Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

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The Evangel

September 25, 2015 Articles

The Evangel or “Good News,” is New Testament language for the Gospel Jesus came to announce. Today Evangelical has come to mean Protestants having four essentials beliefs informing their faith: personal conversion, active witness and service, faith nurtured by the Bible and conviction that salvation comes by what Jesus accomplished in his death and resurrection.

The term first became popular by Martin Luther and his German EvangelischeI congregations. William Wilberforce, who pressed the British Commonwealth to outlaw slave trading, brought the term and its usage into the public forum as a social force for good at the turn of the 1800s. In time the term became synonymous with Protestants who pressed society to consider human value within a biblical framework. But it was in the twentieth century that its usage took full stride.

The Protestant community at the turn of the twentieth century experienced a growing divide, as scholars and seminaries driven by a more rationalistic view of the Bible help create both liberal and conservative wings. As they espoused a more liberal view of the Bible and questions concerning the uniqueness of Jesus, out of that emerged what often was referred to as Fundamentalism. In time Evangelical stuck and Fundamentalism became more a word of derision. By the twenty first century it was estimated that one third of Americans were self identified as Evangelical.

While actual numbers may vary, globally there are some six hundred million Evangelicals. This is especially so in the Global South (Africa, Latin America and Asia). In Latin America in 1900 there were 50,000. Today that number is closer to 100 million. Patrick Johnstone estimates that within the past fifty years the Evangelical community has grown faster than any religious community in world history.

The assumptions of a secular west that as people become more learned and sophisticated that religion tanks were wrong. Globally, people increasingly of all countries, ethnicities and languages are finding hope and life in the message of the risen Christ.

Brian C Stiller
Global Ambassador
World Evangelical Alliance