History Podcasts

Evangical - History

Evangical - History

by Marc Schulman

Evangelicals are one of the groups who have been most loyal to the Republican Party. Issues such as abortion, gay rights, and even school prayer are more closely reflected in the views of the Republican candidates than in the positions of the Democratic contenders

The votes of Evangelical, sometimes known as "Born Again", Christians have been tallied separately only in the last two Presidential races. This new tally is an important development, as the Evangelical Christian electorate has been growing rapidly. In the two elections that have tallied Evangelical Christians have given their support overwhelmingly to the Republican Presidential candidate. That fact should not come as a surprise. Most Evangelical Christians view abortion as a key issue and the Republicans have been strong opponents of women's "Choice". Support among self-identifying Evangelicals is stronger for the Republican Party than support for Republicans among Catholics who share the same views on abortion. By definition, the religious beliefs Evangelicals maintain are a very important factor in their identity. While many Catholics are simply born Catholic. As a result, their faith is not all that important to them.

Evangelical church

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Evangelical church, any of the classical Protestant churches or their offshoots, but especially in the late 20th century, churches that stress the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, personal conversion experiences, Scripture as the sole basis for faith, and active evangelism (the winning of personal commitments to Christ).

The word evangelical comes from the Greek (euangelion) and Latin (evangelium) words for “good news,” which evolved into the word gospel, and has long been in use. In the 16th century Martin Luther and his followers, who stressed justification by faith in Jesus Christ and based their faith on Scripture alone, were known as Evangelicals. During the Reformation, the term distinguished the followers of Luther from those of John Calvin, who were known as Reformed. The names of many Lutheran churches still include Evangelical.

The 18th-century religious revival that occurred in continental Europe (the Pietist movement), in Great Britain (the Methodist revival), and in North America (the Great Awakening) was generally referred to as the Evangelical revival. These movements emphasized conversion experiences, reliance on Scripture, and missionary work rather than the sacraments and traditions of the established churches. An Evangelical party also developed within the Church of England that, unlike the Methodists, did not leave the church (see Anglican Evangelical). The growing strength of the movement and the awareness of their shared interests led Evangelicals from several denominations and countries to form the Evangelical Alliance in London in 1846.

In the United States in the mid-20th century, the term was applied to a group that emerged out of the ongoing fundamentalist controversy. Earlier in the century, an intense conflict developed between the modernists (liberals) and fundamentalists (conservatives) in several of the larger Protestant denominations. Some fundamentalists left their old churches to found new ones when it became evident that they had lost control of the governing boards of their denominations. Many of those who left called for a separation from modernism, which they saw as heresy (denial of fundamental Christian beliefs) and apostasy (rejection of the Christian faith). This demand for separation led to a break with conservatives who remained within the established denominations. It also meant a break with church-sponsored institutions of higher learning (from which many of the defectors had graduated) and the founding of new colleges and seminaries committed to fundamentalism—actions that seemed to indicate a denial of the legitimacy of modern scholarship. By the late 1930s, conservatives still in the older denominations and those who left but remained friendly (especially Baptists and Presbyterians) made common cause against the separatist position. Although they maintained a commitment to fundamental Christian beliefs, they also declared their willingness to engage in a dialogue with the academy and society. To distinguish themselves from the separatists, they chose to be called Neo-Evangelicals, soon shortened to Evangelicals.

The new Evangelicals prospered because of the personalities they attracted and the institutions they created. They soon found a champion in a young Baptist evangelist, Billy Graham. Graham’s oratorical skills, combined with his refusal to deviate from his preaching mission and to involve himself in theological controversies, did much to legitimize Evangelicals with the public. Simultaneously, Carl F.H. Henry and other theologians provided the movement with intellectual sophistication. The zeal and commitment of the movement was institutionalized in a periodical, Christianity Today a new ministerial training school, Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena, California and a liberal arts college, Wheaton College, in suburban Chicago. In 1942 Evangelical leaders created some organizational unity with the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals.

The movement experienced significant international growth in the decades following World War II and became an important force in world Christianity. Developing a sense of international and interdenominational unity, Evangelicals formed the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) in 1951 (three years after the founding of the World Council of Churches). More than 110 regional and national organizations and some 110 million people are affiliated with the WEF, now headquartered in Singapore.

As the Evangelical community emerged, a series of vocation- and interest-based organizations made up of doctors, scientists, athletes, and others was established. Chapters of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and Campus Crusade for Christ formed on hundreds of college campuses to offer religious support similar to that provided by various Protestant and Roman Catholic organizations. Both the American Scientific Affiliation and the Evangelical Theological Society hold meetings and publish a journal to examine trends in science, theology, and cultural studies.

While Evangelicalism has grown into a significant cultural force, separatist fundamentalism has also flourished. Carl McIntire, an early leader of the movement, contributed greatly to this growth. He conducted a radio broadcast, The Twentieth Century Reformation Hour, and helped found the American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC) and the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC). In 1969 the ICCC and ACCC broke off relations after the latter moved to end McIntire’s dominance of its administration. The World Council of Bible Believing Churches and the American Christian Action Council (now the International Council of Christian Churches in America) emerged as a result of the schism. In the 1980s McIntire’s leadership of American fundamentalism gave way to that of Baptist televangelist Jerry Falwell.

Although fundamentalists have often appeared on radio and television, they have been overshadowed by Evangelicals in those media. Before World War II, Evangelicals used the radio to bring their message to an American audience after the war, they established the Far East Broadcasting Company and Trans World Radio, the first of a number of stations to broadcast internationally. Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, and other evangelists were among the first to see the potential of television. By 1960, the first Christian television network, the Christian Broadcasting Network, was chartered, and later the Trinity Broadcasting Network and LeSea Broadcasting formed to provide programming for the Evangelical community.

In the 1980s and ’90s the Evangelical movement greatly expanded. The reconciliation of conservatives from the Reformed tradition (Presbyterian and Baptist) with those from the Methodist tradition (Holiness and Pentecostal) was an important step in the growth of the movement. These two groups had been bitter rivals but joined forces against the perceived secularization of American culture. Holiness and Pentecostal churches joined the National Association of Evangelicals and the World Evangelical Fellowship. Evangelicals have also broadened their intellectual horizons. While continuing to affirm that the Bible is the Word of God, many Evangelicals have been open to contemporary trends in critical biblical scholarship, found means to accommodate a belief in biological evolution, and developed a consciousness of the role of culture in shaping theological perspectives.


