There is a common question asked about what “Evangelical” means. It is confused by the fact that in many parts of the continent, to be “Evangelical” means to be part of the Lutheran denomination. For a Chinese church that has it in their name, it is confusing because the translation often really means either “gospel” (fuyin) or, sometimes, “Protestant” (xinjiaotu). Then, there are the theologians that often go to the so-called Bebbington quadrilateral to explain things; but, again, what in the world does that mean anyhow and do Evangelicals today (or those who call themselves Evangelicals) really do those things?
Perhaps a better way to understand the word (especially if you call yourself one) is by understanding how most Evangelical believe and behave. The Evangelical Alliance in the UK recently conducted a study that examines just that amongst UK Evangelicals (online or for download) that are part of the Evangelical Alliance. Here’s a helpful summary diagram they have in the document (too bad it didn’t do a demographic breakdown also…):
There is also a very interesting commentary made by a Wycliffe Bible translator on the lack of discussion in terms of overseas missions.
As Christians, it is absolutely critical that we are concerned about our beliefs. However, are we, like the theme of this year, concerned about practicing this with “Our God, Our Church, Our City” and beyond?