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.
- ReportThe Varieties of American EvangelicalismDonald Trump’s ascent to the presidency has brought the culture, fault-lines and political commitments of American evangelicalism into sharp relief. How did a candidate whose lifestyle and morals starkly contradict conservative Christian …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, weforum
- CRCC in the NewsWashington Post: Richard Flory on Saddleback’s Rick Warren Ordaining WomenRick Warren, founder and pastor of Saddleback Church, is challenging the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) belief that women should not be pastors in their church. Saddleback was disfellowshipped by SBC officials after …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- CRCC in the NewsWall Street Journal: Richard Flory on Jesus in American CultureThe “He Gets Us” ad campaign has caused debate about its portrayal of Jesus, but Jesus always has had many faces in American culture. The Wall Street Journal describes how various Christian …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism,
- CommentaryThriving (or Just Surviving): 2023 Trends to Watch in Religion and SocietyIf CRCC’s annual trends to watch have been growing more ominous in recent years, then 2023 feels like a pivotal year for many of the issues we’ve been tracking: Like our final …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Southern California, Thriving Congregations
- CommentaryStudent Reflection: Curating Religion: Pluralistically, Singularly, or Not At All?By Caris White Caris White is a student at Dartmouth College studying religion and art history. The following blog post was an independent project she worked on during a summer internship with …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media
- VideoLeading Outside the Confines of Culture: Thriving Congregations Conversation with Mark Labberton
- CRCC in the NewsLA Times: Richard Flory on Biola University and the Future of EvangelicalismDivisions about the political and cultural application of evangelical faith principle are playing out at evangelical colleges across the country. The Los Angeles Times covered how those divisions are playing out at …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism,
- CRCC in the NewsVoice of San Diego: Richard Flory on a Right-Wing ChurchThe Voice of San Diego profiled Awaken, a local evangelical church that has become a center for right-wing political organizing. CRCC’s Richard Flory provided context for conservative political activism of evangelical churches. …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values
- ArticleMunther Isaac: What Would Jesus Do at an Israeli Military Checkpoint?This article was originally published by Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. BETHLEHEM— In the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, a stained glass window depicting …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Religious Leadership
- ArticleMônica Francisco: Two women of opposing faiths unite to protect sacred Candomblé spaceThis story was originally published by Christian Science Monitor, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Mônica Francisco and Mãe Seci Caxi do not see eye to eye about God. Ms. Francisco, …Topics: Black Church, Community Organizing, Engaged Spirituality, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryPandemic Year 3 Predictions: Adjusting to New “Normals” in 2022Since 2016, CRCC has shared the trends in religion and society that we see shaping the coming year. What started as light-hearted predictions has grown more ominous over the years. Anybody surprised …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media, Meditation and Prayer, Political Attitudes and Values, Protests and Uprisings, Religious Leadership, Religious Pluralism, Voting and Elections
- AudioMichelle Clifton-Soderstrom: An Evangelical Professor And Her Students Inside A Maximum Security PrisonThis radio documentary was originally produced by KALW’s The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. To hear this and other profiles, subscribe to The Spiritual Edge podcast in …Topics: Christians and Christianity, COVID, Criminal Justice, Engaged Spirituality, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Spiritual Exemplars
“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 ChristersonBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- Richard FloryExecutive DirectorRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Andrew JohnsonPast FellowAndrew 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 religion in the city.
- Donald E. MillerCo-FounderDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street was a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.
- Diane WinstonAs a journalist and scholar, Diane Winston is a national authority on religion, politics, the news media and entertainment.