The Augsburg Confession as a Catholic document Edit

The Augsburg Confession found within the Book of Concord, a compendium of belief of the Lutheran Churches, teaches that "the faith as confessed by Luther and his followers is nothing new, but the true catholic faith, and that their churches represent the true catholic or universal church". [4] When the Lutherans presented the Augsburg Confession to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1530, they believed it "showed that each article of faith and practice was true first of all to Holy Scripture, and then also to the teaching of the church fathers and the councils". [4]

The Augsburg Confession further states that:

. one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered. [5]

In Lutheranism, the term Evangelical Catholic or Augsburg Catholic has a specific meaning. Lutheran Protestantism differs historically from most other kinds of Protestantism in that Lutheranism is the only historical Protestant denomination that confesses belief in three sacraments: regeneration in Holy Baptism, Confession as the sacrament of Absolution, and the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Eucharist. [6] [7] In Anglicanism and Methodism, two other Protestant traditions, there has also been a sacramentalism similar to that in orthodox Lutheranism, especially in the high church movement. The Book of Concord states, contrary to "Enthusiast" belief, that salvation can be received only through the means of grace: God's Word and sacraments. [8] The Augsburg Confession stresses that "in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Catholic Church." [8] Article XXIV of the Augsburg Confession "Of the Mass" states: "Falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the Mass for the Mass is retained among us, and celebrated with the highest reverence." Some Lutheran church bodies claim to also have retained the historical episcopate and apostolic succession. The evangelical feature of Lutheranism is justification by faith, as defined by Law and Gospel and simul iustus et peccator. The term evangelical has a different origin and meaning in Lutheranism than in "Evangelicalism". (In German, there is a difference between evangelisch and evangelikal in Swedish, there is a corresponding difference between evangelisk and evangelikal). In the Lutheran tradition, evangelical (evangelisch) refers to the gospel, with the specific meaning of "grace centered". The opposite of evangelical is not "catholic" or "liberal", but legalistic. [9]

Gnesio-Lutherans and the continuity of Apostolic Christianity Edit

The Lutheran Church traditionally sees itself as the "main trunk of the historical Christian Tree" founded by Christ and the Apostles, holding that during the Reformation, the Church of Rome fell away. [10] [11]

In early Lutheranism, the Gnesio-Lutherans compiled the first modern critical history of the world, the Magdeburg Centuries, to show that the Lutheran Church was a continuation of the Christian church throughout its history, though stripped of abuses originating from the pope. Gnesio-Lutherans such as Joachim Westphal and Andreas Musculus had a "high" understanding of the sacraments, and therefore were strongly opposed to any compromise with Calvinism and Zwingliism, as well as with Roman Catholic doctrine. In the era of Lutheran orthodoxy, theologians Martin Chemnitz and Johann Gerhard (especially in his Confessio Catholica) made extensive use of patristic sources. They saw the continuity of the pre-Reformation church in Lutheranism, which they understood not as a re-formation of the church, but rather a renewal movement within and for the Christian church, from which the Roman church did truly represent.

With regard to the nature of the church, Lutheran theology therefore holds that: [11]

There can only be one true visible Church. Of this our Catechism speaks in Question 192: "Whom do we call the true visible Church?" Answer: "The whole number of those who have, teach and confess the entire doctrine of the Word of God in all its purity, and among whom the Sacraments are duly administered according to Christ's institution." That there can be but one true visible Church, and that, therefore, one is not just as good as another stands to reason because there is only one truth, one Bible, one Word of God. Evidently that Church which teaches this truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is the true visible Church. Christ says John 8, 31. 32: "If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Again Christ says Matt. 28, 20: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Whatsoever He has commanded us, His Word, and nothing else, we should teach. And again, all things which He has commanded us we should teach. That, therefore is the true visible Church which does this. But that all visible Churches do not this is plain from the fact that they do not agree among themselves. If every Church would teach the whole truth and nothing but the truth as God has revealed it, there could be no difference. So, then, by calling other denominations Churches, we do not mean to say that one Church is just as good as another. Only that one is the true visible Church which teaches and confesses the entire doctrine of the Word of God in all its purity, and in whose midst the Sacraments are duly administered according to Christ's institution. Of all Churches, this can only be said of our Lutheran Church. [11]

Lutheran monasticism Edit

Evangelical Catholics of Lutheran churchmanship cherish the practice of Christian monasticism after the Reformation, many monasteries and convents adopted the Lutheran faith and continued religious life, including lay oblates. Examples include monasteries such as Amelungsborn Abbey near Negenborn and Loccum Abbey in Rehburg-Loccum, as well as convents such as Ebstorf Abbey near the town of Uelzen and Bursfelde Abbey in Bursfelde. [12]

New religious orders were established by Lutherans throughout the centuries such as Östanbäck Monastery, a Benedictine community in Sala, Sweden and Saint Augustine's House, a monastery in Michigan. Mother Basilea Schlink established the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in Darmstadt, which contains the motherhouse where the Lutheran nuns reside. The Order of Lutheran Franciscans is a religious institute affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. [ citation needed ]

Sacred art in Lutheranism Edit

Lutherans had different views regarding religious imagery than Reformed Christians. [13] [14] Martin Luther in Germany allowed and encouraged the display of religious imagery in churches, seeing the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a continuation of the "ancient, apostolic church". [14] Lutheran altarpieces like the Last Supper by the younger Cranach were produced in Germany, especially by Luther's friend Lucas Cranach, to replace Catholic ones, often containing portraits of leading reformers as the apostles or other protagonists, but retaining the traditional depiction of Jesus. As such, "Lutheran worship became a complex ritual choreography set in a richly furnished church interior." [15] Lutherans proudly employed the use of the crucifix as it highlighted their high view of the theology of the Cross. [14] [16] Stories grew up of "indestructible" images of Luther that had survived fires by divine intervention. [17] Thus, for Lutherans, "the Reformation renewed rather than removed the religious image." [18] As such, "Lutheran places of worship contain images and sculptures not only of Christ but also of biblical and occasionally of other saints as well as prominent decorated pulpits due to the importance of preaching, stained glass, ornate furniture, magnificent examples of traditional and modern architecture, carved or otherwise embellished altar pieces, and liberal use of candles on the altar and elsewhere." [19]

