From Evangelical Revivalism to Emerging Ecumenicalism
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Paul, Galatians 1:8-9, KJV
In that an aggregate of scholars, leaders and authors of the emerging church movement have been and are continuing to redefine Protestant and evangelical teaching regarding salvation (i.e., the atonement, justification and reconciliation), it should come as no surprise that the very meaning of conversion is now being re-envisioned or re-imagined. As an article recently posted on the Christianity Today website says,
It is not an overstatement to say that evangelicals are experiencing a “sea change”—a paradigm shift—in their understanding of conversion and redemption, a shift that includes the way in which they think about the salvation of God, the nature and mission of the church, and the character of religious experience. Although there is no one word to capture where evangelicals are going in this regard, there is a word that captures what they are leaving behind: revivalism. 
At the outset let it be stated that, as it became institutionalized in the American evangelical subculture during the 20th century, evangelical revivalism—defined as the “accept-Jesus” invitational system which includes such methods as altar calls involving raising a hand and walking an aisle, or accepting spiritual laws and then praying a “receive-Jesus” prayer—is not without problems when subjected the biblical template of conversion.  Over the last few decades revivalism has been criticized, even by “in house” evangelicals.  As critics of the revivalistic system point out, in the aftermath of such point-in-time conversions, long term spiritual fruit has often not been evident, despite concerted efforts at follow-up and discipleship.
But now within evangelicalism a new paradigm of conversion is emerging, a paradigm that places emphasis on baptism, spiritual formation, community and kingdom building on earth. As opposed to the old revivalism with its emphasis on becoming a Christian, the new paradigm of conversion emphasizes being a Christian (To this distinction, the New Testament’s emphasis upon both becoming and being a Christian can be noted, the emphasis upon the one not to exclude the other; See John 3:3, 7; Galatians 5:22-24; James 2:17; 1 John 3:17.).
To understand this “sea change” regarding the old revivalistic paradigm of conversion, the emerging church’s emphasis appears to be upon togetherness, discipleship and kingdom. As advocates express it, “Belong, then believe.” Or as they assess the real membership of the church, “Most are in, and few (if any) are out.” Thus in their eyes, the church ought to be, as much as possible, one ecumenical community—“Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya!”
But hindrances exist to the realization of community, hindrances involving essential biblical and Protestant teachings (Remember, the heart of the word Protestant is the word “protest.”). So in order to induce feelings of “togetherness,” there’s a movement adrift to deconstruct and then redefine those essential Reformation teachings that pose barriers to building community. In order to reach a consensus of faith which most, if not all Christians, can agree on, core beliefs concerning the Cross must be altered. Key teachings (i.e., doctrines which are to be believed) must be re-imagined or re-envisioned to fit a “community” template, especially as they regard the atonement, justification, reconciliation and finally, the very meaning of conversion itself. Amidst the “sea change” engulfing evangelicalism, we now give attention to the re-envisioning that is going on with these crucial doctrines in order to make them fit a togetherness template.
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