Yesterday, across several platforms, I posted and discussed this question. As you can imagine, it went smashingly well. Everyone loved the list!
Except no. No, they didn’t. Rather, people were upset that I included Catholics and mentioned the Orthodox. Further, even though I stated that people argue over whether or not Rachel Held Evans is an Evangelical or a Mainliner, they still argued. Seriously. Even when I linked to one of her posts about his very topic, they still insisted one or the other.
Eventually, I just updated the post to include the idea I am going to change the title of the list. I’m just trying to make a point, over all, that there are plenty of Christians, influential or otherwise, that are not considered or do not consider themselves the specific type of American Evangelicalism.
There is a great move towards social justice in many Evangelical (sub)groups and for that, I thank God. Do you think the view on Scripture and Tradition (Scripture is infallible in all things, Tradition is near to worthless) is a good start for a line?
Further, there are great theologians that are non-inerrantists.
Basically, I could really find no better dividing line than that of the view of Scripture.
But, I put this to you.
Are there dividing lines between Mainliners and Evangelicals? The lines between Catholics/Orthodox and Protestants of any variety are pretty easy to discern. Either you are a Catholic/Orthodox are you’re not. The same easily exists between various Protestants. Either you are a United Methodist or you are not.
But the dividing line between Mainline (which seems not to be something negative) and Evangelical (some people use this correctly, others not) is not so easy to grasp. I’m guessing because “Mainline” means, for a lot of people, a dying breed of Christianity. Evangelical means… well, it seems for Mainliners it means those who go and witness/serve for the Gospel. For Evangelicals, this term helps to codify something different.