Talk:Evangelism

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There is no Proselytism or Evangelism in the Indoaryan Religions (Hinduism/Brahmanism)[edit]

These two terms and actions do and have never occurred, so writing that it exists in all major religions including hinduism is OBSOLETE. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.236.187.222 (talk) 19:35, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Preaching vs proclaiming[edit]

I changed the word "preaching" to proclaiming because proclaiming is more general. The word preaching is only one form of evangelism in a verbal form.

Isn't "proclaiming" a value-loaded word? It assumes you have something to "proclaim". In a multi-ethnic and multi-religious world, this comes across as condescending. It isn't quite a NPOV (neutral point of view). What you're doing is just preaching IMHO.

( proclaiming: to proclaim is one of virtuous choice of what an individual has chosen to do although preaching defines that a person made a choice and expects to convert others, in a multi-ethnic and a multi-religious world preaching is more condescending than proclaiming. It is not a neutral point of view to preach, it is a neutral point of view to proclaim)

Kinda interesting...I usually view "preaching" as being the more loaded term. While "preaching at people" isn't proper usage, it is still a common insulting phrase in the U.S. - suggesting that someone is being too condescending. Proclaiming, on the other hand, simply implies that you have a message to tell - it doesn't imply that the message is good or bad, true or false, just that you have a message. I do agree with you, however, that preaching is the better term for the first paragraph - not because of any NPOV reason, but because it (paired with proselytizing) is the more accurate usage. --Tim4christ17 talk 06:22, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

I think this article could be expanded by referring to some Germans crediting Bach as being the "Fifth Evangelist" due to the power and beauty of his religious music. I don't know where it would fit in, but the fact is stated in the 'Professional Life' section of the article on Bach. --Ninjawailer 03:20, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Evangelism versus Evangelization[edit]

Seeing the redirect from evangelization to this article evangelism, I thought I would look better into the usage of the two terms and their possibile differences in order to consider more attentively whether or not it is opportune to have two separate articles for the two terms or not. After an attentive examination, I opt for two separate articles for semantic reasons. Here are my reasons:

1) It seems that the words "evangelization" and "evangelism" can share the same meaning, but are generally used differently in different contexts, and have a fairly equal importance as far as how widespread each one is. Generally, the word "evangelization" is used more widely among catholics, and the word "evangelism" is used more widely among evangelicals, apparently with the same meaning. We could define both as

the announcement of the Good News of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit with the goal of inviting all listeners to trust Him

(Dr. Alvin A. Low, Touching Lives for Eternity (Effective Evangelism), published by Lulu.com, p. 10). [1]

The same author retains that the two terms are to be considered as having the same meaning. [2]

It is also true however that among catholic christians, the term "evangelism" not only is not used, but tends to have a negative connotation, being identified with proselytism:

"Evangelism is accomplished by imposing what one believes on another person, whereas, Evangelization is accomplished by drawing from the person the desire to enter into the Fullness of Christ because of His great Mercy." [3]

From a purely semantic point of view, words with the suffix "-ism" can tend to have a negative connotation, as denoting some ideology [4]. Examples of this use of the suffix "-ism": socialism, communism, secularism, legalism, capitalism etc. Whereas the same root word formed with the suffix "-ization" generally tends to denote the simple "action or process or result of doing something or of making something" [5]. Continuing the above cited examples: socialization, communization, secularization, legalization, market capitalization etc.

2) Seeing that the two terms can have the same meaning but are used differently in different contexts, and both are widespread in different contexts, it seems opportune to avoid redirects from one term to another, because a redirect would be an affirmation that one term takes precedence over another, is more important than the other, or is far more widespread than the other. There are other examples of different wikipedia articles (without redirects) for different terms that can have the same meaning or refer to a same or similar reality. For example Adhesive bandage and Band-Aid refer to the same reality, but are terms that are used differently in different contexts, and are equally widespread in their respective contexts. In american - english cultures, the bandage is referred to as Band-Aid, while adhesive bandage or sticking plaster [6] do not mean much. Vice-versa in british - english cultures, band-aid does not mean much. There is not sufficient reason to create a redirect from one article to the other. A similar example could be Auto racing and Formula One, where auto racing is the generic term referring to the sport as practiced in any way or in any country, and formula one is a term that refers to the sport of auto racing on a worldwide level but most specifically in a geographical area, Europe.

I am sure that there are many similar examples that endorse separate articles for different terms referring to the same reality but belonging to different cultural contexts and perhaps with different usages in those contexts. This is a methodological choice of an encyclopedia that is to be universal, such as wikipedia.

