I stumbled on this very nice, little essay by a friend of mine, Dr. Lawrence Rast, Academic Dean at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. In it, he sees in current evangelicalism a lack of historical roots and confessional stability. Instead evangelicalism is drifting into a meaningless individualism:
To put it another way, evangelicalism may be becoming the victim of its own sense of historylessness, which could lead to an aimless drifting on the American religious scene. As elder statesmen pass away and institutions shift with the times, the lack of the anchor of a sense of history and confession has put American evangelicalism into a state of flux perhaps as significant as that faced by the liberal churches a century ago.
Where Butler saw America "awash in a sea of faith," present-day evangelicalism, which lacks a deep and abiding sense of a living tradition (though by no means authoritative in the Roman Catholic sense), seems adrift in a sea of individual faiths that are radically personal and individualistic in nature. The fides qua creditor (the personal faith that apprehends the merits of Christ) has so trumped the fides quae creditor (the historic Christian faith that is believed) that the latter is largely unknown and sometimes simply ignored. This radical individualism and sense of historylessness manifests itself perhaps most clearly in the lack of a formal confessional tradition within the evangelical movement. And lacking this anchor, evangelicalism has democratized to the point of making individualizing confession to the point of meaninglessness. "How can you question my faith? It works for me," and so on. The faith experience of the individual becomes absolutely authoritative.
Then he writes this about the LCMS and its history:
My own faith tradition, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (founded in 1847), has had a tension-filled experience with American evangelicalism. While it adapted some evangelical methods and strategies for reaching those apart from the church and it applauded a number of evangelicalism's points, ) it simultaneously criticized evangelical theology severely for what it believed were departures from the historic faith-the fides quae creditur. However, with the fundamentalist/modernist controversy and the emergence of a reorganized evangelicalism in the post-World War II era, some in Missouri moved closer to evangelicalism. Walter A. Maier, the famous and influential Lutheran Hour speaker not only preached a sermon titled, "You, Too, Should be a Fundamentalist," he also frequently challenged his hearers to "accept" Christ's "offer" of salvation.
The whole essay is very much worth reading. But I will make you go over to Modern Reformation to read it. You will have to sign up for a free issue to get access but it is worth it.