Author Topic: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism  (Read 737 times)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« on: March 23, 2022, 06:43:02 PM »
I noticed on another thread discussion surrounding these terms. I wonder how participants here understand them. Starting with Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, primary definitions:

Legalism. Strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code.

Antinomianism. Holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation.

Evangelicalism. Being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels
« Last Edit: March 24, 2022, 02:49:52 PM by Rev. Edward Engelbrecht »
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Dave Likeness

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2022, 06:51:03 PM »
Spell-Check.....It is Merriam-Webster's Dictionary

peter_speckhard

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2022, 07:05:29 PM »
I noticed on another thread discussion surrounding these terms. I wonder how participants here understand them. Starting with Mirram Webster's Dictionary, primary definitions:

Legalism. Strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code.

Antinomianism. Holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation.

Evangelicalism. Being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels
I've never heard Evangelicalism used in that way. At least I don't think I have.

Dave Likeness

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2022, 07:32:19 PM »
Evangelism is a Protestant Movement with five core beliefs:

1. Belief in a specific, personal experience in which you are "born again" (saved)
by trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation.

2. Belief in the Bible as God's inspired Word, perfect in truth in the original text.
It is the final authority in all matters of doctrine and faith.

3. Faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only source of salvation
and forgiveness.

4. Emphasis on the "Great Commission"  to share the message of salvation through
Jesus Christ with the whole world.

5. Most Evangelicals  believe in the Rapture in the End Times when believers will be
caught up with Christ into Heaven before the Great Tribulation.  During this time
of Great Tribulation unbelievers are left to suffer on earth (cp. Left Behind books
by LaHaye and Jenkins)

 

Dave Benke

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2022, 09:41:34 PM »
I noticed on another thread discussion surrounding these terms. I wonder how participants here understand them. Starting with Mirram Webster's Dictionary, primary definitions:

Legalism. Strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code.

Antinomianism. Holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation.

Evangelicalism. Being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels
I've never heard Evangelicalism used in that way. At least I don't think I have.

I don't have that definition in my vocabulary either.  I think you need to find a better one, Ed.  Evangelicalism unfortunately often lacks, uh, the evangel, and is - uh-oh - a form of legalism.

Dave Benke

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2022, 12:34:17 AM »
Definitions from the New American Oxford Dictionary


legalism: excessive adherence to law or formula: this petty legalism encouraged more to flee.
Theology dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith: stress obedience apart from faith and you produce legalism.

antinomianism: relating to the view that Christians are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law.

evangelical: of or according to the teaching of the gospel or the Christian religion.
of or denoting a tradition within Protestant Christianity emphasizing the authority of the Bible, personal conversion, and the doctrine of salvation by faith in the Atonement.
zealous in advocating something: she was evangelical about organic farming.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Terry W Culler

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2022, 08:40:45 AM »
Evangelicalism has become an almost meaningless word in our culture. So many people with wildly different teachings and perspectives call themselves evangelicals that definition is almost impossible.  Add to that the secularists who can't tell the difference between evangelicals and fundamentalists, all we get out of it is confusion.  Not only that, but George Barnas' work has shown us that even people who say they are evangelicals often live and think as secularists.  It would be better for all if we stopped using the word.
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Dave Benke

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2022, 08:50:49 AM »
Evangelicalism has become an almost meaningless word in our culture. So many people with wildly different teachings and perspectives call themselves evangelicals that definition is almost impossible.  Add to that the secularists who can't tell the difference between evangelicals and fundamentalists, all we get out of it is confusion.  Not only that, but George Barnas' work has shown us that even people who say they are evangelicals often live and think as secularists.  It would be better for all if we stopped using the word.

I think you're right.  The "ism" at the end makes it sound like a well-woven fabric, which is not the case.  In this part of the world, one of the evangelicalist dogmas has been that Roman Catholics are not to be considered as "saved," that is, that they're in need of saving, which is to say they're not Christians yet.   And some of their statistical case is made by none other than George Barna.  If that's the "ism" part of the word evangelicalism, count me out.

Dave Benke

Terry W Culler

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2022, 08:54:52 AM »
Evangelicalism has become an almost meaningless word in our culture. So many people with wildly different teachings and perspectives call themselves evangelicals that definition is almost impossible.  Add to that the secularists who can't tell the difference between evangelicals and fundamentalists, all we get out of it is confusion.  Not only that, but George Barnas' work has shown us that even people who say they are evangelicals often live and think as secularists.  It would be better for all if we stopped using the word.

I think you're right.  The "ism" at the end makes it sound like a well-woven fabric, which is not the case.  In this part of the world, one of the evangelicalist dogmas has been that Roman Catholics are not to be considered as "saved," that is, that they're in need of saving, which is to say they're not Christians yet.   And some of their statistical case is made by none other than George Barna.  If that's the "ism" part of the word evangelicalism, count me out.

Dave Benke


I taught a continuing ed class last semester on Evangelicalism and one of the points I made was that there is no evangelical denomination, but evangelicals can be found all over the place.  One of the people in the class, when I gave a rather classic definition of evangelical beliefs said she, an active Roman Catholic, discovered that she was an evangelical.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2022, 09:31:31 AM »
Dictionary definitions often do not reflect how the word is actually used in real conversation.
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2022, 09:41:19 AM »
Evangelicalism has become an almost meaningless word in our culture. So many people with wildly different teachings and perspectives call themselves evangelicals that definition is almost impossible....

Kinda like Lutheran and Lutheranism.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2022, 02:51:26 PM »
It looks like the word and definition that bother people is Evangelical[ism]. No concerns about the other two?
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2022, 04:25:02 PM »
It looks like the word and definition that bother people is Evangelical[ism]. No concerns about the other two?


I think that Lutherans have their own definition of evangelical, i.e., the gospel (evangel) in contrast to law. Although both are ways God's Word comes to us. For many others, evangelical tends to be connected more with particular laws that one should follow.
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RDPreus

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2022, 05:50:16 PM »
I have always defined legalism as attempting to become righteous through the law, usually by reducing the law to rules which, if followed, will make you righteous.  I am not sure where I learned this definition.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Evangelicalism
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2022, 10:08:13 PM »
For Legalism, I think immediately of the Judaizers; for Antinomianism, I think of libertines who conclude that since the Gospel has set them free, it doesn't matter what they do with respect to the Law.

Does anyone have Veith's book on the cross? I think he described Lutherans as the first Evangelicals. I wonder if he defines the term.
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