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Social Issues: Letters

Ross Olson
Sent: January 09, 2008
To: Editor Star Tribune (opinion{at}
Subject: "What being evangelical means to me"

The headline, probably written without Dr. Chilstrom's knowledge, characterizes the former ELCA presiding bishop's position with uncanny accuracy. ("What being evangelical means to me" 1/9/2008) The important question, of course, is not what it means "to me" but what it means to God.

Dr. Chilstrom states that he became an evangelical when he was baptized as an infant. But if he met Jesus in the flesh today, just as a devout and revered religious leader named Nicodemus did 2000 years ago, Jesus would say to him, "You must be born again." Although I do not know the bishop's heart, despite all his good works, I fear that when they do meet at the final judgment, our Lord may have to say, "Depart from me. I never knew you."

Evangelicals take the Bible seriously. Where it is literal, whether teaching and history, they take it literally. Where it is figurative, they take it figuratively. That is why evangelicals, wherever they bring the good news of the gospel, have also opposed un-Biblical practices such as slavery, prostitution and widow burning.

Ross S. Olson

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