Tuesday, January 23, 2007


At the Seventh Day Baptist website we are described as "evangelical Baptists." An article in USA Today suggests that the term "Evangelical" has both lost its descriptive power and carries too many negative connotations. Excerpts:
Who's an evangelical? Until last year the answer seemed clear: Evangelical was the label of choice of Christians with conservative views on politics, economics and Biblical morality.

Now the word may be losing its moorings, sliding toward the same linguistic demise that "fundamentalist" met decades ago because it has been misunderstood, misappropriated and maligned.

"Save the E-Word," was the headline on a fall editorial in Christianity Today, the 50-year-old magazine founded by Billy Graham. It quoted opinion polls in England and the USA showing "the tide has gone out" on the term, increasingly seen as negative and extremist. "When I travel, I call myself a 'creedal Christian' now," says Francis Beckwith, president of the Evangelical Theological Society and a professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. ....

Although 38% of Americans call themselves evangelical, only 9% actually agree with key evangelical beliefs, says research firm the Barna Group. In a surveys of 4,014 adults nationwide, conducted over four months in 2006, "one out of every four self-identified evangelicals has not even accepted Christ as their savior," says George Barna.

How you see "evangelical" depends on where you stand, says the Rev. Mark Coppenger, founding pastor of the Evanston (Ill.) Baptist Church and former spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Coppenger still calls himself evangelical "to distinguish myself from the more liberal mainline Christian groups." But, he adds, "I'm more inclined to call myself a 'Christian,' 'Bible believer,' 'Baptist,' or 'Southern Baptist.'
Source: Evangelical: Can the 'E-word' be saved? - USATODAY.com

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