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Re: Christian, but not Evangelical

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  • nyguy_1225
    Thanks for your comments; I m enjoying the discussion too. So you re a PK! You probably have lots of stories. Actually there are all sorts of evangelicals
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 29, 2004
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      Thanks for your comments; I'm enjoying the discussion too. So
      you're a PK! You probably have lots of stories.

      Actually there are all sorts of evangelicals (just as there are all
      sorts of gay people!). According to one evangelical history
      professor: "Once past a shared commitment to a supernatural gospel,
      evangelicals are all over the place theologically." [Mark Noll] The
      president of Southern Baptist Seminary joins a church historian at
      Westminster Seminary to declare that "No single evangelical
      tradition exists." [Albert Mohler, Jr. and D. G. Hart] A Regent
      College theology professor states: "Evangelicalism is a network and
      tradition of Christians united on a few select convictions. As
      such, evangelicalism is not essentially committed to this or that …
      so long as Christ is glorified, the Bible obeyed, the gospel
      preached and the kingdom extended." [John G. Stackhouse, Jr.]

      "Evangelical identity," says an Anglican evangelical, "has come to
      embrace such a wide range of theological options." And he grants
      that it has been so ever since the 18th century split between John
      Wesley and George Whitefield – during the very beginnings of what is
      known as evangelicalism. [Gerald Bray] He notes that "from that day
      to this, there has never been an evangelical church or even a
      confession of faith, which all evangelicals can accept as definitive
      of this movement."

      I suppose for me, I like the "evangelical" label because I think it
      says something about my own commitment to a supernatural gospel. I
      happen to love the Word of God and never cease to be amazed at its
      richness and depth. And as a Jewish believer, I am enthralled by
      the fact that God, through the prophets of Israel, gave clear and
      detailed prophecies concerning the promised Messiah (Christ) who
      would one day set foot onto the stage of human history.

      And not just a few isolated references: God provided more than 300
      prophecies spread throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. And it wasn't
      just a few people who came together to formulate such an intricate
      and detailed plan: The Hebrew Scriptures were written over a 1,000
      year span and by more than 30 different authors -- which eliminates
      any possibility of editorial manipulation because the prophecies
      were written by different people who lived in different places and
      at different times in history -- yet each pointing to the same one
      individual. And these prophecies encompass a wealth of identifying
      characteristics about him.

      There are prophesies of his pre-existence, his ancestry, his birth,
      his character, his ministry, his dual nature, his death, and his
      resurrection. Stuff like this never ceases to blow me away. Marv
      Rosenthal once said: "To suggest that mere men maneuvered and
      manipulated to make the myriad of events surrounding the birth of
      Christ fit the Old Testament pattern is ludicrous. Far easier would
      it be to disassemble a complex watch, throw the dismembered parts
      into a running clothes dryer and believe that in due course, given
      enough time, the watch would be whole, running on time, to the very
      second." I find that this high view of Scripture which I have
      always had (as both a gay man and an "ex-gay" man) is often not
      shared by non-evangelicals.

      -Alex


      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
      > Hi Alex, Jack and All:
      >
      > First of all, I should say that I know the evangelical and
      fundamentalist subcultures (and their differences) very well. I was
      raised in the home of a fundamentalist minister and educated in an
      evangelical liberal arts college and received a master of divinity
      degree from an evangelical seminary.
      >
      > The one gift of my evangelical background that I continue to
      celebrate is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe in
      the "warm hearted" experience and the changed life as a result of a
      vibrant relationship with God. However, evangelicalism fails (in my
      opinion) when it becomes exclusive in its claims about a whole host
      of issues. There is a great difference between proclaiming that
      Jesus is the Savior of the world (which I do) and proclaiming that
      we have a corner on all truth. I am not talking about the "scandal
      of particularity." I am talking about an attitude that prevents
      dialogue from even beginning because of the assumption that we have
      nothing to learn from people of other traditions.
      >
      > Enjoying the Discussion,
      > James
      >
      >
      > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      > <<I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I
      > am proud to
      > wear.>>
      >
      > Thanks for sharing! Words are very powerful things -- and they
      > often mean different things to different people. It's obvious
      even
      > from your short post that you love Jesus and have a personal
      > relationship with him. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned (and I
      > believe as far as God is concerned as well) that's where the
      rubber
      > meets the roads. How that love and relationship gets expressed
      will
      > look different for different people. Christianity is richer,
      wider,
      > deeper and fuller than any one man or one group's expression of
      > it. But if you no longer "claim the evangelical label" (which is
      a
      > valid choice) I guess the question that comes to mind for me is
      what
      > connotation or connotations does this word or label have for you
      > that you no longer choose to claim it?
      >
      > -Alex
      >
      > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
      > > Hi Alex:
      > >
      > > I know your three categories were not meant to be exhaustive,
      but
      > I don't believe I fall into any one of those.
      > >
      > > I hold fast to my Christian faith, but my theology is definitely
      > more progressive than it used to be, and I am more open to the
      idea
      > of God in 'the other' . That is true because of my experiences of
      > life and Christian faith since coming out. That being said, I am
      > not a "theologically extremely liberal" Christian in regard to my
      > theology. I am still a Christian who looks to Scripture and
      > tradition to interpret my experiences. I wrestle with God and am
      > full of doubts and assurances, because of my on-going relationship
      > with Jesus Christ.
      > >
      > > I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I
      > am proud to wear. And this I do with a progressive approach to
      how
      > I apply my historical faith to this crazy world we live in.
      > >
      > > Just my two cents,
      > > James
      > >
      > >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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