3) We must also consider that there are grouped projects such as the christianity portal, the catholicism portal, the religions portal... So I believe that it is useful to separate the two articles so that evangelization, which belongs more to catholicism, may be grouped under the catholicism portal, whereas evangelism may be grouped under the christianity portal.

I notice that some have put into question whether the term evangelism belongs to christianity or not, affirming that it is also in use among muslims and buddhists... But I believe that if we are to be semantically correct, we must above all make reference to the original meaning and usage of the term, which comes from the greek "euangelion" and refers specifically to the christian gospel, translating literally "Good News" in reference to the preaching of Jesus Christ. That the term may at some point have been adopted in other circles with other meanings may well be and these new usages may be referenced in the article, but we can not take away the original meaning and usage of the term with the intent of being "respectful" to other cultures / religions, such a choice would be methodologically incorrect. If anything, one could create a disambiguation between the original usage and other more recent implementations of the term.

4) I would like to re-affirm that the reasons that I adduce are not to underline religious differences or show prejudice in a religious sense, but are a purely semantic consideration and examination of the meaning and usage of each of the two terms. Lwangaman (talk) 14:44, 8 May 2009 (UTC)


Further to Lwangaman's cited definition: :"Evangelism is accomplished by imposing what one believes on another person, whereas, Evangelization is accomplished by drawing from the person the desire to enter into the Fullness of Christ because of His great Mercy." [7]

1/ This definition given to "Evangelization" is akin to Protestant definitions of "Evangelism" [8][9]

2/ The negative conotation of "Evangelism" in the Catholic tradition is akin to the term "proselyte" across Christian denominations. This is due to the association of the term with its use in Matthew 23:15 -

15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

Thus the main article's use of the term is suspect, it misrepresents the motivation of Evangelism. --Aardvark01 (talk) 23:00, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Scripture Quote[edit]

Can someone *PLEASE* fix the KJV quote on the Great Commission? It doesn't start with "Yo"

This amused me greatly.60.241.247.57 23:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Can't help thinking that "Yo" might be a better translation. Don't believe Jesus really spoke medieval English (or its Jewish equivalent) :-) Ray Ellis 10:15, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Too Protestant[edit]

The later versions of this article are too Protestant, and too Evangelical. It wasn't a lot more NPOV before, but it is locked in, now, to Protestant, Evangelical view of what Evangelism is. Mkmcconn (Talk) 03:35, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What did you say? The article "evangelism" is too "evangelical"? --JDitto 22:21, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
It absolutely is. This article is supposed to be a DESCRIPTION of evangelism, not an EXAMPLE of it. Chalkieperfect 01:35, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Two things primarily conspire to make articles on Christianity appear clumsy and badly written. One is vandalism by anti-Christian bigots. The other is infighting between different Christian groups. Get a life for goodness sake. If Catholic Christians think an article is too Protestant they should add information to redress the balance (and vice versa) and we should all have the grace not to trash each other's writing. "A kingdom divided against itself..." and all that. Ray Ellis 08:12, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Nonetheless the problem stands - I came looking for an article describing the different approaches to Evangelism (or Evangelisation as it is sometimes known by non-Protestant-Evangelicals) taken by various Christian groups (particularly Protestant-Catholic and Low-High church differences of approach), but I found precious little of the sort - perhaps a helpful Catholic/High-Church Anglican would like to step up... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.68.185.155 (talk) 02:02, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Evanglist List[edit]

I don't think the list of evanglists is in alphabetical order, since the Apostle Paul is followed by John Paul II. However, since I don't know who the majority of the evanglists are on that, I cannot correct it. Additionally, whether or not someone is a "well-known" evangelist is highly subjective. Perhaps the list should be removed entirely? ----Miked84 01:50, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

What about the other side of the coin?[edit]

