What Does Evangelical Mean?

8 Dec

The religious historian George Marsden once quipped that in the 1950s and 1960s an evangelical Christian was “anyone who likes Billy Graham.” But when Billy Graham was asked to define the term in the late 1980s, he replied, “Actually, that’s a question I’d like to ask somebody too.” As it turned out, even America’s most famous evangelical preacher couldn’t describe what the term meant.

So begins a concise and incisive discussion of the meaning of “evangelical” by Jonathan Merritt at The Atlantic. You can read the entire piece here: What Does Evangelical Mean? – The Atlantic.

Also, you can see how parallel (or not) my definition is in a piece I wrote for the Encyclopedia of the Great Plains several years ago here.

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