The attempt to define any theological movement can be difficult, and Evangelicalism is no different. While both Roman Catholics and liberal Protestants have at times referred to themselves as having an Evangelical spirit, Evangelicalism has always been a movement throughout history that was distinct from Catholicism, concerned by the theological compromise of liberal Protestantism, while also being opposed to the anti-intellectualism and cultural separation of Protestant Fundamentalism. Evangelicalism, as a movement and theological identity, has always been concerned with loyalty and fidelity to the Scripture as God’s revelation, the historic reality of Christ’s miracles, resurrection, and Divine nature, but also an engagement with culture, rather than retreat from the world. Evangelicalism stands as a testament to the reality that one need not choose dogma over intellectual engagement and that deep theological conviction is not antithetical to thoughtfulness, as some might suggest.
Dr. Albert Mohler, in the following article, discusses some of the history of Evangelicalism, and the challenges of defining the movement that, although preexisting American society, has had far-reaching effects on the American church.