Lutherans strongly defended their existing sacred art from a new wave of Reformed-on-Lutheran iconoclasm in the second half of the century, as Reformed rulers or city authorities attempted to impose their will on Lutheran populations in the "Second Reformation" of about 1560-1619. [14] [20] Against the Reformed, Lutherans exclaimed: "You black Calvinist, you give permission to smash our pictures and hack our crosses we are going to smash you and your Calvinist priests in return". [14] The Beeldenstorm, a large and very disorderly wave of Calvinist mob destruction of images and church fittings that spread through the Low Countries in the summer of 1566 was the largest outbreak of this sort, with drastic political repercussions. [21] This campaign of Reformed iconoclasm "provoked reactive riots by Lutheran mobs" in Germany and "antagonized the neighbouring Eastern Orthodox" in the Baltic region. [22]

Lutheran devotions Edit

Lutheran Mariology is informed by the Augsburg Confession and honours Mary as "the most blessed Mother of God, the most blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ," and "the Queen of Heaven." [23] [24] The Smalcald Articles, a confession of faith of the Lutheran Churches, affirm the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary. [25] Lutherans of Evangelical Catholic churchmanship tend to stress a continuity with these pre-Reformational beliefs that have been upheld by many Lutherans theologians since Martin Luther himself. [26] [27] As a sign of reverence for and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Martin Luther advocated the use of the original version of the Hail Mary prayer before it was modified at the Roman Catholic Church's Council of Trent (that is, "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.") [28] The 1522 Betbüchlein (Prayer Book) retained the Ave Maria. [29]

The Wreath of Christ, also known as the Pearls of Life, is a set of prayer beads developed by the Swedish Evangelic-Lutheran bishop Martin Lönnebo. [30] They are a devotion used by communicants in the Lutheran Churches. [31]

Episcopal polity and apostolic succession Edit

Traditions, such as episcopal polity and apostolic succession are also maintained and seen as essential by Lutherans of Evangelical Catholic churchmanship the Church of Sweden for example teaches that "Since this ordinance was very useful and without doubt proceeded from the Holy Ghost, it was generally approved and accepted over the whole of Christendom. . . . It belongs to the office of the Bishop that he in his diocese shall ordain and govern with Priests, and do whatsoever else is required." [32] The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Church of Sweden continue the apostolic succession of bishops who ordain priests through the laying on of hands. [33] [34]

What made the Church of Sweden an evangelical-catholic church was to Archbishop Söderblom the fact that the Reformation in Sweden was a 'church improvement' and a 'process of purification' which did not create a new church. As a national church, the Church of Sweden succeeded in bringing together medieval Swedish tradition with the rediscovery of the gospel which the Reformation brought with it. Archbishop Söderblom included the historic episcopate in the tradition-transmitting elements. The Church of Sweden was, according to Söderblom, in an even higher degree than the Anglican Church a via media. —Together in Mission and Ministry: The Porvoo Common Statement [35]

Such a view sees the congregational form of church governance as non-Lutheran and not reflective of Lutheranism's identity as a catholic Church the Evangelical Catholic Church, a Lutheran denomination based in North America, taught: [32]

A so-called democratic form of Church polity, or congregational rule/autonomy, where the children rule the father, is unscriptural, non-Catholic, non-Lutheran, and a subversion of God's natural, revealed Order. The form of Church government practiced by the LC-MS and ELCA (and almost all other expressions of American Lutheranism) was condemned by Fr. Luther when Philip of Hesse (perhaps the most prominent Prince within the Reformation Movement next to the Elector of Saxony), prevailed upon the synod at Hamburg in 1526 to adopt a form of congregational government ordered by a constitution accepted by all. In January 1527 Dr. Luther convinced Philip to repudiate this plan for congregational government. Such polity (i.e., congregationalism) undermines The Gospel and usually leads to the distorted view that, because The Faithful are a royal priesthood (I Pet. 2:9), all Christians (the priesthood of all believers) possess the public office of the ministry. Such a teaching (i.e., the mandate or justification of a congregational form of Church polity) is not found in Holy Scriptures such a practice does not conform to the teachings of Dr. Luther. That is why, without a doubt, the Lutheran Confessions nowhere mention such a "doctrine". The congregational (or priesthood of all believers) form of Church polity has no foundation in the Scriptures, the canons of the undivided Church, the Lutheran Confessions, or the writings of Dr. Martin Luther. For this reason the canons of The Evangelical Catholic Church state that the parish Pastor is the spiritual father of his parish (XIII,1). [32]

These views have proved to be influential in all of Lutheranism, especially when ecumenical agreements between Churches are made in the largest Lutheran denomination in United States, for example, "all episcopal installations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America take place with the participation of bishops in the apostolic succession." [36]

Evangelical Catholicism in the Lutheran Churches Edit

In the 19th century, "Evangelical Catholicism" was seen as a vision for the Church of the future. The term was used by Lutherans such as Ernst Ludwig von Gerlach and Heinrich Leo within the post-Prussian Union church in Germany who were inspired by the church of the Middle Ages, and by neo-Lutheran Friedrich Julius Stahl. [37]

The term Evangelical Catholic is often used today instead of the term "High Church Lutheranism" because it is a theological term. It is comparable to the term "Anglo-Catholic" within Anglicanism. Evangelical Catholic Lutheranism is inclusive of the theologically, biblically, and socially conservative ultra-high church Lutheranism of those within the Confessional Lutheran movement who follow the late Arthur Carl Piepkorn, the Evangelical Catholic Orthodoxy of Gunnar Rosendal, the more theologically liberal high ecclesiology of Carl Braaten, the very liberal Evangelical Catholicity of Nathan Söderblom, or even the more liberal Catholicism of Friedrich Heiler, and the ecumenical vision of Hans Asmussen and Max Lackmann, as well as the strongly Roman Catholic-oriented Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church and the more Eastern Orthodox-oriented Evangelical Catholic Church. [ citation needed ]

In Scandinavia, where High Church Lutheranism and Pietist Lutheranism has been highly influential, the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, Mission Province of the Church of Sweden, and the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Norway entered into schism with their national churches due to "the secularization of the national/state churches in their respective countries involving matters of both Christian doctrine and ethics” these dioceses are in altar and pulpit fellowship with one another through the Communion of Nordic Lutheran Dioceses and are members of the confessional International Lutheran Council with their bishops having secured their lines of apostolic succession from other traditional Lutheran Churches, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya. [38] [39] [40]

