evan·gel·i·cal : of or relating to a Christian sect or group that stresses the authority of the Bible, the importance of believing that Jesus Christ saved you personally from sin or hell, and the preaching of these beliefs to other people. – Webster’s
I have never met a Christian yet, of any stripe, who does not believe the Bible to be the word of God. Roman Catholics believe the Bible to be the word of God.
There can be no discussion among Christians without first having an agreed-upon authoritative frame of reference, which is the Scriptures. The Church Councils appealed to Scripture for their decisions. Not all the Church Councils are held in equal esteem universally among Christians. But for those that are esteemed universally, such as Nicaea, it is the authority of the Scriptures which imbue the Council’s decisions with authority.
The second point is believing that Jesus Christ saved you personally from sin or hell. Um … isn’t the person of Jesus Christ central to the religion of Christianity? Isn’t He central to Christianity (rather than John the Baptist, for example) because He was the One who died on the cross to redeem us from sin and hell? This is a universal belief among Christians of every denomination, I thought.
Likewise, I have not met a Christian yet who denies that Jesus charged His followers with the Great Commission. So why the “evangelical” label within Christianity? If someone were to deny one or all of these points, wouldn’t that make them something other than a mere Christian?