There is nothing represented about the other side of the coin here.There are plenty of people from other cultures and religions who feel threatened by evangelism and the christian aggression to put down their faith and heritage. Evangelists, nowadays, use any means possible and with huge sums of money from the western world are bent upon converting Asia to christianity. I do not know what is more demeaning: buying the spirit of a man and getting him to "know Christ" for five dollars or trying to come up with marketing campaing to sell Christ like soaps. Some of the tactics include: trying to convert people suffering the loss of loved ones to tsunami, saying the name of the local God and giving the wrong medicine, then taking the name of Christ and giving the right medicine, etc. The aggression in particlar is a defensive tactic that comes out when not everyone wants to accept their points of view. This aggression comes up in the form of a condescending attitude, insulting and disparaging remarks about the local faith and culture. The Evangelists are dealing with people's faith and just as the Evangelists shall never agree to with prophet Mohammad or worship the Hindu Gods, there will be people who choose to believe in another God other than Christ. Further, the Evangelists abuse the religious tolerance and economic weakness of countries like India. They deliver iconoclastic, disparaging and insulting talks about the local faith that leads to violence and riots. It would be interesting to see the reaction in the western world if someone were to make disparaging comments against Jesus Christ. The western christian world, while reluctant to help out with life and death issues in third world countries, instead pour their resources into missionaries and evangelists. We have to live in a world of religious tolerance. Trampling on other people's faith and culture is violence in it's own way. The fact is that you cannot argue with faith. There is not much og logic or scientific procedures that one can use to weigh the points of view. Just as the evangelists and christians expect others to respect their faith, christians and the western world would continue to be seen as bullies with deep pockets in other parts of the world unless they learn to see other faiths with respect and learn to respect the differences in the ways man tries to make God out of the mundane.

Undoubtedly evangelism "tramples other peoples' faith" if that means labeling "another faith" a sort of unbelief; and naturally, this is seen as aggression, and portrayed as violence of a sort by the people so threatened, who sometimes react with criticisms of their own (some founded and others not), hostility and even violence. But when Christians cease to do this kind of evangelism, and begin to think that God is something men make, they cease to share the faith of the Apostles.

Please do some reasearch, evangelistic Christians don't cut off peoples heads or hurt them in any way in the name of religion, The above is untrue in many ways and is just Christian bashing. most other cultures that turn to Christianity say it's the best thing they could have done. Most missionaries that go into Asia and the world are poor couples or individuals that do alot to help the people, they will never give someone bad medicine. Sure you get frauds in any profesion, but what you are saying both above and below what I wrote is unfair. Seek,leave no stone unturned and you will find truth!

However, the section Evangelism#Evangelism as Christian aggression is written as hearsay and doesn't explain anything. It needs to be completely re-written or deleted. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 14:14, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I definitely agree. Even if you put up something showing the other side of the coin, the Evengelists that visit Wikipedia will try to find something wrong with it and use it as an excuse to take it off the article. LCS 21:26, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Evangelism is annoying as hell, they are the door-to-door saleman of religion... err not, they are worst because you can't pay them off you! ^^; i don't oppose them, but they are just annoying, like flys trying to eat my dinner but i am too nice to kill them (hmm, too lazy to anyway). the chinese saying "water in the well should not affect river water", you have your believes, i should be entitled to mine, BUZZ OFF! :P (disclaimer: don't take this offensive, just my opinion from experiences) Akinkhoo (talk) 12:47, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

I do not know what we are supposed to make of the comment: "It would be interesting to see the reaction in the western world if someone were to make disparaging comments against Jesus Christ." Does the author live in a culture where Buddha or Mohammed are customarily used as swear words as are the names "Jesus" and "Christ" in Western culture? Such an ill considered comment, on top of so much heresay, shows the whole "other side of the coin" to be: 1/ out of touch with reality 2/ lacking the objectivity and citations one would expect in addressing a genuine concern 3/ a mere distraction from the theme of the meaning and purpose of evangelism.

Great article[edit]

Catholic perspective[edit]

In visiting roman catholic services I have never heard of an evangelist outside of scripture readings that is regarded as such by roman catholics. Therefore I believe that this article is not too protestant. This article is fair and shows no bias.

[Catholics use the term "evangelization," instead of "evangelism." People who do evangelization, or who evangelize, are sometimes referred to as "evangelizers," but not usually "evangelists." So, I agree that the article is not biased, but there needs to be another one on evangelization.] SnapC :) 22:24, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I think that this distinction is too subtle. This is only an encyclopedia for general readers, and should not really aspire to contain a complete dictionary of Christianity. I think this Evangelism article should include Catholic, Protestant and Restoration perspectives. English-speaking Catholics often use the noun evangelization and rarely, if ever, refer to modern Catholic leaders as Evangelists. Evangeliser or evangelizer is more common. (example) Yet 1991-2000 was the Decade of Evangelism [10] (perhaps the name was chosen for ecumenical reasons.) So it seems that Catholics are talking about the Catholic version of the same concept, or at least a greatly overlapping concept. All those additional words from Catholicism should be used as topics for the article, bold in the lead paragraph, and redirected here. What do you think?
By the way, to reinforce the overlap, some Protestants use the word evangelization - you can find it at Chinese Evangelization Society and First International Congress on World Evangelization. The distinction in Protestantism seems to be one of magnitude and reach (Protestant evangelization seems to about whole peoples and culture.) --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 15:58, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Biased[edit]

That the article only talks briefly about evangelism and spends a good many paragraphs talking about Christian aggression strikes me as biased. The Christian aggression article isn't even framed as "Some opponents say this," but calls it their "quest" and "over-assertive" etc.

