What is the generally accepted definition of "Evangelical?"

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by KellyWhite, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. KellyWhite

    KellyWhite
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Evangelical" is a term that was used and over- used during the last Presidential election.

    When I sit down and try to determine which Christian religions are Evangelical and which ones aren't, I get a headache. :confused:

    Are Baptists evangelical? Methodists? Catholics? Mormons? SDA? and on and on?
     
  2. DesiderioDomini

    DesiderioDomini
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0
    First off, Mormons are not a "Christian" religion, no matter how hard they try to convince others of such.

    Evangelicals are, get this, those religions which "EVANGELIZE"!!!!

    basically, those who try to share their faith by seeking out converts. For example, I dont think there are very many Jews trying to seek converts to Judaism, or so I have been told.
     
  3. KellyWhite

    KellyWhite
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll have to do some research regarding your comment about Mormons.

    I understand that Evangelical religions are those that Evangelize. That's obvious. But, specifically, what religions are considered to EVANGELIZE?
     
  4. nate

    nate
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    0
    He's absolutely right about Mormons they deny the diety of Christ which has always traditionally been held as heretical.

    Groups that Evangelical in the narrow sense would be Baptist, Pentecostals(Assebly of God), and Non-Denominational churches which are baptistic.
     
  5. KellyWhite

    KellyWhite
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then why is George Bush considered to be an Evangelical? He is neither of those religions.
     
  6. gekko

    gekko
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    christianity aint a religion.
     
  7. gekko

    gekko
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    evangelical?

    one who believes everything in the word of God.
    (the bible - minus the apocrypha)

    and does what Jesus did. seek and to save that which is lost. (yah only God saves) we plant the seed.

    pull them from the fire.
     
  8. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    HERE'S A HANDY LINK which, for me, sums things up adequately. One point that seems to be missed so far is that you can get evangelicals within denomination which otherwise might not be considered evangelical eg: Anglicanism.

    Key 'distinctives' (to use a Baptist term!) would be:

    1. Supreme authority of Scripture (often but not always expressed in terms of infallibility/ inerrancy)

    2. Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory

    3. Justification/ salvation by faith alone.
     
  9. mioque

    mioque
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Messages:
    3,899
    Likes Received:
    0
    In those parts of the world where German is the primary language instead of English, it's pretty straightforward. Evangelical=Lutheran, at times it extends to what the rest of the world would call Reformed. Case in point is the Evangelische Kirche in Österreich which is the united Reformed+Lutheran church of Austria.
    If I remember correctly the EKÖ has actually taken legal steps to be the only church in that country that has the word Evangelisch in the name.

    In the parts where English packs more punch than German it refers to a specific Christian subculture that stresses evangelism, a personal conversion experience, sola scriptura, political activism and its own style of liturgy. Overthere it covers a relatively wide range of conservative protestant churches.
     
  10. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,404
    Likes Received:
    328
    Matt , the penal substitution theory may not be embraced by many in the larger evangelical world . Many evangelicals don't want to contemplate the fact that Christ's death satisfied His Father's wrath . Their view of the atonement ( and I will not address the scope of redemption here ) stresses the love of God almost exclusively . Propitiating His Father's just anger is not something they are likely to consider . That Christ's death was directed to God the Father first , and not to people is not something that crosses the minds of most mainstream evangelicals .
     
  11. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's been a big debate in the UK Evangelical Alliance over the last couple of years on PSA, with Steve Chalke, a Baptist minister, challenging it as 'cosmic child abuse'*. The EA has affirmed PSA recently whilst however acknowledging that other models of the Cross such as Substitutionary Atonement, ransom theory and Christus Victor, also need to be stressed.

    *Eg; see Chalke, The Lost Message of Jesus
     
  12. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    Mormons and JWs would all claim the title on that definition.

    Be more objective please.
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    Terms like "Evangelical, cult, Christian, fundamentalist, liberal"

    All mean different things to different people. This is not a hard science like chemistry where you can ask something like "what is table salt" and get a definition that is consistent for everyone.

    AT best you can get "more popular" and "less popular" definitions.

    Evangelicals tend to be premillennial. Bible believing (all 66 books with literal acceptance of God's Word), Trinitarian, Creationists with strong Gospel evangelism (TV, seminars, crusades, etc).

    But are they pre-trib, mid-trib post-trib? Opinions vary.

    Are they Calvinist or Arminian -- Opinions vary.

