Unfortunately, I haven't had time to read the comments on the blog or check out any additional response Brandan may have offered. So I'm shooting from the hip on this one.
Here is the picture that started it all (in a good way):
But here is my big question(s):
What determines the label "fundamentalist?" Or "Reformed Evangelical?" Why distinguish between Reformed Evangelical and Free Will Evangelical?
Is it a belief in Dispensationalism? Exclusive male hierarchy? Elder only board? Inerrancy?In many ways, I feel this graph is part two of a series, and we've somehow skipped part one. The labels themselves need to be defined more specifically. I know DA Carson got after Bebbington and Noll for defining evangelicalism sociologically, but I think there should be more put into this. The subjective nature of labels does blur the lines of an already postmodern society.
So how should Brandan, myself and others defines these terms? The terms change with each generation and what was progressive back in the day (an example is Paul K. Jewett's advocating the ordination of women in the 70s while at Fuller, causing a big stir. Or Edward John Carnell being "soft" of Barth when they met for a session discussing inerrancy). Karl Barth wasn't a fan of liberal theology the way he knew it, yet today he's considered a liberal by many (not necessarily by me, as I'm only 6 pages into his Church Dogmatics).
Please don't misunderstand, I do not consider a definition of labels to be necessarily an exclusion of an individual or group. Rather, I would prefer to see an objective (within reason) form of looking at the way people labels themselves but also the way we label them. This should include some method of evaluating the belief systems and where the chips fall.
So, in essence, this chart is an excellent one, but I believe it is incomplete and a lot of people may be left scratching their heads. I know I was when I saw Tim Killer in the neo-evangelical category. However, I look forward to dialoguing with Brandan about this, as I too am fascinated with labels, being one who rejected labels for some time. Especially when I was just beginning my journey. Brandan is a forward-thinking soul and I am glad to be a part of this discussion.
For the record, I consider myself, according to the chart to be Neo-Orthodox. :)
Here is Brandan's original post.