Defining Generic Evangelicalism

John G. Stackhouse, Jr. is a professor of theology and culture at Regent College. He defines and defends generic evangelicalism in Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism. To David Bebbington’s well-known quadrilateral, he adds George Marsden’s insight about the transdenominational character of evangelicalism. Here is a summary of his view:

  1. Crucicentric. Evangelicals are Christocentric in their piety and preaching, and emphasize particularly the necessity of Christ’s salvific work on the cross.
  2. Biblicist. Evangelicals affirm the Bible as God’s Word written, true in what it says and functioning as their supreme written guide for life.
  3. Conversionist. Evangelicals believe that (1) everyone must trust Jesus as Savior and follow him as Lord; and (2) everyone must cooperate with God in a life of growing spiritual maturity.
  4. Missional. Evangelicals actively cooperate with God in his mission of redeeming the world and particularly in the proclamation of the gospel and making of disciples.
  5. Transdenominational. Evangelicals gladly partner with other Christians who hold these concerns, regardless of denominational stripe, in work to advance the kingdom of God.

Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism (Zondervan)

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