Is that so or is that not a contradiction in terms? Either way, I suppose I'm probably only "Evangelical" in theory. That is, I believe in evangelism but I do not tend to urge or practice evangelism. But it occured to me profoundly today that evangelical scholarship is so darn obsessed with refuting unbelievers because it is so, DUH, evangelistic. Well, so am I. Sortof.
I was partly raised on Young Life. I still passionately believe in Lifestyle Evangelism, but I believe it most properly requires a church, not an individual, to lead someone substantially and profitably both towards and into new and everlasting life in the Lord. (Translation: I'm not much into catch and release.) I promised myself fourteen years ago, the moment I find a decent church to be part of, I'll start contributing to evangelism again. Maybe it's my fault that hasn't happened yet (you may well say) but the point is still valid. Without a strong, heatlhy church, what on Earth is there to evangelize somebody TO? It needs to be evidently true that Jesus Christ IS the visible image of the invisible God. That don't happen so often in pews. (At least, certainly not in my experience.) But believe me, I long to bring people - believers and unbelievers - to HIM, in bodily form. I'm not a pure idealist, but the best way to come to the Lord, is through the Church!
Anyway, one happy accident of holding this position is that I wound up spending a decade focused on christians and postponing evangelism. Among other things, that gave me what seems to be a less common position among those attempting to do faith based scholarship. "Hang the Enlightenment. Assume Scriptural details are historically factual. Then just preach to the Choir!" (That's my practical approach, not my complete view of what all christian academics should be about.)
Simply put, I think ONE of the needs we must meet, in order to grow a more well developed body of christ, is to give christians a more well developed view of the New Testament Story.
At any rate, that largely explains how and why I got here. For today, I'll just leave it at that. ;^)