The word “evangelical” has taken on negative connotations in many circles. While it has traditionally been used (in the United States) to designate conservative Protestants who are Biblicist in their reading of the Bible (insists that the Bible is inerrant/infallible) and believe that one’s salvation is dependent on affirming Jesus as one’s savior and lord. In recent decades, it has come to designate persons of conservative political commitments, with strong focus on two social issues (abortion and gay marriage). Now, it is used to describe Protestant supporters of Donald Trump (the so-called 81% of White Evangelicals who are alleged to have supported his candidacy). While it is true that many evangelicals are among Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters, I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable with the development of this stereotypical view of evangelicalism. In my experience, evangelicalism, including white evangelicalism, is much more diverse politically and even theologically than the stereotype would allow.
I am a left-of-center pastor of a mainstream/mainline Protestant church. I am also the graduate of the largest evangelical seminary in the world (M.Div. and Ph.D.). I may be more “liberal” than many evangelicals, but there is something valuable in my background that I want to retain. (Read more.)
This blog was written by Energion Publications’ author, Dr. Robert Cornwall. His published books include Faith in the Public Square, Out of the Office: A Theology of Ministry, Ultimate Allegiance: The Subversive Nature of the Lord’s Prayer, and more which can be found at EnergionDirect.com, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, in written and electronic forms.