A Tale of Two Billy’s…and One John

Bill Clinton was once asked to distinguish between a Republican and a Democrat. “Well,” he said, “if you think the 60s were mostly a good thing, you’re probably a Democrat. If you think they were mostly a bad thing, probably a Republican.”

Regardless of what one thinks of Clinton’s political thumbnail, one must admit it is fairly workable, at least to those of us who prefer to only paint in broad strokes. When one wants to know what the difference is between a confessionalist and an evangelical it might be that, instead of the 60s, Billy Graham could be employed. If you think Billy Graham is mostly a good thing, you’re probably an evangelical. If you think Billy Graham is mostly a bad thing, probably a confessionalist.

More specifically, if you claim him but also think accounts of Calvin such as those marked out recently at Old Life are mostly causes for stumbling and hesitation, you’re probably evangelically Reformed. If you think they are edifying but lament their demise anymore, you’re probably confessionally Reformed.

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2 Responses to A Tale of Two Billy’s…and One John

  1. John Yeazel says:

    Or, as one confessionalist scholar/historian put it: “Ask any American Protestant what is more important, the Apostles Creed, the real presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, the ministry of the local pastor or personal time of prayer and bible study, meeting with other Christians in small groups, witnessing to non-christians and volunteering at the local homeless shelter?”

    If you answer the former you are probably a confessionalist, the later an evangelical. “East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.”

  2. John Yeazel says:

    Reading D.G. Hart is like reading Kafka- it is like finding out that your best friend has just commited suicide. It shakes you at the core of your being and makes you realize that most religious experience puts you into the realm of the ridiculous and the absurd and that most of your Christian life spent in nonconfessionalist Church’s can be thrown down the toilet. Oh how much of my time was wasted. It makes me realize and understand Kierkegaard’s Sickness Unto Death.

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