    Those who call President Bush "Evangelical" simply mean that he "believes the Bible is true". For many atheists, agnostics and Catholics that definition alone is "sufficient".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    In countries like Norway "Protestant" means "Lutheran" but not Charismatic, Pentecostal, Baptist, etc.
     
  15. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    There have been many historical uses of the descriptor evangelical.

    Lutherans and Protestantism
    The first major one was used primarily in Germany (Evangelisch) to describe the general beliefs of Lutheran Church and the rest of the Protestant Reformation which opposed the Tradition of the Catholic and to a lesser extent Eastern Orthodox churches. The Reformation traditionally includes groups such as the Reformed and Presbyterian churches by its strictist definition, but is often expanded to include all Christian denominations that hold to doctrines such as Scripture Alone, Faith Alone and the Priesthood of All Believers in opposition to the Catholic church which include a majority of non-Catholic denominations in the US.

    Puritans and Pietists
    In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Puritan and Pietist ( John Wesley's Methodists) movements sought reform in the Church of England and often called themselves members of the evangelical party. Closely associated with this time period is the First Great Awakening (1730s-1740s) which was a cross-denominational revivalist movement lead by Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. The pietist and revivalist movements emphasized strong preaching, personal conversions, personal relationships with God and the action of personal evangelism.

    Fundamentalism and Modern Evangelicals
    In the 19th and 20th centuries fundamentalist Christianity rose in popularity as a reaction to the some of the controversial doctrinal positions of liberal Christianity. Separation from liberals and unbelievers became a key issue for fundamentalists. But many conservatives and fundamentalists felt that fundamentalism had taken this separation too far and sought a middle ground that agreed with the five key fundamental doctrines of fundamentalism, yet did not take as hard a line as fundamentalists on separation. They called themselves new or neo-evangelicals in reference to the evangelicalism of the 17th and 18th centuries which fundamentalists would also identify with. It should be noted that all of these groups (fundamentalist, liberal, new evangelical) were cross-denominational categorizations. This conflict was highlighted by Billy Graham's 1957 crusade where he invited liberal Christians to cooperate with his work at the protest of fundamentalists who then felt they could no longer cooperate with Graham.

    Over time, neo-evangelicals came to dominate the Christian scene in North America and the "neo" qualifier was dropped. Of particular note are evangelical politics which is often associated with the religious right and evangelical para-church organizations which are cross denominational organizations where many evangelicals work collaboratively such as the Campus Crusade for Christ, Promise Keepers, Focus on the Family, Youth for Christ and Youth with a Mission.

    Denominations, churches and individuals that are commonly identified with evangelicalism include the following non-comprehensive lists. However that generalization is not always true since members of these denominations and churches may often identify more closely with fundamentalism, liberal Christianity or Mainline (moderate) Christiantiy and may even be offended at being considered evangelical because of some modern connotations of that descriptor.

    Baptist
    Pentecostal/Assemblies of God
    Presbyterian
    Methodist
    Non-denominational
    Salvation Army
    Christian and Missionary Alliance
    Evangelical Free Church of America
    Brethren
    Vineyard
    World Wide Church of God

    Denominations where it is less common to find evangelicals are:

    Anglican/Episcopal
    Lutheran
    Reformed
    Church of Christ

    The National Association of Evangelicals has a more comprehensive list.
     
  16. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a pretty good summary - someone's done their homework! I would add that evangelicals in the Anglican Church are much more the norm over here in the UK than they are in North America; indeed some would claim that they are now the dominant grouping in the Anglican Church of England, eg: NEW WINE , FULCRUM , REFORM as three examples of evo groups within the CofE
     
  17. KellyWhite

    KellyWhite
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    For some reason I'm not getting the answer I was looking for.

    For example, Catholics are well known for their missionaries in every corner of the world. Catholicism is spreading like wild fire in Africa.

    Would I be wrong to think Catholics are Evangelistic?
     
  18. Paladin

    Paladin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
  19. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yes Catholic missionaries are evangelistic. And of course Mormons are very evangelistic considering the level of encouragement young men (and some women) are given to pursuing this two-year (18 months for women) "rite of passage" in the Mormon faith.

    But they are not classified under the modern definition of evangelical which demographically implies a doctrinal position which includes an emphasis on evangelism. Catholics and Mormons have the emphasis on evangelism, but not the doctrinal position.
     
  20. Eric B

    Eric B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,806
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yes, "evangelical" is one of those words that has both a general technical meaning, as well as taking on a more specific denotation. Catholics and sects like Mormonism are technically "evangelical", but they are not apart of the "evangelical movement".
     

Share This Page

Loading...