Evangelicalism has rapidly become one of the most significant religious movements in the modern world. An umbrella term that encompasses many Protestant denominations that share core tenets of Christianity, evangelicalism is foremost defined by its disciples' consideration of the Bible as the ultimate moral and historical authority, the desire to evangelize or spread the faith, and the value of religious conversion known as being "born again."
As the Evangelical movement has grown rapidly, so has its influence on the political stage. Evangelicals affect elections up and down the Americas and across Africa, provoke governments throughout Asia, fill up some of the largest church buildings, and possess the largest congregations of any religion in the world. Yet evangelicals are wildly diverse- from Canadian Baptists to Nigerian Anglicans, from South Sea Methodists to Korean Presbyterians, and from house churches in Beijing to megachurches in São Paulo.
This Very Short Introduction tells the evangelical story from the preacher-led revivals of the eighteenth century, through the frontier camp meetings of the nineteenth, to the mass urban rallies of the twentieth and the global megachurches of the twenty-first.
More than just a sketch of where evangelicals have come from, this volume aims to clearly examine the heart of evangelical phenomenon. Is there such a (single) thing as evangelicalism? What is its basic character? Where are the evangelicals going? And what in the world do they want?
The media . . . continue to view evangelicalism through the distorting lens of current American politics and religion. John Stackhouse's brilliant introduction to the topic will help the general reader to correct the distortion and grasp the multiple yet still distinctive ways in which evangelicals both think about their faith, and negotiate the social and political challenges of the modern world.
—Brian Stanley, Professor of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh
"Evangelicalism: A Very Short Introduction" is an insightful primer for journalists, scholars, politicians and curious observers into one of the most vibrant, if often caricatured, social movements in the world today.
—René Breuel, The Times Literary Supplement
Brian Stiller, World Evangelical Alliance
"We now have an answer to 'Who is an evangelical?'John Stackhouse gives us the best summary of our history I've read: compelling, interesting, and critically helpful. In too many places recently, the label evangelical has been hijacked and abused. This book helps us rise above those skirmishes as Stackhouse knits together various strains, groups, movements, and moments in an ever-enlarging pattern, giving coherence and insight into this global Christian community. Evangelicals themselves should read this book, but everyone else who cares about understanding evangelicals will find it enormously helpful also. "
Molly Worthen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"This lucid and snappy introduction to evangelicalism guides us from deep and tangled historical roots through the contradictions and complexity of the modern global faith. Stackhouse captures the diversity of evangelicalism without losing the 500-year plotline—an amazing feat."
Mark Noll, University of Notre Dame
"As a Canadian not caught up in the United States' religious-political partisanship and as an expert historian-theologian, John Stackhouse is perfectly situated to explain the history, development, and contemporary relevance of evangelical Christianity. This excellent introduction is especially
strong in its careful definition of terms and in its treatment of evangelicals around the world."