Phillip Yancey, author of many Christian books, has an excellent article over at CT.  He discusses the many different faces of Evangalicalism around the world, our reputation here in the States, and what our distinctives *should* be, rather than what they currently are.  Here’s some snippets:

"I love evangelicals. You can get them to do anything. The challenge is, you’ve also got to soften their judgmental attitudes before they can be effective."

[snip]

The British historian David Bebbington suggests this overall summary of evangelical distinctives:

  • Conversionism: the belief that lives need to be transformed through a "born again" experience.
  • Activism: the expression of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts.
  • Biblicism: a particular regard for the Bible as the ultimate authority.
  • Crucicentrism: a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross as making possible the redemption of humanity.