A New Definition of “Evangelical”

A New Definition of “Evangelical” January 12, 2016



A two-year collaboration between the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and LifeWay Research has resulted in a new way to identify evangelicals in surveys. In what might be the first research-driven ‘creed,’ the report identifies four key statements that define evangelical beliefs: ‘

The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe’;

‘It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior’;

‘Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin’; and ‘

Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.’

Only those who strongly agree with each statement should be considered ‘evangelical by belief,’ said the NAE. President Leith Anderson said the new method should help to consolidate evangelicals, often split in surveys by race or politics, and lead to more complete results about their views.”

David Bebbington’s now well-known quadrilateral is:

Biblicism: the centrality of the Bible.

Crucicentrism: the centrality of the cross.

Conversionism: necessity of the new birth.

Activism: evangelism and social action.

In short, this “new” definition is essentially Bebbington’s old definition. Right?

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