The Evangelical movement originated within Protestantism and is rooted in the concept of salvation through atonement. Evangelical Christians believe in being "born again" and in the word of the Bible as God's revelation. Most are also committed to sharing this message.
Here are six things that led to the Evangelical movement:
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1. Evangelicalism can be traced to multiple sources, including the German Lutheran Pietism, Presbyterianism, the English Methodist movement, the Moravian church, and 18th century reformer Nicolaus Zinzendorf, among others. The broader movement would gradually borrow elements from each strain to form the basis of their beliefs, according to Randall Balmer's book, "Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism."
2. According to A Study of Denominations
, the support for the Evangelical movement began in the early 18th Century with the first "Great Awakening," and the orations of George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and John Wesley in America. At community meetings, people were asked to accept Jesus Christ in a conversion experience. Another "Great Awakening" took place in the 1820s-40s, and led to a strong preference of evangelicalism over other American religions.
3. In the 1600s, Pietism spread through Europe amid a revival of devotion to the Lutheran church. It served as an alternative to strict Christianity. Believers promoted high moral standards for everyone, according to Ballmer. The movement included Christians affiliated with state churches as well as those who opposed the use of religions conventions such as altars and pulpits.
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4. The Presbyterian church contributed a revival focus with roots to early 17th-century Scotland and Northern Ireland, according to Mark Noll's "The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys."
5. When Puritanism began to decline in the 18th century, many parishioners turned to evangelical revival, bringing increased support and notoriety to the movement. Noll's book describes how Puritanism took hold in New England, which had the Congregational church as its established religion.
6. Because evangelicalism is ultimately tied to each individual's faith, few denominations can be considered completely evangelical, even among movements with high numbers of people who portend to have that belief system, according to A Study of Denominations.
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