Sunday, February 17, 2008

Who are Evangelicals?

Evangelicals believe in Jesus Christ and take the Bible seriously. This may be a simplistic statement, but for broader public it defines who we are focused on and what our core beliefs are.

More specifically the Evangelical
Statement of Faith, first adopted by the NAE over 60 years ago, has become the definitive statement around which thousands of para church ministries, mission agencies and local or regional associations have identified themselves.

This statement proclaims our belief in the authority of the Bible, the Trinity, the complete work and fullness of Jesus Christ, regeneration by and continued ministry of the Holy Spirit, resurrection to either eternal life or eternal damnation, and in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

The NAE website offers these two helpful explanations about evangelical beliefs: Why evangelicals believe Jesus is God and What do evangelicals believe about God and the Bible?

How Many Evangelicals Are There in the US?

40% of Americans consider themselves 'born-again' or 'Evangelical' Christians.

American Evangelicals are a varied and diverse group of people. (Read this helpful summary). For 30 years the Gallup polling organization has asked people "Would you describe yourself as a 'born-again' or 'Evangelical' Christian?" Since 1976 polls show that around 40% of Americans identify themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians.

In Barna Group studies they have found similar results; In 2006 there were 101 million born-again Chrisitains in the US (45%). But when using a more narrow definition of professing Evangelicals who say faith is important in their daily life, only 8% of Americans fit this definition of Evangelical.