Evangelization is the announcement of the divine
message of salvation and consequent awakening to
a saving faith
Term. grace. In a narrower sense since the time of the Waldensians and John
Wyclif the word is employed to express the efforts to counteract and correct the declension during the
Middle Ages from apostolic ideals of Christian living. Later the content of the word came to be the efforts made in the service of the Church as one of the blessings of the Protestant Reformation to preach the pure word of grace and to stimulate to higher individual and community life and to larger activity in Christian service. Another use of the word makes it express an unofficial activity, within the Evangelical national Churches, essentially re lated to the work of home missions. This article will deal with evangelization in the last two senses.
Evangelization as a reform has its area of operation in lands belonging to the Roman Catholic or
Greek faiths or where either by Mohammedanism or a returning heathenism the Church has been overcome. In Italy the Waldenaian Church is the central agent in evangelization, possessing seven teen parishes in the home valleys, forty-four church organizations, fifty-seven mission stations,
several schools, a theological seminary, a union for promoting the spiritual and temporal well-being
the German Evangelical Church are found in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jaffa, Haifa, and Beirut. The United Brethren are also active there, while asylums, hospitals, and schools are employed effectively. Egypt is occupied by agencies from England and Germany. The Presbyterian Church and the German Evangelicals are active in Brazil and work is carried on also in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Venezuela. See the articles on the countries named.
Even within the Protestant Churches there come lapses from faith and a declension of ethical standards; new zeal then develops in the membership, and organizations outside of the regular ecclesiastical agencies, having an Evangelical character, come into existence. Out of German Pietism arose societies of a charitable sort having as their object the saving of abandoned children and the dissemination of the Scriptures and of Christian literature. Preaching by laymen of the standing of Zinzendorf, Tersteegen, Bogatzky, and M. Hahn, drawing largely from the inspiration of Reformation sources, has had a large influence upon the quickening of Christian life, and also upon the development of . the "Innere Mission." Eng-;. Local lish Methodism is an example of a Societies in kind of evangelization which was car- or beside ried on outside the agencies regu the larly employed, working through such Churches. means as Sunday Schools, city mis sions, and itinerant preaching. An other example of the same kind is the "Innere Mission" of Germany, seconding the regular work of the established churches (see Innere Mission). Local societies have also engaged in special work in their own fields in Stuttgart, Basel, Baden, Elberfeld, and other places. In Norway the peasant H. N. Hague (q.v.) was instrumental in forming a society for carrying on work of this character in France, where evangelists, preachers, and colporteure were maintained for a number of years. In Holland for fifty years the "Netherland Protestant Union" worked in concert with the Reformed Church of that country. In France the McAll Mission (q.v.) has accomplished work not merely in Paris but throughout France in stimu lating the sending of preachers, Bible-women, and teachers to some fifty-seven places. The work of Moody and Sankey and of Pearsall Smith are not to be forgotten. Emulation of the Methodist methods of working aroused in Germany such men as Zie mann, Baedeker and Von Schlumbach to labors of the same kind. As a result of the appeal of Dr. Christlieb Evangelical societies were organized in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden for the appointment of lay evangelists whose work should be the stimu lation of the Church to new life in the matter of saving souls. Similar results followed in Germany, and institutes for the training of men for the work were founded.
In Germany the growing importance of this kind of labor stimulated the Central Committee of the "Inhere Mission" in 1888 to take council with its friends and supporters concerning the Evangelical activity of laymen in the kingdom of God, its need, and its limitations. The coneluaion was reached that, in view of the fact that large numbers of the
conducted. In case ordinary methods $. The are not suited to any particular need,
Movement the matter shall not go by default by in Germany. deferring to the usual agencies. While
regularly trained candidates in theology are to be kept in mind for the propagation of such work, well-equipped laymen are not to be rejected, especially if their gifts are suited for the labor. Only experience can determine whether the institutions for training evangelists are suited for the development of this kind of activity. At any rate, such institutions must be under official supervision. Evangelical operations are not, as a rule, to be regarded as anything but the response to a special need. The regular agencies of the Gospel are to be stimulated, not dwarfed into inactivity. Meanwhile the movement has been widely extended. In official gatherings of the churches the question ha-9 been discussed what should be the attitude toward the unofficial and free attempts to evangelize. The Conference of Pastors of the Lower Rhine district in 1894, the Saxon Union for the Inhere Mission in 1894-95, the Sleswick-Holstein Union, the Eisenach Conference in 1896, and the General Synod of 1897 have all discussed various phases of the question. The good results often flowing from these methods of free evangelization have been recognized and the acknowledgment made that reenforcement should be added. To the officials of the Church in their own departments these recommendations have been made for appropriate action in the prosecution of their labor.
Bibliography: J. Schneider, Evangeliaation and Gemeinachatteptiepen, Gütersloh, 1897; R. Krause, Bin Stiicac Kirchen-undLabenageschichte, ib. 1893; J. MOller, DieEvangelieation unter den Entkirchliehten, Leipsic, 1895; H. Dalton, Der Stundismus in Ruealand, Gütersloh, 1898; J. Lepaius, Armenian and Europa, Berlin, 1898; O. Marker, Die Evangeliastion, Stuttgart, 1898: E. Bunks, KirchZiche Evangeliaation, Hamburg, 1899; T. Hardeland, Evangeliaationafrage, Leipsic, 1899: E. Gtaebenteich, Zur Evmngaiieationatrage, Eisleben, 1900.
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