by Dr. Tony Blair, President
"We are boldly, broadly, and beautifully evangelical. Might you be too?" I asked that question in a brief promotional video we created for the Evangelical Seminary website because, if we intend to use the word "evangelical" to describe ourselves in this generation, we had best explain what we mean. It is a word that has acquired some negative connotations. For some, "evangelical" is equivalent to "narrow-minded," "fundamentalist," "intolerant," or even "hatemonger." Western society appears far more familiar with what we oppose than in what we propose.
And so we mourn the lost opportunities to proclaim a gospel of faith, hope, and love among the din of clashing voices, angry rhetoric, and mutual accusation. To echo just a bit of Charles Dickens here, we have a far, far better gospel and a far, far better Savior to offer this world than what they have heard of us at times. This is what I mean by being boldly, broadly, and beautifully evangelical.
The postings that will show up on this blog in the weeks and months to follow will pursue that vision rather assiduously. We will wade boldly into conversations, or even initiate them, when they explicitly relate to the wonderfully transformative, deeply subversive work of God in this world. We will address them broadly, for we would prefer to link arms with other lovers of Jesus than to find additional reasons to stand apart. And we endeavor to always speak beautifully, both in the flow of our words and in the tone of our observations. Words matter, as Marilyn Chandler McEntire reminded us a couple of years ago in her marvelous book, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies (Eerdmans, 2009).
The posts here will represent the thinking of some administrators, faculty members, and alumni of the Seminary, some of whom already have deep, rich, provocative blogs of their own. We do not aim to have the "last word" here; rather, our hope is to add something of value to conversations that matter, the kind of conversations that occur regularly in our classrooms and in the student center and other places where members of the Evangelical community gather. Sometimes we will recommend books and other sources, sometimes we will comment on what is going on in the world or Church at large, sometimes we'll brag about what's going on among us, and sometime we'll simply be reflective, maybe even occasionally profound, as we ponder the marvelous mysteries of Christ. We hope you'll check in often to see what's here and to interact with us as you do!
Hello, Tony, I look forward to reading and sharing with you. Blessings, Nancy
Posted by: Nancy Fittery | May 10, 2012, 3:03 pm
Happy to see a blog for ES!
Congrats to the 2012 graduates!
And Tony, I love the Prime Minister tony blair/Tony Blair photos! Wonderful.
Thanks for giving a new definition of Evangelical for us to enact.
To anyone interested in Spiritual Formation, check out what I'm up to at my website. lisadelay.com
(class of '10)
Posted by: Lisa DeLay | May 10, 2012, 3:30 pm
Great to see the Evangelical blog up and running! What an opportunity to share and connect with the larger Evangelical community.
Today I received a copy of A New Kind of Conversation: Blogging Toward A Postmodern Faith (Myron Bradley Penner & Hunter Barnes, Paternoster/IVP, 2006). As you may remember, the book's a distillation of an on-line conversation which included 'characters' such as Brian McLaren. Would love to see some threads/themes on the Evangelical blog lead to publications in other media :)
Posted by: Thomas B. Grosh IV | May 10, 2012, 3:57 pm
read your blog and find it so refreshing to be reminded especially of the meaning of evangelical
Posted by: walford dyer | May 10, 2012, 3:58 pm
Tony, so glad to see this feature on Evangelical's site! Looking forward to interacting with you on these issues.
Posted by: Paul | May 10, 2012, 5:08 pm
Western society appears far more familiar with what we oppose than in what we propose.
So glad to read this post and see the change, definition, and action taking place in God's children. Welcome to the blogging world!
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I was surprised that you're not more popular because you definitely possess the gift.
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