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada defines its doctrinal basis as such: "We derive our teachings from the Holy Scriptures and confess the three ecumenical creeds of the Christian church. We hold to orthodox catholic theology as enunciated in the ecumenical councils of the first five centuries of Christianity." [41] Some small "Evangelical Catholic" church bodies include the Evangelical Catholic Church, Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, Lutheran Church - International, and the Lutheran Episcopal Communion. The Nordic Catholic Church in Norway has roots in High Church Lutheranism. However, most Evangelical Catholic Lutheran clergy and Evangelical Lutheran parishes are part of mainstream Lutheran denominations such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Evangelical Church in Germany, and the Church of Sweden. [1] Many Lutherans hold beliefs that would be characterized as being of the Evangelical Catholic churchmanship of Lutheranism, but prefer to be called simply as "Lutherans" as they view the catholic nature of Lutheranism to be inherent in Lutheranism and prefer to stress the unity within Lutheranism as a whole. [3] [1]

In 1976, Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, suggested that the Augsburg Confession might be possible to recognise as a Catholic statement of faith. This did not happen due to differences in understanding of the theology on justification. [9] [42] Various Roman Catholic leaders and theolgians, such as Cardinal Kurt Koch have proposed the idea of Lutheran Ordinariates within the Catholic Church, which would allow Lutherans to join the Catholic Church and retain aspects of their liturgy and traditions. [43] [44] Lutherans of Evangelical Catholic churchmanship, however, have opposed conversion to Roman Catholicism, arguing that the "riches of the catholic tradition are already ours, and at our best we embrace that heritage". [3]

Apart from its usage in Lutheranism, Evangelical catholic (catholic is the noun with evangelical modifying) can refer variously to:

    who consider themselves to be catholic in the sense that they identify with the historic Christian Church. They believe that the early general councils and the Protestant Reformation were both part of the progressive illumination of the Holy Spirit [citation needed] who in continuity with the long tradition of the Church and empowered by Pope Benedict XVI's proclaimed New Evangelization stress the centrality and salvific universality of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the necessity of proclaiming it, in many ways identifying with the evangelical movement. [citation needed]

Catholic Church Edit

As used by the Roman Catholic Church, the term evangelical Catholic refers to Roman Catholics in full communion with the Holy See in Rome who exhibit, according to Alister McGrath, the four characteristics of evangelicalism. The first is a strong theological and devotional emphasis on the Christian scriptures. Secondly, evangelical Catholics stress the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the cause of salvation for all mankind. A personal need for interior conversion is the third defining mark, and, consequently, the fourth is a deep commitment to evangelization.

Evangelical Catholics see these evangelical emphases as the core of the 2,000-year tradition of Catholic Christianity. Evangelical preaching movements such as St. Dominic's, who was called the Vir Evangelicus (evangelical man), are a common point of reference. To Catholics, the term 'evangelical' refers to its etymological root—the Greek word euangelion—which means 'good news' or 'Gospel', not to Protestant Evangelicalism. To Catholics, being evangelical is understood in the context of the adherence to the dogma and Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church and in a Catholic interpretation of Scripture, and not in the doctrinal and ecclesiological upheavals of the Protestant Reformation.

Increasingly, the Roman Catholic Church is appropriating the evangelical witness of the recent popes and their encyclicals, especially Pope Paul VI's Evangelii nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World), John Paul II's Redemptoris missio (The Mission of the Redeemer), and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Declaration Dominus Iesus (The Lord Jesus), for which Pope Benedict XVI was primarily responsible, when he was previously Prefect of the Congregation. New bibles [ citation needed ] , catechetical materials, youth ministry programs, and young adult ministries witness to greater evangelical zeal within the Church. College campus ministry and parish ministry are focusing more of their resources on outreach (pre-evangelization and evangelization). [45] A Catholic organization called the Evangelical Catholic exists for the purpose of equipping Catholic ministries to be evangelical. [46] In Greenville, South Carolina, a Catholic organization called the Center for Evangelical Catholicism exists for the purpose of spreading the "New Evangelization" program of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization in Roman Catholic parishes and schools across the United States.

Since the call to evangelization is so integral to the Catholic faith and solidly attested to in the ecumenical councils, the writings of the Church Fathers, and papal teaching, the late well-known Father Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), (a former longtime Evangelical Lutheran pastor) looked to the day when the term 'evangelical Catholic' would be redundant - when identifying as 'Catholic' would imply active evangelization so strongly that the addition of 'evangelical' would be unnecessary. [47] As a group, they are often not disaggregated in social science research, though there have been recent calls to change this. [48]

Old Catholicism, Methodism, and Reformed Christianity Edit

In recent years, the term Evangelical Catholic, has been adopted by high church elements of the Methodist and Reformed Churches. This is especially apt among the Reformed, given that one of the older documented uses of the term is by John Williamson Nevin and Philip Schaff, during their efforts (from roughly 1841 forward) to repristinate the theology of the German Reformed Church in the United States. In 1849 the Mercersburg Review was founded as the organ of their "Mercersburg Theology".

Beginning in 1851, William Augustus Mühlenberg, the Protestant Episcopal clergyman of Lutheran background, and father of the Ritualist movement in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, [49] also published a periodical called "The Evangelical Catholic." Muhlenberg's vision has influenced the Reformed Episcopal Church and some on the Free Church of England.

Already earlier, there was an evangelical revival in the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, involving Boos, Gossner and Feneberg. This evangelical revivalist movement also spread to German Lutheranism.

The Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church in Portugal has its origins in the Old Catholic movement of the 19th century. Today it belongs to the Anglican Communion.

In England, Ulric Vernon Herford (1866–1938), irregularly consecrated as Mar Jacobus, Bishop of Mercia & Middlesex, founded The Evangelical Catholic Communion. His succession line was brought to the United States in the 1960s and continues in the Syro-Chaldean Church of North America. [50]

Some members of various Christian denominations may use the term Evangelical Catholic to indicate the fact that they are evangelical and maintain their catholicity. For example, Methodists and Presbyterians believe their denominations owe their origins to the Apostles and the early church, but do not claim descent from ancient church structures such as the episcopate. However, both of these churches hold that they are a part of the catholic (universal) church. According to Harper's New Monthly Magazine:

The various Protestant sects can not constitute one church because they have no intercommunion. each Protestant Church, whether Methodist or Baptist or whatever, is in perfect communion with itself everywhere as the Roman Catholic and in this respect, consequently, the Roman Catholic has no advantage or superiority, except in the point of numbers. As a further necessary consequence, it is plain that the Roman Church is no more Catholic in any sense than a Methodist or a Baptist. [51]

As such, according to one viewpoint, for those who "belong to the Church," the term Methodist Catholic, or Presbyterian Catholic, or Baptist Catholic, is as proper as the term Roman Catholic. [51] It simply means that body of Christian believers over the world who agree in their religious views, and accept the same ecclesiastical forms. [51]

New church bodies Edit

At the end of the 20th century, the Convergence Movement formed new church bodies, including the Charismatic Episcopal Church, the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, and the King's Family of Churches. It governs by an Episcopal polity, embraces the Charismatic renewal, uses different liturgical versions in worship, both Anglican and Lutheran, and supports church missions and church planting. [52]

About Evangelical Seminary

Update: In spring 2020, we announced an exciting new kingdom-minded partnership. Read more about it here.