Next, there are numerous extraneous sentences whose only purpose is to put evangelism in a negative light: "certain evangelists are convinced of their cause." No, duh.

And lastly, there is no citation for the bribery claims (which, from what I have read, aren't typical) - clearly bias.

I'm not an evangelist or even a Christian, but this article is generally a disgrace to wikipedia.

What about the "Commanded by God" section? "People can go to church their whole lives and not find salvation because they didn't join the fellowship." I'm sorry, but this is blatent preaching. The evangelical wiki page is itself being evangelical! Nice irony, but biased none-the-less. If it is clear that this is what evangelical Christians beleive, then fine. However, this is just not apparent in its current form. Unfourtunatly, this is why religious, and all other faith based beleifs, are so controversial on wikipedia. The ideas are stated as facts, which they are certainly not. Emperical based wiki's do not suffer from this problem since the explainations are presented as theroy or idea, not absolute, unquestionable fact (which, funny enough, is likely why the Global Warming wiki is in such chaos).134.117.72.140 23:20, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Crusade[edit]

Somebody should include a section of the Vocabulary used by modern Evangelists. Why do modern Evangelists use the term "Crusade" when ever they put on shows to convert others to their faith.

This word is so similar to the word Jihad (in the holy war context)and given that the historical Crusades were particullary bloody and abusive. Is this just a hold over from and earlier vocublary or do they mean to include to bloody connation?

"Crusade" and "Jihad" are essentially the same thing. They both mean a holy struggle, but one which can take many meanings such as internal struggles with one's own demons. The terms however were hijacked by homocidal lunatics on both sides and have fallen out of favor for many since then. 198.105.45.123 (talk) 19:21, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

NPOV/Cleanup[edit]

This article is biased into favoring christianity over other religions and/or philosophical systems. To fix this the "Reception and Controversies" section should be expanded. A section regarding propaganda methods of christianity and other religions should be added. Offended - see original meaning of the word "propaganda".

This article is in serious need of repair. It doesn't clearly differenciate between the Christian duty of "Evangelism" which is spreading the faith and serving others, from the evangelical movement which is an entire sect within Christianity that have their own practices and doctrines.

I see there is also an "evangelicalism" article that gets into that, making this article all the more confusing.

Also that dig at the end about it being considered "hostile" is completely POV, it seems like whoever the author is, was talking mostly about evangelicals but hinted at all evangelism everywhere.

I recommend we keep this article for "evangelism" only, making a passing mention to link others to the evangelical movement, and if we're planning on keeping that absurd tirade about hostility at all, it needs to be cleaned up and moved to the evangelicalism thread.

This present article is utterly ridiculous.

Here, here this articles still opens with a reference to evangelism being a movement for personal commitment, but as one can clearly see from the Greek evnagelism is spreading good news.

This is a disgrace in an encylopedia.


--Aardvark01 (talk) 03:26, 28 June 2009 (UTC)I agree this article is a disgrace. The etymological origin has been relegated totally to a subheading instead of establishing the origin and purpose of the concept from the start. Even the etymology section presupposes there to have been some non-Christian meaning of the term and this is in spite of admitting there is no evidence for this. The paragraph reads:

The verb form of euangelion, euangelizo (transliterated "evangelism"), was used rarely in Greek literature outside the New Testament, making its meaning more difficult to ascertain...

It should be re-stated as:

The verb form of euangelion, euangelizo (transliterated "evangelism"), was used rarely in Greek literature outside the New Testament, making it difficult to ascertain any usage beyond its strict Christian sense.

The main article should be replaced by something like this:[edit]

Evangelism (from the Koine Greek εὐαγγέλιον - transliterated as "euangelion" - εὔ = "good", ἀγγέλλω = "I bring a message”) originates in the Christian concept of spreading the good news. However, in a loose sense it is often used in modern English to describe the dissemination of any religious or philosophical view.

The primary purpose of evangelism in the strictly Christian sense is to teach non-Christians of the love of a Creator for His creation as demonstrated by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as recorded in the four Gospels of the Bible. Thus the four authors are also known as the Four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.


