Saturday, April 10, 2010
American and Global Evangelicalism
I've just read the latest issue of the Briefing published by Matthias Media which has a fantastic article by John Woodhouse (principal of Moore Theological College) on "Where Have All the Miracles Gone? Cessationism, Continuationism, and the Bible". But one of the paragraphs in his introduction is very illuminating on the differences between American and global Evangelicalism:
"Evangelical Christianity in the US has often been marked by sharply polarized debates peculiar to the American context. For example, in the UK, the doctrine of Scripture was fought out against liberalism, and it was Jim Packer's writings - especially Fundamentalism and the Word of God - that set the terms of evangelical thinking about Scripture in much of the English-speaking world for a generation. In the US, however, there was a fierce fight within so-called evangelical circles over 'inerrancy' verses 'infallibility'. Harold Lindsell's Battle for the Bible, represented one side of this sharply polarized conflict. I do not believe that Lindsell's book would have been written in England (or Sydney for that matter). An American Christian of the time may well have viewed English evangelicals as lukewarm about the Bible because they were not fighting the same battle, whereas an English evangelical was likely to view the American battle as strange - as drawing distinctions foreign to the Bible itself".