In order to look at the role evangelical Christianity has played throughout American history into modern day we must define what the term actually means. Etymologically, the word ‘evangelical’ comes from the Greek word ‘euangelion’ literally meaning ‘good news,’ or in a looser sense ‘gospel’ (Sweeney, 17). The term evangelical does not refer to a specific denomination of Christianity, but rather is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of Protestant Christians who adhere to the evangelical beliefs. Because evangelicals are nondenominational, or perhaps more correctly multidenominational, there is no constitution or formal guidelines for faith and practice. This also means there is no set definition for what it means to be evangelical. Although no singular definition exists there are two widely agreed upon definitions that most evangelicals embrace as correct. The first comes from theologian Alister McGrath who asserts that “evangelicalism is grounded on a cluster of six controlling convictions … [which] can be set out as follows:
1. The supreme authority of Scripture as a source of knowledge of God and a gui...
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Zoba, Wendy Murray. The Beliefnet Guide to Evangelical Christianity. N.p.: Doubleday,
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