A number of circumstances have transpired that call for review of the terms evangelicalism and fundamentalism in relation to the present theological situation. Several opposing schools of thought vie for use of the term evangelical. Appropriation of the word by those who do not hold to its biblical and historic content has caused some hesitancy on the part of those who hold to the doctrines of revealed Christianity, as to its proper use. They fear misunderstanding of their theological position.
Complication also results from the diverse connotations surrounding the term fundamentalism in various countries. Fundamentalism has a different savor in England and Australia than in United States and Canada. Further confusion has been caused by criticism of the “fundamentalism” of Billy Graham by liberal and neo-orthodox leaders and the censure of the “modernism” of Mr. Graham by some fundamentalists. All this semantic confusion calls for clarification.
A growing preference for the term evangelicalism has developed within recent years in circles that keep to traditional doctrines held to be fundamental to Christian faith. This choice finds root in several important facts: first, the word is scriptural and has a well-defined historical content; second, the alternate, fundamentalism, has narrower content and has acquired unbiblical accretions.
In the New Testament the Greek to euaggelion (the evangel) is translated gospel, glad tidings. After the death of Christ the term signified the history of Christ and is the title prefixed to each of the four narratives of his birth, doctrine, miracles, death, resurrection and ascension. Further, the evangel signified the Christian revelation and was applied to the system of doctrines, ordinances ...1
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