... Evangelicalism here is much more fundamentally divided than is often realized, but people don’t see it because they believe that the rallying points which were sufficient in the past remain so today.Read the rest here.
Throughout most of the twentieth century, for example, evangelical Anglicans were united around the ‘authority of scripture’. This distinguished them in large measure from liberals. However, when they used this phrase they meant not just ‘that Scripture is authoritative’ but (less consciously, but more significantly) ‘that Scripture authoritatively says certain things on which we are agreed’.
Thus, substitutionary —indeed penal substitutionary —atonement was generally accepted amongst evangelicals as ‘what Scripture says’. The old illustration, using a Bible to represent sin and transferring [it] from one hand to the other to show how God took it off us and laid on his Son, was accepted without qualms as a valid summary of the work of the cross. Evangelicals, in short, had not merely a view of Scripture, but a shared systematic theology.
All this changed in the sixties and seventies, as classical evangelicalism came under pressure from three directions.
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