Putting the Evangel in Evangelicalism

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Recently there has been discussion about the term “evangelical.” What does it mean? Who are evangelicals? How do we know? It’s a good thing because clarity on truth is a good thing.

The word “evangelical” comes from the New Testament Greek word which means “gospel” or “good news.” Thus, “evangelical” means having to do with the Christian gospel. Understanding the Christian gospel, then, is needed to define who and what constitutes an “evangelical.”

If anyone would speak accurately of the Christian evangel, they must do so from the source of the evangel; the Bible. We could reference many passages, but if I were to choose one, it would be 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. To be sure, the passage was not written to 21st century Westerners in order to recalibrate flawed definitions of “evangelical.” However, it was written to pleasure-loving, professing Christians living in a worldly culture, to recalibrate their understanding of the evangel, or the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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