One who believes the good news is known as a convert. The term proselyte (Greek προσηλυτω prosyluto = 'I am a stranger') may also be used though Biblically this refered to converts to Judaism. In Biblical accounts one who continued in the teachings was described as a disciple or a saint, although "Saint" has acquired additional uses among post Biblical denominations and in common speech.

The intention of most Christian evangelism is to convert those who do not follow the Christian God to Christianity for the purpose of effecting eternal salvation. Evangelism is done in obedience to the Great Commission, a command from Jesus to his disciples to "make disciples of all nations" [11] , according to accounts in the New Testament. See also 3 Reasons for Evangelism below.

Christians who specialise in evangelism are known as Evangelists, whether they are in their home communities or acting as missionaries in the field. On the basis of early church structure[12] some Christian traditions consider evangelists to be in a leadership position, and they may be found preaching to large meetings, and in governance roles.

Christian groups who actively encourage evangelism are variously described as evangelical, evangelistic or simply evangelist. The movement to which many such Protestant groups belong is called Evangelicalism.

The communication of Christian faith to new geographical areas and cultures is also referred to as evangelization and is the prefered term among Catholic Christians.[3] See also Evangelism versus Evangelization below.

--Aardvark01 (talk) 17:16, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Evangelism as Christian Aggression[edit]

I edited out the following:

"The evangelists in their quest to spread the gospel and propagate their faith sometimes step on the toes of local culture, faith, and heritage. For instance, certain over-assertive churches use strategies such as distributing leaflets containing derogatory remarks about biblically unwarranted holy festivals of other faiths. While the evangelists claim that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, there are other faiths equally convinced in their tenets, some of which do not agree with Christianity. This inevitably causes tension. However, many evangelists are convinced of their cause.

Evangelists can come off as condescending fanatics whose every action has the ulterior motive of conversion if their usually persuasive and uncompromising message is not tempered with humilty, grace, and respect for all cultures. The latter, they would assert, is not to be confused with "respect for all behavior and lifestyle choices", some of which are clearly denounced in the Bible as sins against God. -- unsourced -->

Orthodox Christians and Evangelists view Christ as the only way to salvation and claim people adhering to other faiths as lost. Evangelists claiming sincere and honest motives want to share their faith with everyone. However, many people, proud of their own culture and religion, see the attempt to evangelize as pedantic in terms of telling non Christians how to realize God. They would assert that the Evangelists' extensive attempts throughout history to convert people adhering to other faiths to Christianity through persuasive preaching or dishonorable means based on the Christian faith that Jesus Christ is the sole path to salvation can be viewed as Christian aggression.-- unsourced -->"

There is no source for any of this and it touches on points about evangelist beliefs, Orthodox beliefs and matters of pure opinion. If we're going to have this at all in the article there needs to be at least some source associated with it.--24.52.111.139 16:40, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Nice use of the letter of the law. Now the statement "christianity is a very aggressively expanding religion" is a fact. For starters, what happen to Celtic, Scandinavian, and Slavic gods? Isn't that "christianity stepped on the toes of local culture"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.103.44.67 (talk) 01:36, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

LMAO. You must be a Christian. Much of it is true. Are you saying there are no sources that oppose the pro-Evengelist views so you have the right to remove information? The information is definitely not false, because I came across a document that supports the text you deleted. (Although it was before I found Wikipedia.) LCS 00:15, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

To all you ignorant Christians, please stop deleting parts of the Talk page. We have the right to keep our comments here. If you do not like what we are saying, or if it scares you, please do not continue reading. You can't refute the paragraph above on Christian aggression. LCS 22:47, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The above comments are just idiotic Christian bashing, take a look at the logical fallacy article - specifically "ad hominem attacks." The editor's religious beliefs are not at issue. The original article was junk and the original poster was right most of it was unsubstantiated garbage. The general tone of "Evangelists are mean" is a good starting point for a criticism section, however that should only be a section of the article not the whole thing, and it should be more substance and less literature.--CurtissWarhawk 19:39, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Social Modelling[edit]

That part of the article was too conspiratorial and POV. Whoever the author was made assumptions about how Joshua is used that wasn't substantiated by the evidence. Also it's more relevant to the evangelicalism article.--141.195.143.107 15:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I think we need to add the part where if you show up for church you can have a well and drinking water and if you don't show up we will take our digging toys and go to another sandbox  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.83.31.93 (talk) 19:07, 24 March 2011 (UTC) 

Suggest merge of Christian evangelism into Evangelism[edit]

Suggest merge of new article Christian evangelism into Evangelism for housekeeping reasons. Comments? --John Nagle 04:05, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Let's merge, drop or move the stuff about evangelicalism to its more appropriate topic then assuming everything looks good take off the tags.

