What Is an Evangelical?

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What it Means to be an Evangelical
In the modern context, the term “Evangelical” carries a number of negative connotations. Popular culture depicts Evangelicals as terrorist extremists, whose mission in life is to judge and condemn. However, these depictions could not be further from the true essence of what it means to be an Evangelical Christian. Evangelicals stand for the truth found in God’s word and believe in the atoning death of Jesus Christ and his redemptive love. Evangelicals view the Bible as a guide to faith and practice. According to the Evangelical Manifesto, the Bible is God’s Word written and is “fully trustworthy.” An essential practice of Evangelical Christians is daily Bible reading. As followers of Christ, daily immersion in God’s Word is essential to discovering God’s truth. Through the truth of the Gospel, Evangelicals believe in the atoning death of Jesus Christ and view salvation as God’s gift grasped through faith. In this salvation, Evangelicals find a new life in the Holy Spirit in which we are reborn. In addition, we live by God’s grace; we recognize we have done nothing to earn our salvation. Instead, we are saved by God’s redeeming love. Engaging in God’s truth also involves the component of prayer. Evangelicals believe a personal relationship with God is developed through dialogue. Not only do we receive, but we also pour out. Due to the privilege Evangelicals have been granted of standing in God’s truth, we believe in sharing God’s love with the world. Through Gospel centered missions work, Evangelicals share the word and redeeming love of God. We seek to become more like Christ and desire to love and walk as He did.

Noble, Thomas A. "John Wesley as a Theologian: an Introduction." Evangelical Quarterly 82.3 (2010): 239-57. Print.

Abstract:

In the article John Wesley as a theologian: an introduction, by Thomas A. Noble, the author presents a view of evangelism through the theology of John Wesley. Wesley emphasized salvation by the grace of God not by our own works as presented in Ephesians 2:8. In addition, Wesley also argued as Christians, Christ must have a seat in our hearts so that we are joined with him. Meaning, it is not enough to merely believe in God, but it is essential to have faith in God. Wesley also emphasized the fact we never outgrow our need for Christ, we need Him daily to intercede for us.

Evaluation:

Thomas A. Noble is Professor of Theology at Nazarene Theological Seminary and is a Senior Research Fellow in Theology at Nazarene Theological College. Given his qualifications, Noble is a very reliable and knowledgeable source and he sheds light on a number of Wesley’s theological beliefs. Noble is thorough in his description of Wesley’s sermons and the implications of each message for the Evangelical community. Evangelical Quarterly is a reliable and respectable publication given that it is a peer reviewed source. In addition, the recent publication date lends credibility to Noble’s argument.

Barnes, Mark. "Passionate About the Truth." The Evangelical Magazine July-Aug. 2007: 10-11. Web. Abstract:
In the article Passionate about the truth by Mark Barnes, the author argues that as Christians we must love the truth. Barnes emphasizes four distinct traits that characterize an Evangelical Christian who loves the truth. A believer in the Gospel will stand for truth, study truth, safeguard truth and share truth. This involves a life of engaging in God’s word, prayer, and spreading the message of the Gospel. Barnes argues it is impossible to love God unless we worship Him in truth. The consequence of not loving the truth will lead to a disconnect with the will of God.

Evaluation:

Mark Barnes is a member of the editorial board for The Evangelical Magazine, he is also assistant to the pastor at St. Mellons Baptist Church in Cardiff, Wales. The Evangelical Magazine is published by the Evangelical Movement...
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