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What Is An Evangelical?

May 10, 2012

What Is An Evangelical? by D.M. Lloyd-Jones (Banner of Truth, 1992) was originally a series of three addresses delivered to the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in 1971. Martin Loyd-Jones has always a a hero of mine because of the influence of his preaching and writing and the outline of this book does nothing to diminish my appreciation. The general principles for defining and understanding “evangelicals” are as timeless today in 2012 as the day were delivered more than 40 years ago. The only part of the book that did not age well were the specific illustrations and applications portrayed through the names and personalities of famous people. Of particular concern to me were the whole sale dismissal of among others, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (p. 13), The Christian Reformed Church (p.14), Billy Graham (p. 23) and C. S. Lewis (p. 25) “I find that C. S. Lewis” has  almost become the patron saint of evangelicals. He was never an evangelical”. The chapter titled, Distrust of Reason (p.44) is balanced somewhat by the section The Place of Reason (p. 49) but the ideas discussed have been taken by others and used with out any of the balance or education of Dr. Jones which have led to many negative consequences.

The good Dr. is right in calling the movement of evangelicalism to constantly evaluate its self and the defining elements of its character. His methodology is worthy of continued consideration even if we change some of the specific conclusions.

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