Identifying “Evangelical” and “Mainline” Christians

Some good questions over at Near Emmaus by Brian LePort about what it means to be “Evangelical” or “Mainline”… or somewhere in between. He also links to Joel Watts posts on the discussion as well. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately so appreciate both Joel and Brian providing an avenue for discussion on the matter. Check out their blogs and join the discussion!

the archives near Emmaus

Abandoned Church, Gary, Indiana (Source: Abandoned Church, Gary, Indiana (Source:

Joel Watts has written a couple of posts inquiring into what defines “Evangelicals” and “Mainliners” and how does one distinguish between the two: see What are Mainliners (Compared to Evangelicals and Fundamentalist) and ARE there dividing lines between Mainline and Evangelical? I think these are great questions and I recommend leaving your comment(s) on one or both of these posts. I’ve noticed quite a few blog posts circulating around the Internet suggesting that the recent controversy where World Vision went from affirming benefits for and acknowledgment of their employees who are in same sex marriages to renouncing that stance the next day has caused some to either seriously doubt their affiliation with the label “Evangelical” or denounce it altogether. Those who declare themselves to be leaving Evangelicalism for Mainline Christianity assume that there is a black-and-white divide between the two, but this isn’t necessarily…

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