Set the labels free



They are at it again: The overseers of labels indulge in self-righteousness once more.
Denny Burk is happy to take on the role of being the keeper of the label “Evangelical”. For that he looks to David Bebbington’s quadrilateral: “According to Bebbington, evangelicals have four leading characteristics: biblicism, crucicentrism, conversionism, and activism.”

That is a very revealing definition because it is full of -isms. An -ism is usually an ideology that is based on, well ideas. The God of Evangelical Theology is not an idea:

In this sense I call myself evangelical and totally reject any of these -isms. I take evangelical literally to be derived from euangelion, meaning “related to the Gospel”. Whoever calls themselves Christian relates to the Gospel in one way or another. If Burk & Co want to claim authority over labels they might as well beat that dead horse from precisely one year ago again and forbid Mormons from calling themselves Christians.

Set the labels free and celebrate diverse conversations! Today I celebrate Rachel Held Evans anti-definitions from What “evangelical” doesn’t mean to me:
“It doesn’t mean allegiance to a single political party.
It doesn’t mean restricting the roles of women in the home and church.
It doesn’t mean interpreting an ancient Near Eastern creation account as science.
It doesn’t mean an absence of liturgy, sacrament, and tradition.
It doesn’t mean individualism.
It doesn’t mean certainty. ​
It doesn’t mean opposing gay rights.
It doesn’t mean Southern Baptist.
It doesn’t mean unilateral support for Israel.
It doesn’t mean lack of ecumenicism. ​
It doesn’t mean exclusivism.
It doesn’t mean exclusion.”


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