What is “Evangelical”?

Mark A. Noll

in The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195369441
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

What is “Evangelical”?

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By the start of the twenty-first century, evangelical Christianity had come to constitute the second largest grouping of Christian believers in the world. Only the Roman Catholic Church enjoyed more Christian adherents than the evangelical churches. By comparison with other world religions, evangelicals—taken only by themselves—were more numerous than all but Muslims and Hindus. But what is meant by “evangelicals” or “evangelicalism”? These are by no means easy questions. The terms are even much disputed among those whom others casually lump together as evangelicals. In this book, “evangelical” refers not to Protestants in general but to those Protestants who, beginning more than 300 years ago, strongly emphasized the redeeming work of Christ, personally appropriated, and who stressed spreading the good news of that message, whether to those with only a nominal attachment to Christianity or to those who had never heard the Christian gospel. This article traces the history of evangelicalism back to Europe, Britain, and America.

Keywords: Christianity; evangelicalism; Europe; Britain; America; evangelicals; Protestants; history

Article.  6444 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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