I'm with John Nagle on this one. I think merger of the two articles makes for better practice and better keeping of an encyclopedia, and it will eliminate or reduce a lot of the "bias" and "non-NPOV" that people keep bringing up. Gatherton 04:14, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I have not read the Evangelism article, but I did glance at it to see which way it tilted. I came upon the Christian evangelism article while researching something else. Let's not merge them unless we place somewhere near the top the Christian evangelism article's words:

    It is widely accepted in the Christian community that Christian evangelism is not to be a harsh, in-your-face process. Nor is it to duplicate what many view as the errors of political leaders like Charlemagne who embraced a 'convert or die' type of evangelism. Rather, most Christians would say that while Christian evangelism should be active and intentional, it should be done peacefully, in love, with kindness,and respectfully, even with a sense of urgency.

    These words are balanced and respectful of the perhaps 'less forceful' evangelicals we don't hear much about. --CliffC 18:18, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
It may be balanced and respectful, but it seems like it cries out for a citation. "It is widely accepted"? Depends on which Christian community you're referring to. Certainly those multitudes who distribute those 'convert or die' Jack Chick comic books would disagree.
I do agree with the merge if Christian Evangelism is kept in a separate section and evangelism is written about in a general sense. At the moment I think this article has a christian-centric bias; aren't there Muslim evangelists too, or are they called something else? -Amatulic 20:12, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Evangelism/to evagelize/to spread the gospel/the good news - these are terms peculiar to Christianity because:

1/ they all mean the same thing

2/ they originate from Biblical teaching.

Non-Christians do indeed do outreach under varying titles, but where they adopt "Evangelism" it is just that, an adoption, not a concept integral to its inception. For citations to Cliff's post the Catholic website "Catechism On Call" [13] cites relevant articles on the subject:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Catholic evangelism: 848 “... the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”

And similarly the Church of England site "Mission and Evangelism" [14] gives authoratative references and a working definition of Evangelism.

Both stress the need to back Evangelism/Evangelization with Christlike lives and make it a part of the broader mission of the Church rather then mere talk or hollow dogma. --Aardvark01 (talk) 17:48, 9 July 2009 (UTC)



I agree with John Nagle. The two articles are essentially about the same thing (although one or other may be better written). The single article should be titled 'Evangelism' as the prefix 'Christian' is unnecessary - all evangelism is Christian (although other faith groups may have their own words for a similar activity). Specifically it is Protestant Christian Proselytizing. As noted elsewhere, there may need to be a seperate article for 'Evangelization' - the Catholic term for an essentially similar process.Ray Ellis 21:07, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The destruction of an article.[edit]

If you look back over past versions of this article, people have systematically been deleting large sections of text. This "article" has been reduced by 2/3rds of its original size and frankly now hardly qualifies as an article at all.

Currently this page is nothing more than a dictionary definition of the word followed by a series of links to known evangelists. That is far from enough to make this article encyclopedic.

The whole page needs a re-write and about double the amount of text including a mention of the criticism to which evangelism has been subject to over the years. I would take the project on myself but quite frankly I simply don’t have the patience to deal with the religious zealots who are evidently going to come out of the woodwork and attempt to censor anyone who writes anything even remotely critical of their faith – even where such comment merely represents historical record.

There has been a massive amount of criticism made of evangelists and evangelism both in the past and present. Like it or not, evangelism has been a huge force for change in world history – change which has at times been both good and bad. None of this is even mentioned in the article. The one attempt to do so was swiftly deleted and generated calls of NPOV editing.

While the one previous attempt was admittedly not particularly well done, the inclusion of these facts in this article is not POV but merely the inclusion of fact – something which is necessary for a fact based article to be factual.

So… does anyone have the time to weather repeated attacks by the fanatics?--62.173.76.218 15:03, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Look, you're never going to find a consensus on this article it's too controversial. On the one hand you'll get our suspicious friend who keeps comming along and editing large swaths of the article away (and I have a feeling who at least one of them is), and on the other you'll get the above yahoos whining about the "ignorant Christians." I think you're right and we need to start this article again from scratch, and i'd be happy to do it but (and admittedly i'm one of those aforementioned bloodsucking ignorant "Christian" types) there are a few things i'd like to get clear before I start in on the article. First are we talking about evangelism the practice, or evangelicalism the movement. Second are we stepping on any other article's toes? Third, (and most importantly) when we start in on the criticism section how do we protect the article from pointless attacks? The previous edits at least stand on some valid points, but clearly there will be issues with people who just swoop in and edit the bejesus out of this based on nothing. Is there like a protection we could put on this or will it have to be guarded like a hawk?

