“Evangelical” is a theological term shaped by historical events. Since Joe asked us to define the word, I’ll define evangelicalism at its best, rather than at its worst.
An evangelical is someone who embraces the solas of the Reformation (salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, according to Scripture alone), responates with the emphasis on the new birth and the reviving work of the Spirit found in the Great Awakening, believes in the complete trustworthiness of the Bible contra the liberals and modernists, accepts the responsibility of world evangelization and social engagement as modeled by countless missionaries and reformers, rejects the obscurantism that marked parts of fundamentalism, and, in distinction to the pragmatists and postmoderns, affirms the importance of doctrinal propistions and the knowability of truth.
I know, a dense statement like this begs to be unpacked, but it’s a start. It may not be better than all the other definitions on this blog. But, hey, it’s only a sentence.