The Evangelical Congregational (EC) Church traces its roots to the conversion of Jacob Albright, a Pennsylvania German farmer, in a Methodist class meeting His conviction was to bring the Christian faith to his neighbors at a time when the Methodist Church did not allow worship services to be conducted in the German language. His converts took the name Evangelische Gemeinschaft (Evangelical Association) in 1816, and the church prospered until the 1890s when a large minority of the Association re-organized as the United Evangelical (UE) Church in 1894.

Faculty and students from the Association’s Schuylkill Seminary moved to the former campus of Palatinate College in Myerstown in 1894 and established Albright College. Subsequently, the college relocated to Reading, PA in 1928 after the Evangelical Association and the United Evangelical Church merged in 1922 to form the Evangelical Church (which subsequently merged within The United Methodist Church). At the same time, the East Pennsylvania Conference and other congregations of the United Evangelical Church that had abstained from the merger reorganized as the Evangelical Congregational Church and bought the campus of the college that they had so long supported as the site for a publishing house, retirement home, and educational institution.

Throughout the Great Depression and World War II, EC denominational leaders kept alive the vision of an evangelical Wesleyan-Arminian theological seminary. In 1953 Evangelical Congregational School of Theology opened on the Myerstown campus with two full-time and three part-time professors and twelve students. The seminary received approval from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1957 to grant the Bachelor of Divinity degree (changed to Master of Divinity in 1970) and in 1979 the Master of Arts in Religion degree.

In its early years, Dean Kenneth Maurer served as dean. In 1967 the school had grown enough to inaugurate its first President, Harold H. Scanlin, a former EC Bishop. Those who have served as President are: H. H. Scanlin (1967-76), Leon O. Hynson (1977-82), Ray A. Seilhamer (1982-93), Kirby N. Keller (1993-2004), Dennis P. Hollinger (2004-08), Michael W. Sigman (2008-2011), and Anthony Blair (2011-present). The following have served as Academic Dean: Kenneth R. Maurer (1953-71), Creighton Christman (1971-80), Duane Beals (1980-87), Kirby N. Keller (1987-98), Rodney H. Shearer (1998-2002), Kenneth H. Miller (2002-05), John V. Tornfelt (2005-2011), Laurie Mellinger (2011-2016), and James Ehrman (2016-present). In the late 1960s, Old Main underwent renovation and Rostad Library was built.

The 1970s brought new faculty, administrators, and programs and an enlarged vision symbolized in a change of name from Evangelical Congregational School of Theology to Evangelical School of Theology in 1974. The 1980s brought the realization of the goal of accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (1984) and the Association of Theological Schools (1987). Responding to an increase in married students with families, the seminary supplemented the dorm rooms in Old Main with twelve campus townhouses on Albright Court in 1985. In 1996 the School earned approval by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church for the education of pastors in that denomination, already well-represented in its student body.

A new century saw another dream realized with the introduction of the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree (2002) supported by full-time faculty and a counseling center. A second off-campus counseling center was established in Lititz, PA in 2005. At the same time, Old Main was brought into the new century with “smarter” classrooms and renamed Christ Hall and the Faculty worked to add flexibility to the curriculum.

The seminary continued to offer courses at off-site locations like Allentown, Lancaster, and Hershey, PA and at Messiah College in Grantham, PA and experimented with distance learning. Concern for the training of persons beyond the traditional degree programs resulted in the introduction of Graduate Certificates in various areas of ministry (2006) and formation of the Center for Leadership Impact (2009). In 2007 the school was renamed Evangelical Theological Seminary, and in 2011, shortened the name to simply Evangelical Seminary. Over the course of the last half-century, Evangelical Seminary has served Christ and His church in preparing men and women for Christian vocations. Now with a student body of roughly 130 from over twenty denominations and independent churches, Evangelical strives to “develop servant leaders for effective ministry in a broken and complex world” with John Wesley’s concern for “rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.” With alumni in many countries and diverse forms of ministry, Evangelical Seminary continues to expand its vision of service.

Mission Statement
In partnership with the Church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

Vision Statement
Evangelical Seminary, striving to meet and exceed the leadership needs of the church, will prepare world-changing leaders who are authentically devoted to Jesus Christ, faithfully rooted in Scripture, effectively equipped to lead, and who will passionately carry the transformational message of Christ into the world.

Free Newsletters

Over the course of the twentieth century the overwhelming preponderance of evangelicals shifted from Europe and North America to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. When in 1974 the Lausanne Congress drew together 2,700 delegates from 150 nations, it testified to the globalization and racial diversity of the evangelical movement, celebrating the &ldquomany-colored wisdom of God.&rdquo The congress also hastened the shift away from the old fundamentalist core toward a more inclusive center, evident already in partnerships forged by Billy Graham in his public ministry with charismatics and in evangelical engagement worldwide. The growth and globalization of evangelicalism have tested the movement&rsquos coherence, not only in the relationship between charismatic and noncharismatic modes of belief and practice but also in relationship to the emergence of self-consciously postevangelical movements. Yet, even more remarkably, evangelicalism has continued to thrive far beyond its original base, and its experiential biblicism has proven dynamic in diverse settings worldwide. Evangelicalism first emerged in the eighteenth century as a movement organized around a simple gospel message rather than national frameworks. It emerged in the modern world with its bags packed, ready to go, able to move between churches, classes, countries, languages, and cultures. This liminal &ldquoin-between&rdquo characteristic is one key to understanding evangelicalism&rsquos continued dynamism in a modernizing and globalizing world. Because evangelicalism has been populist and concerned, as John Wesley said, with &ldquoplain truth for plain people,&rdquo it may only partly be compared to a school of formal theology, such as Thomism. Although it has generated some considered systematic theological reflection in every generation from Jonathan Edwards to Charles Hodge to Carl F.H. Henry, its theology has been expressed primarily in via , amid mission and proclamation. Its energies have been centrifugal, and its theology has been chiefly kerygmatic, preached in sermons, proclaimed in songs, announced in testimonies, jotted down in letters, or conveyed through the Alpha course. This seems the most natural mode of evangelical theology. The kerygmatic impulse has produced some exquisite theology in, for example, Charles Wesley&rsquos hymns, where the ancient principle of lex orandi, lex credendi (as we pray, so we believe) is vividly displayed in poetry that combines intense feeling with richness of biblical and doctrinal content.

