Contemporary Evangelical Christianity - World Religions - Essay

1044 words - 5 pages

Jennifer Jouran
Contemporary Evangelical Christianity
In our modern day society, the term “evangelical Christian” has been commonly used.
“In recent years the number of people who identify themselves as evangelical Christians has
increased dramatically, making their presence impossible to ignore” (Sweeney.) Their social and
strong political viewpoints have placed them into the middle of a remarkable amount of
controversy in the past and present times. To a large extent, evangelical Christianity has played a
huge role throughout American history into the modern day.
The term ‘evangelical’ stems off of the Greek word ‘euangelion’ which means ‘good
news’ or ‘gospel.’ Evangelical does not fully dominate Christianity, but rather is a term that
covers a wide range of Protestant Christians who follow Evangelical beliefs. Evangelicals are
non-denominational, meaning that they are multi-denominational. Because they are
multi-denominational they do not follow specific guidelines for practice and faith. This also
means that there is no one definition that defines what it means to be evangelical. Although there
is no singular definition that exists, there are two definitions that are heavily agreed on that many
evangelicals embrace as right.
Furthermore, the first definition that evangelicals embrace as correct comes from
theologian, Alister McGrath who declares that “evangelicalism is grounded on a cluster of six
controlling convictions, each of which is regarded as being true, of vital importance and
grounded scripture.” The first controlling conviction is, “The supreme authority of scripture as a
source of knowledge of God and a guide to Christian living.” For evangelicals, ‘scripture’ means
the 66 books of the Protestant biblical canon. But, most importantly, they also believe in an open
canon which means that many other texts can be added and have been added. The second
controlling conviction is, “The majesty of Jesus Christ, both as incarnate God and Lord and as
the Savior of sinful humanity.” In other words, evangelicals recognize Jesus as Lord and as the
Savior and Redeemer of humankind. The third controlling conviction is, “The lordship of the
Holy Spirit.” This means that both Church and individuals receives the Holy Ghost or Holy
Spirit after baptism. The fourth controlling conviction is, “The need for personal conversion.”
They believe that personal commitment and personal repentance is essential. The fifth
controlling conviction is, “The priority of evangelism for both individual Christians and the
church as a whole.” This simply means that evangelicals are committed to preaching the gospel
around the world. The sixth and final controlling conviction is, “The importance of Christian
community for spiritual nourishment, fellowship and growth.” To further explain, all Christians
agree on the importance of worshiping with other believers. For many evangelicals, they believe
that Christians need support with the struggles that they’re dealing w...

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