Monday, May 16, 2005

Characteristics of the Younger Evangelical...

I read Webbers Younger Evangelicals earlier on in the year - an interesting read. He coins the phrase 'Younger Evangelical' to distinguish those he studied from - not only the more traditional evangelicals - but also those of the Rick Warren, Bill Hybels ilk.

Younger Evangelical... I'm not sure if his use of the term is a euphemism for something else. Probably more an identification that our conventional understanding of 'Evangelical' is too narrow to accomodate people who are more comfortable thinking, stretching and questioning concepts that they want to understand deeper. Nevertheless he gave a list of characteristics that I want to keep to hand.

Characteristics of the Younger Evangelical

1. Grew up in a postmodern world
2. Marked by a post-9/11 era
3. Have recovered the biblical understanding of human nature
4. Are aware of a new context for ministry
5. Differ with the pragmatist approach to ministry
6. Minister in a new paradigm of thought
7. Stand for the absolutes of the Christian faith in a new way
8. Recognize the road to the future runs through the past
9. Committed to the plight of the poor, especially in urban centres
10. Willing to live by the rules
11. Facility with technology
12. Highly visual
13. Communicate through stories
14. Grasp the power of imagination
15. Advocate the resurgence of the arts
16. Appreciate the power of performative symbol
17. long for community
18. Committed to multicultural communities of faith
19. Committed to intergenerational ministry
20. Attracted to absolutes
21. Ready to commit
22, Search for shared wisdom
23. Demand authenticity
24. Realize the unity between thought and action

Webber, R.E. (2002) The Younger Evangelicals. Baker Book House


I've no idea why points 14 forward disappeared from my earlier post!


So I Go said...

what's the age limit on this, 'cause I want in!

Gordon said...

I think you'll be ok Jeff! He suggests that it isn't an age thing simply a designation!

Sister said...

Thank goodness for that!

Captain Andrew Clark said...


XC said...

what does "differ with the pragmatist approach to ministry" mean?

Gordon said...


The Pragmatist appraoch he aligns with the 'shake and stir' approach to mission, ministry and church. ie all you need to do is buy into a certain package of church and hey presto - you too can have a mega church.

Webber suggests a new wave a evangelical thought that moves beyond that.