Is there a doctrinal core to evangelicalism? Historians and theologians have sought to bring some sharper definition by trying to determine distinctive, universally shared characteristics. This can be done from inside, as it were, by an evangelical theologian such as J. I. Packer, who writes from conviction about what evangelicalism ought to be , or from outside, by a historian such as David Bebbington, who though a self-identified evangelical describes from a more empirical point of view what it seems the movement is . Packer identifies a syllabus of ten doctrinal convictions that ought to characterize evangelicals, such as Scripture&rsquos authority, Christ&rsquos supremacy as Savior and Lord, humans ruined and lost state in sin, and the necessity of faith and holiness these convictions overlap considerably with what the historian observes. In practice, Bebbington argues, four particulars have distinctively characterized evangelicals throughout their history: emphasis on personal conversion, the Bible, the cross of Christ, and active Christian service. While evangelicals are orthodox, Nicene Christians with a Protestant heritage like that of many other Christians, these four characteristics together set them apart and hold them together as a movement through time and change.

Evangelicals have thus been centrally concerned with what it means to discover a personally meaningful relationship with Christ through conversion. The Bible has been central to their lives as not only a Supreme authority belief and practice but also the object of their affections and instrument of their devotion. Christ&rsquos cross has had an exalted place in evangelical worship, central to preaching of a Christ who suffered and died &ldquofor me&rdquo as the means of conversion and source of gratitude. Finally, assurance of sins forgiven has produced confidence and energy for Christian mission that has propelled evangelicals to the farthest reaches and darkest corners of the world in service of Christ.

A centripetal dynamic has drawn evangelicals inward toward intensive interior devotion to Christ and intensive experience of Christian community in small groups, just as a powerful centrifugal dynamic has driven them out in sacrificial service. In this sense, evangelicalism may be compared to Ignatian spirituality with its interior devotion to Christ cultivated in the Spiritual Exercises and its activist engagement with the world evidenced in its history of mission work.

Identification of these four characteristics (conversionism, crucicentrism, biblicism, and activism) has given many observers a simple way to understand this abstract idea of evangelicalism. It has allowed pollsters to operationalize the definition of evangelicalism in survey research, and it has given many a college professor a clear outline for teaching about evangelicalism to their history and religion students. But one must beware of oversimplification. In the end, these core convictions define evangelicalism more as a &ldquoschool of Christian living&rdquo than a &ldquoschool of theology.&rdquo Evangelicals are concerned to bring people to Christ more than to convert anyone to the category of evangelicalism. Moreover, these core convictions have never been the whole. As a robust form of Christian living that emerged with the modern world, evangelicalism has always drawn on the resources of a wider and deeper Christianity. For all their adaptations to modernity, evangelicals from earliest days drew deeply from wells of earlier Protestant and Catholic spirituality, and they have continued to identify with &ldquotrue religion&rdquo wherever it is found, whether in the &ldquoexperimental godliness&rdquo of the Puritans or the &ldquoreal Christianity&rdquo of Thomas à Kempis. Whenever evangelicals break this deep connection to the church&rsquos historic faith, they are like a stream that seeks to run on without its source. Evangelicalism at its best has always remained vitally connected to its sources in the living Word of Scripture and the church&rsquos life, finding in these the basis for renewal and the experience of the very &ldquolife of God in the soul of man.&rdquo These sources remain a perennial fountainhead of dynamic spiritual life that will never run dry.

Bruce Hindmarsh is the James M. Houston professor of spiritual theology at Regent College and author most recently of The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism: True Religion in a Modern World (Oxford University Press).

Excerpted from Evangelical Dictionary of Theology , third edition, edited by Daniel J. Trier and Walter A. Elwell (Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group , 2017). Used by permission.

7. David Yonggi Cho’s Embezzlement

Evangelical Protestantism is mostly associated with the United States of America, but it has spread to Asia to a surprising degree. To give some idea just how much, the largest Evangelical megachurch in the world is in South Korea. It’s the Yoido Full Gospel, which seats 800,000 churchgoers in Seoul .

Yet in 2017, David Yonggi Cho claimed that there was a “crisis” of decreasing attendance, as people did not seem to be as taken with the church’s mixture of prosperity gospel and faith healing. It certainly couldn’t have helped that in 2014, he was convicted of embezzling $12,000,000 of church funds. He was fortunate that the sentence was suspended, but it was only going to be a surprisingly brief three years anyway.

Free Newsletters

Could you get into a little bit of detail about where you believe evangelicalism officially began and why you choose that spot as the start?

Thomas S. Kidd: Of course, evangelicals are going to tend to think that their movement started with Jesus, but I do fall into the camp that sees the modern evangelical movement beginning in the 1730s and 40s. It's an outgrowth of the Reformation and it follows on some emphases on the priesthood of all believers and the primacy of scripture.

I do think something changed in the 1730s and 40s, especially through the ministry of George Whitefield, who is the most important evangelists of the Great Awakening. And I don't think you see his laser focus on the experience of conversion as clearly among the Reformers. They typically did have an idea of conversion, but they were also in a medieval mindset where they had a more of a communitarian view of faith. For example, virtually all of the Reformers put a lot of emphasis on infant baptism.

So there's something new in emphasis with Whitfield and other evangelical preachers, about putting that emphasis on being born again, especially with people like John Wesley saying that you not only need to be converted, but you can know when you experience the new birth, and you can have great assurance that you are saved, that you are converted.

People like the Puritans in 1600s Massachusetts, or even back in England, would not have put nearly as much emphasis on the experience of the new birth. Even though theologically they knew the new birth was important, they didn't believe that you could so clearly discern that moment of the new birth and have the assurance that you have been saved.

