When I Say “evangelicals”

This permanent page spells out what I mean by “evangelicals”.  Many people will say, “my church isn’t like that – and I’m not like that!”

That may be true – but the state of affairs has been changing rapidly away from the Old Guard of Billy Graham followers. This is a new generation of Protestants from a more diffuse background – including unapologetic fundamentalists and Third Wave charismatics who were considered outside the theological boundaries of early evangelicalism.  It’s been infused along the way with dollops of Christian Volk-ism, and most recently cross-pollinated with Q-Anon conspiracy mongering, Trumpism, and white nativist folk religion.  

I refrain from using caps in editing the word “evangelical”. Yes, there is Bebbington, which outlines evangelicalism’s substance broadly enough to include any number of non-evangelical Christians (cross-reference it with Mormons, for example). As a movement, it defies definition worthy of accuracy. And as such, has been an ongoing organism governed by the law of change. As Heraclitus once pointed out, you can’t step into the same river twice – we can only describe what it resembles at any given moment.

I write against intentionally narrow-minded, ignorant and bigoted people that call themselves evangelicals. That pertains to, in my view, many whose resemblance is no longer of Christ. They’re the worst sort of Muggles imaginable, as Professor McGonagall might say. Apologies for the dwindling few to whom that doesn’t apply.