I've made a big change in my plans and replaced the "Modern Era" with this Evangelicals section. I have made a separate Catholic/Orthodox section as well.
Why? For three reasons:
There's no sense discussing this movement if we don't know what it is, and determining that is difficult.
Craig D. Allerts wrote one of the books in a historical series put out by BakerAcademic, which is an Evangelical publishing house. Yet even he wrestles with the defining them:
Allerts never gave a precise definition, though he did tie the term—mostly—to the Reformation.
I will give a precise definition.
For our sake, I mean those who believe in being born again through faith and who subject themselves—or claim to subject themselves—to the authority of Scripture I am quite confident that the huge majority of Evangelicals will be happy to be defined by those two issues.
I have some learning to do on post-Reformation history before this page becomes excellent. I especially want to look at pietism. It is responsible for eliminating a lot of the emphasis on sacraments from the Protestant movement.
However, we can get started on the doctrines of the movement already.
There are three Reformation tenets that are popular among most Evangelicals: sola fide, sola gratia, and sola scriptura.
I really enjoy addressing those three ideas: faith only, grace only, and Scripture only. I believe I love the idea of sola gratia even more than the Reformers, but I have real questions about the historical and Scriptural basis of the other two.
I jumped right into sola fide, salvation by faith alone earlier in a different section. That doctrine has morphed and transformed in the 500 years since Martin Luther, but it has remained central all these centuries …
Luther was ready to reject Hebrews and James because he could not reconcile them with his understanding of faith alone. That and the primacy of the doctrine in our day make it a subject that must be addressed.
I've been reading his writings, and I'm convinced that neither Luther nor Calvin would have been very happy with some of the ideas being taught today. However, when I wrote Sola Fide I didn't realize that. Forgive me if I'm too hard on him on that page.
On the other hand, he was going to reject books of Scripture over his doctrine. Someone needs to go after him!
But I have to give him credit for statements like these:
Links on sola gratia and sola scriptura are still to come, as are the following:
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