Thursday, May 02, 2013

Labelling Evangelical Christians

Don’t like labels? Just wanna be called “Christian” or “Follower of Christ”? MAN UP! Let’s get specific, my Reformed Premillennial Calvinist Progressive Dispensationalists friends.
With that in mind, perhaps it is time to dispense with some titles that qualify "Evangelical" as they tend not to say what is really going on. "Conservative", for example, doesn't reveal what is very often driving matters in theological terms, nor does "moderate", "biblical" etc.
So, as this idiot with a keyboard has a moment to waste, what about:
  • Angry Moralising Evangelicals (they often like to use the word "biblical" as descriptive of their own beliefs in contrast to other orthodox Christians, and are often self-declared gate-keepers of the orthodoxy of some kind of universal foundationalism. If this post offends you, I suspect you know I am speaking about you!).
  • Don't Really Know What to be Confident About Anymore so Bang on About Whatever Certain Famous Academics Say (social justice/environment) Evangelical. Yes, thanks, it took a while to come up with this punchy title. Heretic Tree Hugger Evangelicals, was another option.
  • Pop Culture be Ultra Nice and Believe Tolerance is Primary Virtue Smile Lots Evangelical (my favourite sort, in truth. Cos they are nice. Semipelagian tendencies, though, and the [usually] charismatic leader hero worship does make me reach every now and then)
  • A cheeky friend on Facebook, Nathanael came up with: Condescending Evangelicals - theologians who pigeon hole and categorise other evangelicals. Haha, yea, right…
  • So there must also be: Condescending Dilettante Evangelicals - Evangelicals that criticise Academic Evangelicals (there’s another!) for making legitimate categories to pigeon hole others. BOOM! Touché
  • Friend, Daniel, rightly noted one more: Holders Of Absolutely No Evangelical Views Whatsoever (For Very Sensible Theological Reasons) But Too Afraid Of The Power The Evangelical Tribe Exercises To Adopt The More Sensible Prefix "Not" Evangelicals, which is so long it is silly.
  • Finally, and I think it is more or less where I will stand, let us speak of Evangelical Evangelicals (Barthians). Of course, it may be that some Barthians could lapse into uncontrollable fits of ponciness and therefore subliminal truth-before-and-apart-from-Christ-in-practice-even-though-they-vigorously-deny-it-but-we-know-what-is-going-on-butterfly-chops. So to distinguish myself from such potential worlds, I will introduce myself as follows:
    • “Hi, I’m an Evangelical Evangelical Evangelical Christian. Nice to meet you. Have you read Church Dogmatics IV/1?”.


At 5/04/2013 7:47 PM, Blogger scott caulley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/04/2013 8:49 PM, Blogger James Goetz said...

"Hi, I'm an Evangelical Evangelical Evangelical Christian. Nice to meet you. Have you read Church Dogmatics IV/1?"

New Acquaintance:
"Church Dogmatics? No, I never heard of it. Could you please briefly summarize the main ideas in Church Dogmatics?"

How does Chris respond? :-)

At 5/06/2013 1:36 PM, Anonymous Douglas said...

I think the correct summary is "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

At 5/08/2013 12:47 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Basically, James, I would refer to Douglas' comment below!

At 5/08/2013 12:47 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Above, this, rather, below you. Darn it.

At 5/08/2013 2:50 PM, Blogger James Goetz said...


At 5/10/2013 12:17 PM, Anonymous JD said...

All of these are preferable to... wait for it... 'progressive' Christian!

At 5/10/2013 4:04 PM, Blogger andrewbourne said...

Chris you have left with me a dilemma that you may not have considered. For I find my self as an Orthodox Catholic. Pope Francis is possibly encouraging my return to Latin Catholicism but at the moment I am lost. In my part of the UK there is no Melkite Church. I hope that just because Evangelicals by their nature cause more heat that you may be able to give suggestions to those of us who wish the unification of the Catholic Church but are caught in the middle between the seperartion at present. If there is one hope i believe that the East and West may so0n come together


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