For some, "Christian" (adj.) no longer includes Lutherans

Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Fri Oct 14 03:54:53 UTC 2005

I've never met a Christian of any variety who calls him- or herself
"fundamentalist." American Christians I meet (and I meet quite a few, living
as I do near an American Christian retreat in the Swiss Alps) call
themselves Christian, or evangelical Christian, or Bible-believing
Christian, or conservative Christian. Many American evangelical Christians
(or fundamentalists, if you prefer) will say of Catholics or Lutherans or
Orthodox Christians they've met, "He's Catholic [or Lutheran or whatever]
but he's also a real Christian." The implication is that most Catholics or
Lutherans or whatever are not Christians but simply go through the motions
and rituals they were brought up to practice. Most American evangelical
Christians don't speak of their "religion" either. They speak of their
"faith." The word "religion" has bad connotations. Note that American
conservative Christians are speaking of Harriet Miers' "faith" in glowing
terms. Not that it has anything to do with the price of tea in China, but
I'm Christian myself and politically in Mother Jones magazine territory. I
guess I'm in the lunatic fringe.

Paul Frank
Chinese-English translator
Huemoz, Vaud, Switzerland
paulfrank at

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