The April issue of Christianity Today arrived recently. For those familiar with the magazine, you might want to secure an issue and plan on doing some heavy reading. I suspect from the articles in this recent issue, there will be lots of discussion.
The article which caught my attention was written by Leith Anderson and Ed Stetzer, both well known for their writings. This month, they teamed up to write an article entitled, "A New Way to Define Evangelicals."
Starting at the beginning of my thought process, I was wondering if there was going to be a clear and concise definition for the word "evangelical." I wasn't quite sure of the definition myself, since putting any label on fellow Christians might bring more than one viewpoint as to how the label would fit. In this case, we will look at the definition these writers gave in their article. "The word evangelical comes from the Greek New Testament word, euangelion which is translated 'good message.' So to call someone an evangelical is to say they are a people of good news."
Most of the sections of the written article are connected with surveys on how that definition fits Christians and, at this time in an election year, their politics. Yes, there are other things related, but the definition and connected surveys made me do a closer reading and some thinking. I even got to wondering if I was an evangelical, according to their descriptions.
I moved into a part of the article which contained four statements which I want to share with you. You are asked to agree or disagree with each one.
1.The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
2. It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
3. Jesus Christ's death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
4. Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God's gift of eternal salvation.
(Yes, there are other factors to be considered, but these were suggested in the article.)
You probably have guessed that I am not a fan of putting labels and names on people. I am fully comfortable being called a Christian. With that said, I will suggest you read the entire article for yourself and do some thinking about what you read. I do want us to all be a people of good news in sharing the gospel, and I pray God will be with each of us as we are used by him in reaching the lost.