The (Other) Hole in Our Gospel

Evangelicals are getting hammered from every quarter these days.  Mark Noll wrote of “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.”  (The scandal: there isn’t much of an evangelical mind.)  Richard Stearns has written of “The Hole in Our Gospel.”  (The hole: Jesus’ call to live radically, doing justice and loving the least.)

Here’s one more for the list, perhaps not as scandalous but perhaps overlooked: tradition.  Too many evangelicals, for various reasons, have spiritual, liturgical, and theological amnesia.  One evangelical who can serve as a corrective to this tendency is Methodist Grand Poobah John Wesley.  Thus sayeth Ted Campbell:

Wesley was, it should be argued, a very unique Evangelical who had an unusual commitment to Christian tradition (especially ancient tradition), and he therefore remains as a challenge (and hopefully a resource) to Evangelicals, who too often in the past have jettisoned Christian tradition as irrelevant to the on-going lives of individual Christians and to the life of the Christian community. (John Wesley and Christian Antiquity, [Nashville: Kingswood Books 1991], 114)

 

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