Someone recently lamented that many in the Churches of Christ were turning to “fuzzy-headed evangelicalism,” suggesting by this label that such a transformation might be less than desirable. In response, please allow this personal confession.
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The term “evangelicalism” refers to a religious faith and spiritual life centered on and growing out of the gospel of Jesus Christ — the good news that God loves sinners and that in Jesus of Nazareth he has reconciled us to himself. More specifically, an evangelical is anyone who professes a personal relationship with God through the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, who looks to the Bible as the word of God and the final authority in spiritual matters, who holds that one is justified before God only by trusting what God has done already in Jesus Christ and who seeks to share that faith from a desire to see others come into relationship with God in Christ.
I happily confess that I am an evangelical as defined above. If others call me “fuzzy-headed” (perhaps literally), I have been called much worse. As between the God-centered approach of Luther and Calvin (and Augustine and Paul before them) and the various alternative constructs which rely ultimately on human ability, wisdom or endeavor, I shall stand with the former when the vote comes in. My confidence is not in my theology, however, but in the One to whom it points and whom it seeks at every point to glorify.
Thus endeth the testimony of one small person in this vast universe, albeit one among millions blessed to know the Living God in a way which compels confession, adoration and praise. If this kind of evangelicalism does not describe where any of us have been in the past, Churches of Christ or otherwise, for heaven’s sake let us move to it as quickly as God gives us strength and opportunity.