There has been quite a lot of chatter about the Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Richard Turnbull. A video made of a speech that he made to Reform (the Nasty Party of the C of E) has even been commented upon in the papers. (Guardian here and Independent here).

He identifies key marks of what Evangelicalism is.

  • The Authority of Scripture
  • Substitutionary Atonement
  • Personal relationship with Jesus
  • Commitment to Evangelism

To these he adds the presumption that 95% of people in the UK are going to hell unless they are saved, presumably by some intervention of Evangelicals. He also adds a suspicion of a catholic ecclesiology.

There seems to be genuine surprise at this in some quarters, especially the stuff about hell. I find this odd indeed. In the days when I was an Evangelical, I would have described the only possible authentic religious faith in the same way. Note that there is nothing in there about sexuality. Little about ethics in general, in fact. In those days, I did not particularly associate a hatred and suspicion and dislike for all things gay with any of the churches that I was a member of. After all, was that not the prevailing world view of just about everyone I met in society? It certainly seemed so.

I kind of wish that Evangelicals would get back on the Hell Bandwagon and stick to it. It was a realisation that I did not believe that God was in the business of sending 95% of the country to hell that was the unravelling of the whole Evangelical thing for me.

And it was wonderful.


  1. vicky says

    Kelvin, I am absolutely and totally with you on this.

  2. Your “Guardian” link is actually to a CEN article by a Guardian staffer. There is a Guardian article at
    and an earlier one at

  3. kelvin says

    Ta Simon. Updated. It would be very wrong, almost a sin, to confuse the CEN with the Guardian.

  4. I fail to understand why an evangelical saying that only he and a few like-minded friends will get into heaven is being regarded as news.

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