So that individual focus on conversion that might happen in an instant, and you can know it, and you can have the assurance that you've gone through it, that to me is enough of a turning point in the 1740s to see it as the beginning of this modern evangelical movement.

The subtitle of your book is "The History of a Movement in Crisis." What is the ongoing crisis, or many crises have been part of evangelical life?

Thomas S. Kidd: I do think that Evangelicals have often thrived on this crisis identity. And I don't mean that in a disingenuous or insincere way. I think that even at the beginning Evangelicals were often persecuted, especially the more radical movements that began to show up as a result of the Great Awakening.

The crises of Evangelicals, however, do look different over time and space. They have a lot to do with the Evangelicals' position vis a vis culture and whether they fundamentally see themselves as dissenters in a hostile culture, or whether they see themselves as trying to seize control of the cultural and political establishment. I think Evangelicals since 1980 have tended to be more in that latter type of mode. That's a very different type of crisis mentality from a Baptist preacher in 1770 who was getting thrown in jail for illegal preaching.

Evangelicals in America will talk about persecution today, but they're certainly not facing anything like the Evangelicals in other parts of the world are. So I think that the type of crises that they have gone through, or at least perceive they've gone through, are highly contingent on their cultural stance.

I think that over time, Evangelicals in America have tended to have an increasingly custodial view of their role towards American culture and American politics. The kind of crisis that Evangelicals have been facing over the past 40 or 50 years has been a sense of worry that they're losing control of the culture&mdashwhether they really had control the culture is another question.

There's a lot of debate about whether or not evangelicals should be involved with politics, how much so, and which party to align with through the history of evangelicalism. Can you point to other specific periods of time when these similar issues have cropped up?

Thomas S. Kidd: There's always been an understanding for Evangelicals that their faith lived out is going to have some political implications.

I don't think that there's probably ever been a time in American history were Evangelicals, and in particular, white Evangelicals, have had quite so strong an identification with one political party.

Maybe in the 30s and 40s, there as a deep identification with the Whig party, which tended to be the party of moral reform movements, and so they like that&mdashyou know anti-alcohol and those kinds of causes. But even then, there were definitely some who were more attached to the Democratic party. And at different times there tended to be regional divisions more than there are today, where people who believe almost exactly the same thing about theology and cultural issues might end up supporting different political parties depending on their region.

But today I think there is such a deep identification among most voting white Evangelicals to the Republican party that seems unprecedented, and I think unhealthy for the reasons that others have absorbed, which is that outsiders certainly get the impression from some evangelical leaders that the evangelical movement is just basically a subset of the Republican party. That that is its basic function: to support Republican nominees, whomever they may be.

What are some of the historical moments in politics that began to establish the trend of Evangelicals identifying with one party over the other?

Thomas S. Kidd: William Jennings Bryan, who became famous as a three-time Democratic nominee for president, was also one of the only presidential candidates who were recognizably evangelical before Jimmy Carter. He would say his economic policies, which were in defense of the poor, were a result of being a Christian.

In the 1910s, Bryan was quite passionate about the evolution issue that was argued in court with the famous Scopes trial. And his involvement really changed the nature of evangelicalism itself, or at least the public image of evangelicalism&mdashwhich up to that point, had definitely not been tied up with evolution in any kind of exclusive way. But Bryan changes that.

He turned the course of fundamentalist combativeness towards American culture by focusing very narrowly on this question about the teaching of evolution in public school in the 1920s. So that's a turn not only towards evolution, but towards that kind of establishmentarian view, where now we're not just arguing about theological controversies within our own denominations in seminaries, but we're trying to say what shall and shall not be taught in America's public schools.

Bryan overstepped into the debates with Clarence Darrow about the authority of the Bible in the Scope trials, and the whole thing became a circus. And I think a lot of Evangelical leaders of the time had this feeling that's familiar to some of us today&mdashthat our movement has sort of been taken over by some people that we haven't been working with for very long and now all of a sudden they're the public face in the movement, and all of a sudden the movement is all about one specific topic.

If the crisis of the 1920s tended to coalesce around the teaching of evolution in schools, what would you say are the core issues in our current crisis of evangelical life?

Thomas S. Kidd: In the same way that the Scopes was shattering for evangelicals in 1925, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 is a parallel. There are the parallels about this feeling of not really being in control of your own movement anymore, and that the public impression of the movement is spun in different directions that a lot of core Evangelicals are at least perplexed by.

But now, I do think that the crisis has to do with the white Evangelical involvement with the Republican party, which really got started in the 1950s. It started with Billy Graham and Dwight Eisenhower. There was the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976, the Reagan in 1980 and up to the election of Trump, who had a lot of evangelical and prosperity gospel leaders he consulted with.

Even if he doesn't identify as an evangelical himself, Trump developed a sensitivity to evangelical concerns. But of course, his personal life would seem at many points to contradict evangelical standards for morality and behavior. And at least among self-identifying white evangelical voters, the alliance with the party didn't break in spite of the fact that a really strong formidable group of white traditionalist evangelical leaders expressed grave concern about Trump. But it didn't seem to make much of a difference, and he ultimately racked up similar types of numbers percentage-wise of the previous Republican nominees.

We have used the term white Evangelical more than once in this podcast, which wasn't a phrase we often used before 2016. Is having race as part of the equation something new?

Thomas S. Kidd: It's not new. But one of my concerns about the way we talk about Evangelicals is that the most common news story about Evangelicals in the past 40 years, and certainly in the era of Trump, is about polling. So often the polls that we're looking at are not talking about Evangelicals in general, but they're talking about white Evangelicals and not just white Evangelicals in general, but white Evangelical voters.

Even in presidential years, there's usually a 40-something percent of white Evangelicals who don't vote, but I don't see any reason to exclude them from the evangelical fold if they hit all the usual theological and experiential metrics. So it turns out that we're talking about a pretty narrow group&mdashwho are obviously enormously influential and significant in partisan politics&mdashbut in the evangelical movement as a whole, they are a slice that has access to disproportionate financial resources and political power. I don't like the way that the media will say that 81% of evangelicals supported Trump. No, no. That is absolutely not what the statistics say.

There are certainly many Hispanics who identify as Evangelicals, some Asians. Fewer African Americans will use the word evangelical because they don't like the political connotations of it. But larger numbers of African Americans certainly will identify it as born again. A lot of those people voted against Donald Trump, a lot of those people don't participate in politics, just like many white Evangelicals don't put participate in politics. So I think there's a tendency to have white Evangelical voters&mdashwho vote Republican&mdashstand-in for the whole American evangelical community. And I think that's a mistake.

