The Spectacle Blog

‘Evangelical’ Meaning is Lost

By on 5.7.08 | 8:41AM

USA Today reports this morning about an effort by Christian scholars and theologians to recover the meaning of the identity of what an "evangelical" is, by issuing a new "manifesto:"

"Evangelical" has been widely used to refer to Christians who have conservative political views, but the Evangelical Theological Society requires members to agree on just two points: inerrancy of Scripture, and belief in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as "separate but equal in attributes and glory" and essential for salvation.

The manifesto condemns Christians on the right and left for "using faith" to express political views "without regard to the truth of the Bible," according to a draft obtained last week by the Associated Press. When faith "loses its independence," it says, "Christians become 'useful idiots' " for politicians.

I wrote over a year ago that that term is no longer meaningful, and I doubt this new manifesto will change that. I suggested a new one that would be more difficult for liberals to co-opt.

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