Christianity vs Evangelicalism
There is a huge difference between Christianity and much of Evangelicalism.
Christianity defines the gospel as “Jesus Christ is God who assumed our flesh, lived a perfect life in our place under the law, fulfilled it perfectly, bore our debt for having broken the law, and then was raised the third day for our justification.” The whole gospel is completely about Jesus Christ and everything contained in that gospel happened between the years 1 to 33 AD [sic]. That gospel was finished in 33 AD and then it was proclaimed and it is still being proclaimed to the ends of the earth.
The Evangelical version of that is: no, the gospel really is, not just includes, but the gospel really is Jesus in my heart; my being born-again (it is not that the gospel brings about my new-birth), but the gospel is my new-birth. And therefore, the gospel is my moral transformation.
Brothers and sisters, if you hold that second view there is no reason at all for you to criticize the Medieval [Roman Catholic] church because the doctrine of justification for the Medieval church was, “What happens inside of you. Your sanctification.”
This is what the whole Reformation was about, and why we need a second reformation.
(Adapted from Mike Horton, “God’s Story vs. Our Stories,” The White Horse Inn, June 14, 2009.)