In the first third of her mammoth tome,
“Evangelicals, Struggle to Shape America,”
Frances Fitzgerald traces the origin
of the term, Evangelicals.
She writes that Evangelicals
are an early 20th Century
spinoff from fundamentalists
and their unscientific beliefs.
Apparently, the name did not
emerge until the Billy Graham
revivals and his founding of the
magazine, Christianity Today.
The term also was used at
the Lausanne Movement Conference
held in 1974, and the ensuing efforts
of John Stott and J.I. Packer.
People did not identify
as Evangelicals until recently,
still calling themselves members
of a specific Christian denomination.
It was a system of beliefs
that coalesced into Evangelicalism,
regardless of the denomination
in which they worshipped.
Evangelicals are now found in
all the mainline denominations
in varying degree, and are the
norm in a few large ones.
Simply put, Evangelicals believe
that the bible is the guide to salvation
and the moral code has to be viewed
in the light of the New Testament.
Evangelicals concentrate on three tasks:
conversion, bringing people to God,
discipleship, learning Christianity, and
service, practicing their faith in the world.