This is a serious question.  People are always talking about the “Evangelicals” but who are they?  This is a term that has no definition up till now, and probably never will.  But if you think you know what it means, please tell me, because I have no clue.   To me, the term is simply a self-designation of those who can’t think for themselves but who follow whatever some mega-pastor says.  So they hear a mega-pastor say he’s an “Evangelical” and they start calling themselves that, without even themselves having a clue what the word is supposed to mean.

Over on the Wikipedia article on Evangelicalism I found the following paragraph:

A third sense of the term is as the self-ascribed label for a coalition that arose during the Second World War. This group came into being as a reaction against the perceived anti-intellectual, separatist, belligerent nature of the fundamentalist movement in the 1920s and 1930s. Importantly, its core personalities (like Harold John Ockenga and Billy Graham), institutions (for instance, Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College), and organizations (such as the National Association of Evangelicals and Youth for Christ) have played a pivotal role in giving the wider movement a sense of cohesion that extends beyond these “card-carrying” evangelicals.

Seems strange, considering that today Evangelical and fundamentalist are used interchangeably much of the time, aren’t they?

And I also find there on the wikipedia that “Evangelicals” can supposedly be divided into three camps:

  1. The traditionalists, characterized by high affinity for certain Protestant beliefs, (especially penal substitutionary atonement, justification by faith, the authority of scripture, the priesthood of all believers, etc.)

  2. Centrist evangelicals, described as socially conservative, mostly avoiding politics, who still support much of traditional Christian theology.

  3. Modernist evangelicals, a small minority in the movement, have low levels of church-attendance and “have much more diversity in their beliefs”.

In other words, “Evangelical” doesn’t mean anything!  If the term can describe such widely differing groups, then what possible meaning could it have?  (I mean, aside from brain-dead sheeple who call themselves by a meaningless word because they hard John Piper use it.)

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