Thursday, March 13, 2008

The heart of Evangelicalism is the Gospel

In an interview with the Internet Monk, C. Michael Patton [Reclaiming the Mind] responds to a question about the state of Evangelicalism. Patton says we have an "identity crisis" and, essentially, that we need to remember the answers, remember what everything is all about, remember just what the "Good News" is. Patton:
Ask ten people for a definition of Evangelicalism and you will find ten different answers. For some evangelicals the Gospel has been lost to the entertainment business. For others it is a means to justify consumerism. And still, for others, it is an obscure journey without a destination or reliable map. We need to reclaim the center once again.

At the heart of evangelicalism is the Gospel. At the heart of the Gospel is the truth about God and man. God is holy, righteous, and loving. You lose one of these and you have lost the Gospel. Humans have dignity as God’s image bearers, yet they have been corrupted with sin. God’s Son is our only hope for restoration. We must call upon God for mercy. Each one of these components, when lost, produces a different Gospel and, hence, a different Evangelicalism.

If Evangelicalism is to survive (and I believe that it can), we need to get back to the Gospel. If this means that a conversation needs to happen about what the Gospel is, then we need to push for this conversation. But people need to come informed beyond their own subjectivity or we will just have more “gospels” and a greater identity crisis in Evangelicalism. [the interview] » Blog Archive » C. Michael Patton of Reclaiming the Mind Ministries: The Internet Monk Interview

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