Can someone help me nail down the meaning of the word Evangelical? Every seems to think they are one, and a hard definition seems to be as hard to nail down as a square of jello.
What is an Evangelical? I used to think it was simply a Christian concerned with evangelism.
But then, why would anyone question whether a universalist could be concerned with evangelism? (Well, maybe I can see the answer to that, since some people think universalists would want to just wait around and eventually everyone will be saved.)
Even so, I began to dig a little deeper. What I found out is that Evangelicalism was a term used to describe Christians opposed to liberal theology. More concerned with the Bible being the final authority as opposed to tradition, and more inclined to trust the Bible as the word of God, believe in miracles, etc. While similar to fundamentalists in their views of the Bible, evangelicals would be more likely to go out into the world and share their views where fundamentalists would be more likely to withdraw and separate themselves from the world.
Then I found out there are actually groups called World Evangelical Alliance and the National Evangelical Association, and so I looked at their statements of faith for guidance in answering the question. Both of those affirm, among other things:
-the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture,
-The triune nature of God
-Resurrection of both the saved and the lost, the saved to life and the lost to punishment.
Based on my findings I put together a definition that included the word “inerrancy”, but I was challenged on that and told that not all Evangelicals believe in inerrancy.
Well, I guess that depends on who you ask.
But that sent me once again on a search for a good, solid definition of the term. Does anyone have one? Is there any “official” definition?