Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What Evangelicals Do Well

Someone recently posted a comment at Scot McKnight's blog Jesus Creed accusing him (and most of those who post there) of hating evangelicalism. His point was that there was so much criticism coming from his blog that the evangelical church must be doing nothing right. Scot posted a winsome reply, but I think the commenter's point is interesting.

It's so easy to be a critic. There's nothing easier than standing back and offering your commentary while others go about their business. I do this. You probably do this, too. To counter the easy, critical mentality, I wanted to think about some of the things that evangelicals do well. You'll find, below, an incomplete list of some of the things that I think evangelicals tend to get right.


Maybe we don't have the most finely-tuned christology, but evangelicals tend to do a good job of putting Jesus at the center of our faith. We're "Jesus people", and we will always find our way to Jesus in any conversation. We love him. We worship him. We try really hard to follow him well.


Well this one's obvious. We love to share the gospel with our neighbors! It's always at the top of the list for how we define spiritual maturity, and we live with the guilt of not doing it enough. We are eager to share our faith with others, and we're always looking for better ways to do it.


We're always talking about grace. In fact, most evangelicals have probably attended a church called "Grace" at some point in their lives. (I grew up in one.) We lean, heavily, on grace, and shy away from even the slightest hint of "works-righteousness". God has saved us because he has chosen to do so through his son Jesus, and not because we have somehow earned his salvation.

Spiritual Growth

We're obsessed with growing in Christ. We tend to think in terms of progress. How am I getting closer to God? Am I becoming more like Christ? We know that we're not perfect, and most of us try hard to follow Jesus well. We want to be better Christians and better people.

Biblical Authority

Evangelicals take the Bible seriously. We read it at home. We want it to be the center of our sermons. We try to live by it, obey it, and understand it. We give it authority over ourselves, and not the other way around. We're constantly on guard against those who don't, in our estimation, take the Bible seriously.

These are just five that, I think, we evangelicals get mostly right. What are some others?


Corey said...

Potlucks. Evangelicals throw some serious potlucks, rife with harmfully processed, delicious foods in copious amounts.

Eric said...

I can't say I have a fully formed idea of what all "Evangelicals" covers, but I hope the authority of scripture and literal interpretation are among them.