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The Politics of Evangelical IdentityLocal Churches and Partisan Divides in the United States and Canada$
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Lydia Bean

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161303

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161303.001.0001

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The Boundaries of Evangelical Identity

The Boundaries of Evangelical Identity

(p.45) Chapter 2 The Boundaries of Evangelical Identity
The Politics of Evangelical Identity

Lydia Bean

Princeton University Press

This chapter talks about how Protestants define the boundaries of their religious subculture. Social scientists have vigorous debates about who is, and who isn't, an evangelical. In these churches, there were only two kinds of Christians: born-again Christians who had made a personal decision for Christ, and nominal Christians who lacked this personal relationship with Christ. Other denominational or sectarian differences were meaningless to rank-and-file members, even though conservative Protestants once divided themselves rigidly between charismatics, Pentecostals, fundamentalists, and culture-engaging evangelicals. All four of these churches shared a sense of subcultural identity as “born-again” or evangelical Christians, which transcended the historical divisions between Baptist and Pentecostal worship and theology.

Keywords:   Protestants, evangelicals, born-again Christians, nominal Christians, charismatics, Pentecostals, fundamentalists

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