When you go back to 2016, I'm really impressed about how many very prominent and quite conservative white Evangelical leaders spoke out against Trump. We're talking about John Piper, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Beth Moore, Marvin Alaskey&mdasha really impressive list of evangelical leaders. And these are not liberals. These are not Jim Wallace.

To have that kind of group of leaders speaking out against the Republican nominee, and it seemed to make almost no difference at all, I don't think it speaks to the lack of effectiveness of their leadership. I don't know what the disjunction is between these people who are saying that they're Evangelicals to pollsters and then those kinds of core evangelical leaders.

Do you think that class might be where the division lies? Maybe not based on economics alone, but also on education?

Thomas S. Kidd: I think that you have to just kind of piece together some different bodies of information we have out there. And one is that apparent schism between established leaders and then the rank and file, and another is that we know that there are millions of people who will identify as Evangelicals who rarely go to church. We also know that people in America who are in the working class and poor classes are less likely than groups above them in the socio-economic spectrum to go to church.

In 2016, the polls showed that non-church-going Evangelicals in the early primaries gravitated to Trump, but then some other polls have shown that after Trump was elected that church-going Evangelicals were Trump's strongest supporters.

But the problem is that we almost never know anything from those polls about what the people mean by saying that their Evangelical.

So I think that this huge amorphous group that we talked about as "Evangelicals"&mdashthe tens of millions of people that are identified as or self-identify&mdashthere's a lot going on in those numbers. And so I find it difficult to make any kind of firm conclusions based on polls about what that group actually believes.

So as you were doing all of your research on the history of the evangelical movement and looking at where it is now in its current crisis moment, did you start to form any ideas about what advice you might give to pastors, lay church leaders, people with some kind of extensible influence in the church about what to do with this information?

Thomas S. Kidd: I do think it starts with pastors. Especially if you are a pastor who has been in the habit of describing your church as evangelical. I think it wouldn't take very long to explain historically what being evangelical means&mdashthat it's about spiritual theological issues related to being born again and the authority of the Bible. And I think making that clear can help detach the association from politics. Some pastors, especially if you haven't been using the term evangelical, may want to steer clear of it entirely.

But nevertheless, I think that pastors should be very very careful about not conveying to people that your church is attached to a political party. Especially because in any normal church situation, you are certainly going to have a spectrum of political views, and I would think inmost larger churches and healthy churches you're going to have even different party commitments.

So pastors have to be very conscious about moving beyond those kinds of political divisions in the context of the church. To say, we're going to have disagreements about politics and that's okay, and in the context of the church, we love each other in Christ and that transcends our political boundaries. I think now is an era where pastors really need to be impressing that point upon their congregations.

The History of American Evangelicals’ Opposition to Abortion Is Long

Attendees at the 2017 March for Life (James Lawler Duggan/Reuters)

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A s the pro-life movement remains entrenched among American voters, a new pro-choice talking point has entered the media narrative.

In the new historiography of the abortion debate, the reason that pro-lifers are against abortion is not that they sincerely believe it to be murder. Rather they are operating from a false consciousness, hiding their real motive, racism. That narrative, which now gets repeated by the usual pro-choice advocates in media outlets such as the Guardian and the New York Times, is inaccurate and disingenuous. It is an obvious attempt to manufacture a politicized history.


The Evangelical Covenant Church has its roots in historical Christianity as it emerged in the Protestant Reformation, in the biblical instruction of the Lutheran State Church of Sweden, and in the great spiritual awakenings of the nineteenth century. These three influences have in large measure shaped its development and are to be borne in mind in seeking to understand its distinctive spirit.

The Covenant Church adheres to the affirmation of the Protestant Reformation regarding the Holy Scriptures, the Old and the New Testament, as the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. It has traditionally valued the historic confessions of the Christian church, particularly the Apostles’ Creed, while at the same time it has emphasized the sovereignty of the Word over creedal interpretations. It has especially cherished the pietistic restatement of the doctrine of justification by faith as basic to the dual task of evangelism and Christian nurture, the New Testament emphasis upon personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, the reality of a fellowship of believers which recognizes but transcends theological differences, and the belief in baptism and the Lord’s Supper as divinely ordained sacraments of the church. While the denomination has traditionally practiced the baptism of infants, in conformity with its principle of freedom it has also recognized the practice of believer baptism. The principle of personal freedom, so highly esteemed by the Covenant, is to be distinguished from the individualism that disregards the centrality of the Word of God and the mutual responsibilities and disciplines of the spiritual community.

Click here to read the entire Preamble to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Evangelical Covenant Church from which this material was drawn.

Archives of the Evangelical Covenant Church

The denominational archives are administered at North Park University. The Covenant Archives and Historical Library contains the administrative records of the Evangelical Covenant Church and North Park University. Collections include the correspondence, minutes, and reports of various denominational and University departments, as well as the records of numerous individual Covenant churches.


The evangelical couple also visited a swingers club, Miami Velvet, according to Granda.

Kristen Howerton, a writer and family therapist who grew up evangelical , says that she began seeing more QAnon-related content from evangelical friends on Facebook about a year ago.

Around a quarter of American adults identify themselves as evangelical Protestants, including parts of the Baptist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian denominations.

For evangelical s, the Wayfair rumors exploded into a major online freakout.

Among evangelical s, feelings about human trafficking are often so intense that people are only interested in hearing, and sharing, stories about how inhumane and widespread it is.

Pastor Gaylard Williams earned a good reputation among his evangelical ilk.

First, white evangelical Protestants are, by far, the most likely to be climate deniers.

Eight years later, the white evangelical midterm electorate was more energized for the Republican side.

While their songs are inspired by Jewish teachings, they are nowhere close to evangelical .

The NCF was created, back in 1982 or so, to maximize hard right-wing evangelical Christian philanthropic giving.

In rejecting this system, she had no friend to conduct her to the warm, sheltered, and congenial retreats of evangelical piety.

In these papers it has been chiefly discussed as one of the two principal branches of the general Evangelical movement.

The Evangelical movement had done good even in quarters where it had been looked upon with disfavour.

The implacable patient declared that he admired what he called my evangelical moderation.

Mr. O'Brien was a member of the Church of England, and his sympathies were with the evangelical section.

Watch the video: A History of Evangelicalism (December 2021).