Christian history at its best is the lengthened shadow of evangelical Christianity. When the evangel has been central in the life of the Church, the Church has flourished. When it has been marginal, the Church has suffered. Evangelical Christianity has always had Jesus Christ as its chief cornerstone, the Apostles as its chief spokesmen, and the Word of God written as the only source and authority of its witness. The witnesses to the apostolicity and truth of God’s divine revelation change from age to age. But the Word of God incarnate, Jesus Christ, and the Word of God written, the Holy Scriptures, do not change; they belong to the Church forever. We know that the apostolic foundation laid by Christ and the Apostles was lost after the first century and not recaptured until the days of the Reformers, when once again the message and the spirit of the Gospel became regnant.

Since the Protestant Reformation, evangelical Christianity has manifested the power and glory of biblical religion in a succession of great men who have followed in the train of the Apostles and the Reformers: Rutherford, Wesley, Whitefield, Edwards, Spurgeon, Moody, Chapman, Torrey, and in our day Graham, to mention but a few. All of them were imbued with the genius of evangelical Christianity and captured the spirit of the New Testament that Christ is victor and that history belongs to him. All of them stood for the same great truths and demonstrated the power of a regenerate life. They committed themselves to the proclamation of the truths they believed and called upon men everywhere personally to embrace the saving Christ whose doctrine they professed.

They were faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they understood it to include: (1) man’s sinful ...

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