As a boy I concluded evangelicals preached a solid gospel, emphasized evangelism and missions, majored in soul-winning and minored in social issues, abstained from some worldly values ......(and occasionally went too far in this department coming close to legalism), ......were faithful in church attendance, Bible reading, and generally had a biblical worldview.
Sure, we were often called "legalistic fundamentalists" but better to lean right than left. I was never and never will be ashamed of the old definition of "evangelicalism."
Those churches are still around, but something has happened in the last twenty years. New leaders are rising and some do NOT preach a solid gospel yet are called evangelicals. It is not now possible to talk about "evangelicals" with any unity.......
Many call themselves evangelicals when they are not and a new term has sprung up: Evangelical centrist. That means there is compromise somewhere.
To me, this says that today no one is really sure what "evangelicalism" means. When those leaning left such as Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis are called evangelicals, and the magazine known as "Sojourners," I can tell we have a new day.
This is false labeling. When Richard Foster and Brennan Manning, revered by many evangelicals, ....never met a mystical practice they didn't endorse,........... today's evangelicalism has a problem.
At one time "Christianity Today" was the house organ of evangelicalism. Over the last twenty years, that has changed, for now C.T. calls the "Harry Potter" book series, "A wonderful Christmas gift for all."
Many evangelicals have embraced mysticism and have the audacity to call it "Christian mysticism," an oxymoron if there ever was one. Evangelical churches are now proudly announcing to all that they offer classes in "Christian Yoga" which is "just stretching" to them, but in reality, calls down Hindu gods to their Yoga mat.
The lines of defination and distinction, are becoming more blurred.
However as the hymn writer wrote we continue to "Stand up, Stand up for Jesus"