Evangelical sea change?

Alan Wilson writes in The Guardian that there are changes going on within the evangelical movement:

The evangelical identity crisis

If evangelicals didn’t exist, they’d have to be invented, the perfect complement to the new atheists

From The Guardian (UK)

Within the evangelical world one big change since 1974 has been the way charismatic mysticism (as outsiders would call it) has become mainstream, and evangelicals have become less simplistic and more relaxed in their social mores. Similarly many but not all western evangelicals have embraced intelligent and nuanced post-fundamentalist readings of the Bible.

Movements like Alpha have made evangelical Christianity more attractive and accessible. Sincerity and voluntarism are powerful assets, as is open accessible mysticism for people whose materialism has failed to deliver. A globalised open communications environment ought to favour people with a simple story to tell and a worldwide perspective, especially those who ride light to their institutions.

Globalisation, however, poses its own challenge for evangelicals. It can be illustrated by the absence of Chinese delegates from this year’s Cape Town conference. They had been duly and diplomatically invited, but their government refused them permission to attend.

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