“God has established boundary stones in his word. They are primarily found in the Law but are elaborated on and repeated throughout the entire Bible. Our spiritual ancestors, through the history of the Church, have set a pattern for living by these ancient landmarks. These may be our fundamental doctrines, our Biblical pattern for living, or deeply held spiritual convictions.”
Our text, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s written by David W. Bebbington provides an extremely helpful analysis of Evangelicalism that covers almost the entire history of Evangelicalism. Bebbington argues that Evangelicalism had its roots in the Enlightenment and was a product of Enlightenment. He describes how core orthodoxy and orthodoxy evolved from the Enlightenment. New ancient boundaries seemed to be developing and adapting to cultural influences.
The basic questions in the evolution of looking at the orthodoxy and orthopraxy of Evangelicalism were 1) What influence has Evangelicalism had on society and 2) In what ways has “Evangelical religion been moulded by its environment.” A consideration of influencers that change our orthodoxy and orthopraxy is a key theme within our text.
Bebbington wrote about “the four qualities that have been the special marks of Evangelical religion: conversionism, the belief that lives need to be changed; activism, the expression of the gospel in effort; biblicism, a particular regard for the Bible; and what may be called crucicentrism, a stress on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Together they form a quadrilateral of priorities that is the basis of Evangelicalism.” The lessons from these qualities is that ‘a converted character’ differed totally from all others.
His discussion of the role of the assurance of one’s salvation played in Evangelicalism was one of the ancient boundaries that should not be moved. Bebbington notes that Puritans throughout the 1600s had conversion experiences, but that they were highly scrutinized by their community. This scrutiny may have gone too far, yet it seems that our western culture is evolving into such a high degree of individualism that I fear what a Christian and does according to scripture and tradition from the earliest apostles Christianity is moving into another social experiment not critical world view.
The research showed that the conversion of Whitefield and Wesley the assurance of one’s salvation was a highly influential factor bringing the Evangelical experience to the forefront of history. As the movement gained momentum and adapted itself to new pressures, the possibility of conversion was held out to larger and larger audiences, and the process called revivalism was a byproduct born through evangelist like Charles Finney. However, without a community of believers willing to observe and disciple new believers, revivalism seems to be a system rather than propagating relationships with Jesus Christ and His Church.
Bebbington focused on the movement as a whole rather than particular denominations because Evangelicalism a philosophy of ecclesiology rather than being owned by one group. However, it was challenged with the impression that solitary individuals become the representatives of Evangelicals as a whole. Evangelical religion is a famous Protestant movement that has existed in Britain since the 1730s. It is not to be equated with any single Christian denomination, for it influenced the existing churches during the eighteenth century and generated many more in subsequent years.
We seem to live in a time where the problem and an opportunity converge for a new awakening. We live in a time when the Christian message is often muted, ignored, and mocked. The author seems to agree by asking us the question throughout the text, “How does the gospel get a fair hearing in this day and age?” The answer might lie in practicing cultural apologetics, which he defines our Christian voice, conscience, and imagination within a culture so that Christianity is seen as the true and satisfying amongst the plurality of options.
I have heard that students studying in Church of the Nazarene educational institutions which teach pastoral ministry are less interested in assuming pastorates of existing congregations when they graduate than pastoring new social experiments. Also, the ancient boundaries of Christianity are being reconsidered by younger aspiring pastors, and at times, and in my opinion, too critically because discussions are diverting from the believers of the truth of God have depended upon since the beginning conveyed to us in Scripture. Scripture and tradition tell us that a person must come to understand that one can only be saved for the life they were meant to experience if they are dependent upon Christ as Savior and surrendered to God as their Lord.
Like the Enlightenment period creating a culture of looking deeply into long-held beliefs and what heroes like Augustine, Luther, Wesley, and that others promulgated, it appears that pastorate being remodeled. My concern is that the ancient boundaries of this call should not be moved.
Having my own pseudo enlightenment period, I am persuaded to consider remodeling the archetype of the pastorate without pushing ancient boundaries. My research focus started with the inspiration for learning how to support the covocational pastor. Like the beginning of what we call Evangelicalism, my interviews are refining my attention to see that my research must include the covocationally led congregation. Unlike the individualistic salvific approach like I caught from the text and only finding research on the covocational (bi-vocational) pastor, I am compelled to revision my research towards the covocationally led community of faith from a leadership team perspective.
God has established boundary stones in his Word, beginning with primeval and patriarchal relationships. Our spiritual ancestors, through the history of the Church, have set a pattern for living by these ancient landmarks. The ancient boundaries most likely related to land and property. And, yet, it seems probable to me that we could transfer these fundamentals to doctrines, our Biblical pattern for living, or deeply held spiritual convictions, and for the course of research: pastoral remodeling applications of what Scripture holds for the pastor.
 Dr. Ken Baker, May 31, 2010, https://tithebarn.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/dont-move-boundary-stones/, accessed December 30, 2019.
 D.W., Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, New ed, (Routledge, 2005), Adobe Digital Editions, 96.
 Ibid., 8-9.
 Ibid., 16.
 Ibid., 108.
 Ibid., 50.
 Luke 2:11, Hebrews 12:14.
 1st Timothy 3:1-7, 1st Peter 5:1,