Well I am back from my holiday. It was a much-needed break from the island and I crossed off a ‘first’ or two — it was my first time seeing snow fall! Many people find it hard to believe that I never saw snow come out of the sky until now, but I grew up in sub-tropical Darwin. Snow is not my natural habitat.
Steve and I were not very good at taking footage while we were out doing things, but we did film a video together about ten minutes before we were due to part ways. I also got a haircut. Haircuts are important.
In my week away I didn’t read any blogs at all, so I’ve been doing a lot of catch-up today. After a cursory browse of my RSS reader I’ve noticed that “Gigliogate”, as it’s been dubbed, has continued to grow, with Andrew Marin uninvited (disinvited? I don’t even know anymore) from speaking at the United Nations. Andrew seems to think it’s because he identifies himself as an evangelical.
I’m beginning to feel weird and gossipy so I don’t want to dwell on Louie Giglio’s inauguration mishaps any further, but there has been a lot of navel-gazing about evangelicalism generally, which is a conversation that’s really interesting to me.
For the record, I still identify as evangelical. I felt really ambivalent about the label up until I moved to Iona to work with the Iona Community and realised that actually, that’s still the best descriptor for whatever it is I am. The good folk who follow me on Tumblr ask me about this from time to time, and you can read my response if you wish.
Still, when high-profile evangelical leaders begin to speak against previously-unquestioned doctrine and Tony Campolo suggests evangelicalism is headed for a split, it makes me wonder if we’ve already, er, splat and I just don’t realise it yet.
But as Rachel Held Evans recently blogged, I’m pretty sure I’m still more at home in evangelical churches than in progressive/liberal ones, and I’m sure I’m not the only uneasy evangelical who feels this way. I’m still fairly confident that evangelicalism as a movement is robust enough to survive whatever stresses it’s going through now, even if it has to shrink in the process, but I don’t know if or how it will reform.
Perhaps worrying about labels like this is a waste of time — “evangelical” is a nebulous term anyway, and we can’t even seem to agree if it should be capitalised! — but the ongoing evolution of what it means to be evangelical will have a profound impact on the Christians who identify as such.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts. What do you think it means to be evangelical?