At its most basic level, evangelical Christianity is characterized by a belief in the literal truth of the Bible, a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” the importance of encouraging others to be “born again” in Jesus and a lively worship culture. This characterization is true regardless the size of the church, what the people sitting in the pews look like or how they express their beliefs. Evangelical institutions include not only churches but also primary schools and universities, large and small non-profit organizations, media companies and several political groups.
Though its history in America is much longer, Evangelicalism began to significantly influence American politics and culture in the 1970s, culminating with the Reagan Revolution and the rise of the Religious Right. Today its influence continues to extend well beyond its own religious orbit. In Southern California, we are watching how both megachurches and small communities of young evangelicals are adapting to new social and cultural challenges.
- BookThe Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders are Changing the Religious LandscapeThe Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders Are Changing the Religious Landscape Brad Christerson and Richard Flory (Oxford University Press 2017) Why, when traditionally organized religious groups are seeing declining membership and …Topics: Books, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism
- CommentaryFive Trends to Watch in Religion in 2017: Culture Wars, Compounds & the Next Reformation2016 was a year that no one could predict. Last year, we laid out several religion trends worth noting. To see how our forecasts matched with reality, give them a review. The unpredictable nature …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, LGBT Issues, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones"
- CRCC in the NewsThe Orange County Register: Irvine pastor Rev. Mark Whitlock exhorts church to ‘set a moral tone’ during Trump PresidencyIn response to the surprising Trump victory of this year’s Presidential election, the Rev. Mark Whitlock is encouraging for faith organizations to be prominent moral voices against any future policies that could …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Leadership, Voting and Elections
- CommentarySurprised American Evangelicals Voted for Trump? They Have a History of RacismThis post originally appeared on International Business Times. As a scholar of religion, one story that has intrigued me since the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign is how Trump’s candidacy—now his …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Voting and Elections
- CommentaryMight, Right and White Privilege: It’s Morning in America, the SequelThis post originally appeared on Religion Dispatches. Early this morning, when Donald Trump accepted the presidency of the United States, Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell were somewhere enjoying the last laugh. Their …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Voting and Elections
- ArticleHow a New Generation Is Changing Evangelical ChristianitySince the late 1970s, American evangelicalism has been largely identified with right-wing politics. Conservative religious values entered the political sphere through movements such as Moral Majority and Focus on the Family that …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values, Voting and Elections
- Article“There is Sin and Evil in the World”: Reagan, Trump, and the News MediaThis post originally appeared in The L.A. Review of Books. HOW DID A LYING, philandering blowhard convince millions of Americans — including white evangelicals and the working poor — that he should …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values, Voting and Elections
- CRCC in the NewsAmerica magazine: Trump Makes a Place for FaithAs presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks more on his own faith to appeal to religious voters, his statements remain largely ambiguous. America, a national Catholic magazine, interviewed CRCC’s Andrew Johnson about his …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values, Voting and Elections
- CRCC in the NewsL.A. Times: ‘A delivery boy’ for God: Greg Laurie and his Harvest CrusadeThe Los Angeles Times interviewed CRCC’s Richard Flory for an article about the 27th annual Harvest Crusade and its founder Greg Laurie. Nearly 100,000 people are expected to attend the event (now named …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism
- CommentaryMaking Evangelical America Great Again: Trump and “Wall” ChristiansAlong with many other observers, I have been struggling to understand how nearly 80 percent of white evangelical Protestant voters can support Donald Trump, someone who has a dubious church-going record and …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values, Voting and Elections
- ArticleManny Pacquiao, Championship Boxer, Has a New Opponent: Philippine PovertyThis article originally appeared in Christianity Today. It is available in full behind a paywall on their site. A political candidate was recently elected who is a bigger celebrity than Donald Trump, …Topics: Asia, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values
- CommentaryDobson’s Baby: Trump’s Baptism at the Evangelical-Washing FontThis post originally appeared in Religion Dispatches. Donald Trump is now a “baby Christian“? Now that Trump has become the presumptive GOP nominee—the old guard has stepped forward to engage in an ancient …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Beliefs and Rituals, Voting and Elections
“Is this the end of evangelicalism? If the term refers to the form of conservative American Protestant Christianity dominated by white men in large churches that has had a significant sociopolitical impact—particularly in the Republican Party—over the past 30 years, then probably yes.”
“Is American Evangelicalism Really Disappearing?”
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- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- Samuel ChuContributing FellowSamuel Chu is a seasoned community organizer and strategist who works at the intersection of faith and public policy.
- Richard FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Andrew JohnsonResearch AssociateAndrew Johnson is a sociologist who studies religion on the margins of society, with specific interests in religious practice inside of prison, Latin American Pentecostalism and religionin the city.
- Donald E. MillerDirector of Strategic InitiativesDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Jonathan RussellContributing FellowJonnie Russell is a scholar engaging religion, philosophy and politics, and a chaplain working for social justice on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.
- Diane WinstonUniversity FellowAs a journalist and scholar, Diane Winston is a national authority on religion, politics, the news media and entertainment.
- Tetsunao YamamoriContributing FellowTetsunao Yamamori is a sociologist with expertise in global Pentecostalism.