Yesterday's New York Times included the article: "Evangelicals Debate the Meaning of 'Evangelical'" (free subscription required). It begins:
TODAY, on Easter, evangelical Christians can celebrate knowing that they are part of a movement that has never been so powerful or so large. But like any dominating force, evangelicalism is not monolithic, and it seems that now, at a time of heightened power, old fissures are widening, and new theological and political splits are developing.
Perhaps it's not surprising that these conflicts are occurring as many of evangelicalism's elder statesmen — most notably, the Rev. Billy Graham — are retiring, and a new generation of leaders is vying to define its center.
"When he leaves the scene, there will be some deep fractures that come out into the open and become wider," said Roger E. Olson, a theology professor at Baylor University's Truett Theological Seminary. "It will be harder for anyone to talk about evangelicalism as a movement with any unity."
Evangelical leaders have clashed recently over a range of issues, including whether the movement should get involved in the debates over global warming and immigration. A tug of war is also unfolding behind the scenes over theology — should evangelicalism be a big tent, open to more divergent views, or a smaller, purer theology?