April 13, 2018

STEPPING AWAY FROM THE GOLDEN CALF:

Evangelicals to Meet in the Hope of Escaping Trump's Shadow (Sarah Pulliam Bailey, 4/12/18, The Washington Post)

The diverse group, which includes such nationally known pastors as Tim Keller and A.R. Bernard, is expected to include leaders of major ministries, denominations, colleges and seminaries. The gathering will take place at Wheaton College, an evangelical college outside of Chicago, according to organizer Doug Birdsall, honorary chairman of Lausanne, an international movement of evangelicals. [...]

The purpose of the Wheaton meeting is to try to shift the conversation back to core questions of the faith and Trump as an individual will not be the focus of discussion, Birdsall said. Nonetheless, the president will be the "elephant in the room," he said, because under his leadership the term "evangelical" has become associated in the minds of many American with topics such as racism and nationalism.

While the organizers said they are not trying to build a new coalition or launch a political agenda, the gathering shows how many key leaders of major institutions are concerned about the state of evangelicalism.

"When you Google evangelicals, you get Trump," Birdsall said. "When people say what does it mean to be an evangelical, people don't say evangelism or the gospel. There's a grotesque caricature of what it means to be an evangelical."

Those gathered will not necessarily oppose Trump and some may even be friendly to some of his policies, said Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary, who is also helping to organize the event. But organizers said evangelicals need to return their focus to the term's true definition: a person who believes in the authority of the Bible, salvation through Jesus' work on the cross, personal conversion and the need for evangelism.

Posted by at April 13, 2018 3:47 AM

  

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