One of the best biblical theology websites out there is http://beginnningwithmoses.org. Today a new article was posted by David Gibson, one of the editors. It is entitled “Assumed Evangelicalism: Some Reflections en route to denying the Gospel.” After briefly describing the general pattern of movements as proclaiming the gospel, assuming the gospel, and eventually denying the gospel, he sets out to describe evangelicalism as it appears to be following this pattern. Assumed evangelicalism:
“believes and signs up to the gospel. It certainly does not deny the gospel. But in terms of priorities, focus, and direction, assumed evangelicalism begins to give gradually increasing energy to concerns other than the gospel and key evangelical distinctives, to gradually elevate secondary issues to a primary level, to be increasingly worried about how it is perceived by others and to allow itself to be increasingly influenced both in content and method by the prevailing culture of the day.”
From there he goes on to ask two questions to enable us to identify which phase (proclaimed, assumed, denied) best describes ourselves and our ministries:
- To what extent does the gospel dictate our priorities in life, and the visions and strategies of our churches, movements and institutions?
- To what extent do the key features of evangelicalism dictate our priorities in life, and the visions and strategies of our churches, movements and institutions?
Gibson has helpfully and concisely summarized many of the concerns that I have had as I have watched certain trends in evangelicalism. I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing.