I think it is very important when we talk about Christian theology that we define our terms. One of the trademarks of a cult is that they will use words that Christianity uses and flip them to mean something else. So here is a list of definitions in the way that I use them, which of course, I think is the proper way to use them. 🙂
Evangelicalism—a movement that occurred in the early 18th century as a result of the Protestant Reformation and, some would say, in reaction to Enlightenment thinking characterized by a belief in a personal conversion, adherence to the Bible, and an emphasis on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who is the Son of God.
Protestant Liberalism—a product of Enlightenment thinking, German higher criticism and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution that occurred in the late 18th century. The 18th century Enlightenment placed an emphasis on science and ration. The inerrancy of the Bible fell under heavy attack. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution began to become the accepted scientific theory for the origin of the universe. Thus, the Bible was reduced to a system of ethical rules with the overall emphasis being placed on love rather than holiness. Jesus Christ was not considered divine, but rather a good ethical teacher.
Fundamentalism—an evangelical movement started in the late 19th and early 20th century in reaction to Protestant Liberalism characterized by adherence to “the fundamentals” and a separation from culture. After New Evangelicalism, fundamentalists became characterized by being primarily dispensational and premillenial in their theology.
New Evangelicalism—a reaction to Fundamentalism in the mid 20th century that attempted (attempts) to retain most of “the fundamentals” while still engaging the culture.
I’m trying to blog more and these definitions will be crucial as I continue…