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Who Are the Evangelicals?
—and What Do They Want?

Are evangelicals conservative? Fundamentalist? Nationalistic?
Or only in America?

"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.”

— Molly Worthen, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

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, University of Edinburgh

About The Book



Who are the evangelicals? Are they all fundamentalists, or conservatives, or nationalists, or what?


This book sets out a new 6-point constellation of traits by which evangelicals can be identified in the past and across the world today.


When and where did evangelicalism arise?


This very short introduction offers a very short—but vivid, colourful, and illustrative—history of evangelicals from the eighteenth century to the present, and from England and New England to the farthest reaches of the globe.


Money, sex, and power—and heresy, and distraction, and persecution, and even the seductions of success: what are the main challenges facing evangelicals today and tomorrow?

Evangelicals defined by historian John G. Stackhouse Jr. on
Evangelicals analyzed by historian John G. Stackhouse Jr. on
Evangelicalism by historian John G. Stackhouse Jr. on



One of the most significant religious movements in the modern world.

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 commitment to the Triune God, its consideration of the Bible as the ultimate moral and historical authority, the desire to spread the faith, and the value of religious conversion known as being “born again.” It is also, however, marked by both populism and pragmatism, both of which characteristics are crucial to understanding how evangelicals live and work.

Evangelicals and their global and political influence. 
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.


Where Evangelicalism has been and where it's going next.
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?



John Stackhouse, Author



John Stackhouse is an evangelical insider who communicates well with outsiders.


An alumnus of an evangelical Bible school (Mount Carmel) and an evangelical graduate school (MA summa cum laude, Wheaton College), he also holds degrees from a public university (BA First Class, Queen’s University) and a world-class research university (PhD, The University of Chicago). He has published and edited more than a dozen books of evangelical history, theology, and ethics, and more than 900 articles, book chapters, reviews, and op-ed pieces either about evangelicalism or offering an evangelical take on current affairs.


John Stackhouse holds the Samuel J. Mikolaski Chair of Religious Studies at Crandall University in eastern Canada, having served previously on the faculties of Wheaton College, Northwestern College, the University of Manitoba, and Regent College. An award-winning teacher, researcher, and public communicator, he has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Edinburgh, Otago, Macquarie, Hong Kong, Fudan, and many other universities, and has given over 1000 interviews to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Australian, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and national TV and radio networks in the USA, Canada, and Australia, among many other media.


Professor Stackhouse has experienced evangelicalism beyond the academy and public media, however. He has strummed his guitar at summer camps, preached in churches, led student groups, addressed pastoral conferences, taught Sunday School, played the piano in downtown missions, prayed in home Bible studies, and served in food banks. Evangelicals for him are not those odd folks over there, but a tribe he has both enjoyed and endured—and to whom he introduces the rest of us in this small, readable book.

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Historian and Evangelical expert John G. Stackhouse Jr. on


Evangelicalism: A Very Short Introduction by John G. Stackhouse Jr. buy on Amazon
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