Evangelicalism

In today’s culture, evangelicalism is often misunderstood and often gets a bad wrap, but evangelicalism is as important today as ever because of its emphasis on the evangel—the good news or the gospel.  At the heart of evangelicalism is fixed on the life and ministry of Jesus and on the inbreaking of the already-not yet in full Kingdom of God. This is the drama of redemption performed by God throughout history culminated in the redeeming death and resurrection of God-the son, Jesus Christ. Thus, evangelicalism emphasizes the theo-drama as the authoritative metanarrative in all matters of faith, life and conduct. Evangelicalism posits the necessity of a personal experience of regeneration through personal faith in Jesus Christ and through the act of the Holy Spirit. This regeneration and entry into the storied community of the people of God necessitates that believers participate in the redemption story by communicating the joy of the evangel to the unregenerate.

Many in the media believe that evangelicals are of a certain political persuasion and of a certain religious fundamentalism persuasion. This is mostly a recent american phenomenon because the origins of evangelicalism had nothing to do with politics or religious dogma. Rather, it had to do with the power of the evangel to regenerate souls and to convert people into the Kingdom of God. The only politics involved was their new life in the Kingdom of God under the gracious and peaceful reign of King Jesus. This was the experience and message of Wesley, Whitefield and Edwards, and their examples should be used by Christians to address the misunderstandings and defamatory attacks directed at evangelicalism. These preachers spoke to the problem of sin and called people to repentance and to the promise of forgiveness and of freedom from their sins through Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. This is the evangel that today’s evangelicalism must continue to proclaim.