That's all i've got. I'll present a new article in a day or two.--CurtissWarhawk 19:45, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Refering to my experience trying to keep the page Criticism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a reasonable and encylopedic article, I would say that the current article is a good starting point, and that the npov tag should be removed and development of other sections started. The current article is as the anon user says, a dictionary definition and a few bare comments. This article is clearly based on an encyclopedic subject, people who say that Evangelism is not a subject like this are likely just to be WP:TROLLs. I am removing the npov tag as it is not currently disputed in the state it is in and the appearance of the tag for no reason just baits trolls. Ansell 01:48, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I think a lot more could and should be said about the history of evangelism as well as different styles of evangelism for this to be a valid article. As someone said somewhere above, it hardly qualifies as an article.--Niceguy2all 04:11, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree:"a dictionary definition and a few bare comments". There are four years of history to look through to find the missing two-thirds. I sampled a few but haven't found a better article yet. Can you point to a date when you think the article was more encyclopedic? --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 10:20, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Colloquial Christian definition[edit]

Evangelism often referred to as ..."one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread." [15] I referenced it to a seminary professor, but the phrase will turn up in hundreds of pages on Google. Pollinator 04:14, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Evangelist and evangelical are not the sole perogative of Biblical fundamentalists[edit]

Evangelical means spreading the good news and is done by an evangelist. People, like Billy Graham, might like to hijack that name to themselves but it is not the Biblical definition. One does not have to subscribe to a Biblical fundamentalism or try to convert people or push them to a point of so called conversion to exclusively bear this title.

Many Christians who feed the hungry or house the homeless are evangelists. Telling the good news of God's love and his Kingdom in deeds is just as evangelical as any crusade or rally or street preaching. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 81.178.110.111 (talk) 00:46, 19 February 2007 (UTC).

The thought that good works are in themselves evangelistic is a novel one. They may be in themselves Evangelical and benevolant, but they are not usually considered evangelistic apart from intelligent, propositional, persuasive content which gives proclaims a reason for the benevolant disposition of the heart. The emerging church movement article has a long list of Scriptures regarding propositional evangelism in its "criticisms' section that you might find helpful.Niceguy2all 18:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

In response to Niceguy2all - The notion of good works being evangelistic (Greek, meaning "good news") is not novel but at the core of certain verses of the Sermon on the Mount and various parables in the Gospels (Old English, also meaning "good news"). We are told "...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works..." (matt 5:16) and to be like the Good Samaritan in DOING the good news, not just saying it. So far I have found no reference to the distinction between the activity of evangelim/evangelization as commanded in the Great Commission and the office of Evangelist, which appears in the list of Church offices in Ephesians 4:11 -

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers...

To conclude, and in response to HagermanBot, the likes of Billy Graham hold the office, while the activity is not to be confused with or limited to that office. The title does indeed appear in the New Testament so cannot be said to have been "hijacked" except where it is used as a metaphor in relation to non-Christian teachings. --Aardvark01 (talk) 09:32, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Technology evangelist[edit]

There's already a dedicated article about the non-religous meaning, Technology evangelist. I'd suggest merging the section in this one with the other article and putting a link to it in the header of this article.--87.122.46.37 14:43, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Removed massive linkspam[edit]

I have removed the External Links section. Every singe link in it constituted linkspam, in violation of WP:EL. I don't think I've ever seen a more egregious case of linkspam than in this article. External links are intended for pointing the reader to content that illuminates the article, not for advertising schools, seminars, forums, services, and the like. If there are links with information about evangelism, rather than links promoting evangelism, put them in. The ones that were there were inappropriate. -Amatulic 18:15, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Absurd reasoning. The links include infromation "about evangelists." Evangelists are an appropriate source of information about themselves. It would be unreasonable to expect that they will not promote their work. The links as they relate to evangelisation are essentially non-commercial since any products or services being promoted are incidental to the message or cause of the work. If you still think you have a point, provide at least one link that meets the criteria you're suggesting before deleting the links of others. Otherwise, how can you justify that your deletion improves the page? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 66.214.215.153 (talk) 19:13, 15 March 2007 (UTC).
A link need not be commercial to be unacceptable. Looking at those links, every one of them violates WP:EL, sorry. Some of them exist only to promote web sites that are hardly unique resources; we don't single out individual sites in external links. Some are blogs or forums, which are also unacceptable. Some are obvious advertisements based on the link descriptions. None of these are appropriate.
An acceptable link might be an article about evangelism, such as this one. =Axlq 17:04, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Links to Evangelists might be an appropriate supplement in an article on Evangelists, but this article is focussing on evangelism. It is reasonable to mention the former with regards to how they relate to the latter, but it's inappropriate to go into detail about individuals where this takes us off topic. --Aardvark01 (talk) 09:49, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

