Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Is Evangelicalism the Best Version of Christianity (Or Not)?

Peter Enns tackles this question from an evangelical perspective at his Patheos blog.  First, he addresses the claim that "evangelicalism is the best iteration of Christianity because it is most faithful to the Bible and most in line with the history of church:"

Several observations:
--All Christian traditions say that.
--To gain credibility this claim would need to be made with at least Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians in the room.
--This triumphalist claim is consistent with evangelicalism’s polemical roots and history.
--The claim marginalizes, if not ignores, the tremendous theological diversity in historic Christianity as well as in the church today (synchronic and diachronic diversity).
--The claim assumes that this diversity is a problem with God.
--Related to 4 and 5, the claim assumes something of the Bible, namely that it presents one detailed yet coherent spiritual narrative that can be teased out, systematized, and defended.
--Not all evangelicals are comfortable with this rhetoric.
In the rest of the post he offers  "a defense of the evangelical narrative."

Have at it...