Evangelicalism is primarily a movement of evangelical Christians within Protestant Christians. Also known as Evangelical Protestantism, this worldwide movement believes that the true meaning of the Gospel lies in the principle of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s atonement.
Followers of Evangelicalism, which are also called Evangelicals put their complete faith in the Bible seriously and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Since the name ‘Evangelical’ is taken from the Greek word ‘Euangelion’, which means ‘Good News’ or ‘Gospel’; Evangelicals believe in the Gospel that brings salvation to sinners by Jesus Christ.
Primary characteristics of Evangelicalism!
Evangelicalism is defined by four primary characteristics that include:
1. Conversionism: A belief that lives need transforming through a ‘born-again’ experience and following the path of Jesus
2. Activism: Through expression and demonstration of Gospel in missionary and social reform acts
3. Biblicism: For reverence and obedience of the Bible as the final authority
4. Crucicentrism: To stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross that paves the way for redemption of humanity
Roots of Evangelicalism!
The roots of this movement go back to the times when Protestants were going through a reformation phase, and it was during this period that Bible was brought to the masses as well. However, it was not until the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and America that Evangelicalism actually took shape as a movement. Since then, the Evangelicalism movement has been growing among its followers till this day, with United States having the biggest concentration of evangelicals in the world at present. Located mostly across the Bible belt, evangelicals in US constitute a quarter of the country’s population and also enjoy prominent political representation in the US senate. In UK, evangelicals are represented primarily in Baptist societies, Methodist Churches, and among evangelical Anglicans.
Evangelicalism at present!
Though the meaning and perception of Evangelicalism may vary in the eyes of the world, but the true meaning of Evangelicalism lies in proclaiming the Gospel truth of the Christ in both word and deed. For true Evangelical Christian, there is no higher calling than to live this gospel and spread the message and the truth of God’s love.
Evangelicalism, which is a key part of popular Protestantism, enjoys the stature of being the most dynamic religious movements in the contemporary world today. While still on the rise across the world, Evangelicalism has been predominantly embraced by developing countries.