergent, unfinished... by Brian McLaren on Amazon

A Generous Orthodoxy coverAgain I'm beginning with some of my own thoughts before reading Brian McLaren's.

Before making the obvious observation that Evangelical in today's USA basically refers to a particular style of politically, doctrinally, socially individual ("I even get my very own personal Savior all for me") Protestant Christian, often associated with the Religious Right, I'll mention the Reformers called themselves Evangelische, meaning Protestant and non-Roman Catholics in Spanish-speaking countries and cultures simply style themselves evangelico/a. As you've likely observed from my blog title, McLaren designates this chapter with a lower-case "e". Ages ago I heard very theologically (and otherwise) liberal Krister Stendahl say, "I hope we are all evangelical!" In other words, he hoped all of us Christians were bearers, speakers and doers of the Gospeled Good News. Are we?

11/4/2006 8:17 PM

Page 128 of a Generous Orthodoxy: "the word Evangelical can have some pretty negative connotations. But it's a word I would rather not abandon, if I can help it. In fact, I am happy and honored to consider myself an evangelical."

Pastor Brian mentioned both negatives (similar to my list) and positives associated with capital-E Evangelicals. But then, on page 130, he says clearly, "When I say I cherish an evangelical identity, I mean something beyond a believe system or doctrinal array or even a practice. I mean an attitude—an attitude toward God and our neighbor and our mission that is passionate." He also admits "...Evangelicals have painted themselves into a lot of corners—theologically, politically, socially. But evangelical passion for spiritual experience, for spiritual understanding, for mission is precious. ...Even though it can't be bottled, it can be acquired because, ultimately, 'it' is the Spirit of Jesus, and Jesus gives himself freely to all who ask. Both Evangelicals and evangelicals know that." I like that a lot, and completely agree!

On the last page of this chapter he refers to Dave Tomlinson's term "post-evangelical," meaning coming from, emerging from, growing from, and emphasizing both continuity and discontinuity. Agreed. I'm gonna get this onto my blog so I can move on with this book and with the rest of my life. Thanks again for the gift of the book, Scott! You know it was on my Amazon Wish List!

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