Sunday, January 23, 2005

Am I an Evangelical? Part 2

In Part 1 of Am I an Evangelical?, I looked at the first four parts of the National Association of Evangelicals statement of faith. Let's finish the other three.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

I agree with this one. I think this is a fairly non-controversial one for Christians.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

This is a rather ingenious wording. There is a small subset of Protestant Christians who believe that the Bible teaches that God's Great White Throne judgement (as related in Revelation 20) results in eternal destruction (the "Second Death"), not in eternal torture. I am sympathetic to this position, since it's one I held for almost 10 years, and am still not so sure is wrong. This statement of faith is flexible enough to allow both positions.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

This one really has a "design by committee" meets "new age" feel, but I suppose the underlying idea that all Christians are spiritually unified as a single Church. This is a no-brainer too.

Really, these are little more than restatements of the Nicean Creed and other basic Christian creeds, and little sets it apart from what I would consider the "basics" of being a Christian.

I've found a couple of other people's ideas of what an evangelical is, so I'll look at those ideas, and see if I can give you an answer, in the next post.

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