NPOV in July/August 2007[edit]

In July, an anonymous IP address added an unsourced sermon-style essay to the Reasons for Evangelism section. It was about the relationship between conversion and fellowship, so for reasons of both style and relevance, I don't think it belongs here. It immediately attracted both a cleanup and an NPOV tag, so I think it is now time to delete it. I have done so, and removed the tags. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 14:31, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Is evangelsing of orthodox christians evangelism or proselytism[edit]

As much as I understood vatican position and documents regarding that subject, I realise that it is not proselytism. Although its basically Christian (catholic) evangelizing Christian (orthodox)

What are youre views on this subject?? User:Sumaterana

merge?[edit]

It may be useful to consider a merge of this article, Mission (Christian) and Great Commission due to topical overlap. --dab (𒁳) 09:43, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Evangelism is a subset of mission as chair is a subset of furniture. The Church of England article on Mission and Evangelism states:

Evangelism is about enabling personal awakening of faith in Jesus Christ. It involves sharing that faith person to person so that people have the opportunity to respond freely to the Gospel (good news) of God's love in their own setting. It is a key part of the wider Christian mission. [16]

This is not a case of topical overlap but a means of organising details in such a way that the "wider Christian mission" is not taken off topic. --Aardvark01 (talk) 00:31, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Etymology?[edit]

This article says that the English term "Gospel" comes from Old English words meaning "God's Word". The article called "Gospel" says that it comes form Old English words meaning "Good News". Which is it?

--Sukkoth 06:35, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

It is usually "good news" but is open to the other interpretation because "good" and "god" were closer in Old English:

good (adj.)from Old English god (with a long "o") "having the right or desirable quality" - from the Online Etymology Dictionary.

However, the terms evangelist (Greek/Latin) and godspel (Old English) were used interchangeably. For example, if you look at the beggining (incipit) of Matthew's Gospel in the Lindisfarne Gospels[[17]] the Latin title reads: incipit evangelii genelogia mathei

The first two words are annotated in Old English which reads: Onginneð godspeller = Here begins the gospel

While there may be other grounds to argue for the interpretation "God's Word" it is clear in this case that it was meant as a translation of the Latin, which we know to mean "Good News" or "Good Message."


--Aardvark01 (talk) 10:47, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Evangelism not the same as proselytizing[edit]

Evangelism is a neutral term used commonly in the Christian faith. Proselytizing, by contrast, has a very negative connotation, sort of like "sheep stealing," emphasizing turning a person from one religion to another. Evangelism emphasizes proclaiming the Gospel to enable people to make an intelligent decision for or against Jesus Christ.Yazole (talk) 01:55, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Proselytizing doesn't have a negative connotation. It simply means inducing someone to convert to one's own faith, and it happens to be what many evangelists do. Proselytizing is simply recruiting, no more, no less, and it's negative only if the subject is unwilling. ~Amatulić (talk) 16:01, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Connotation is both given and received. If it is given enough, it will over time be recieved as "a given." To argue there is no negative connotation isnt being objective, and is done so by oversimplifying the problem and ignoring the reaction of the audience. Words like boy, communist, gay, ambition, and feminine can call have a positive or negative connotation assigned to them...the differentiating point is how they are received. In this case, I would agree that proselytizing has a NEGATIVE connotation. Why? Primarily, because your audience has already told you it does, but also I've observed that whenever the word Evangelism is used, it is a positive. When proselytizing is used - it is almost always voiced with contempt. Jwberean (talk) 08:44, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Proselyte can be used neutrally within the Church, but there is a strong negative association established in Matthew 23:15 - Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves... Thus "proselytising" tends to be used in a derogatory sense akin to "sheep stealing" between Christian denominations, while outside Bible literate circles the distinction between "proselytising" and "evangelism" tends to go unrecognised. --Aardvark01 (talk) 16:12, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Non-Christian Evangelism[edit]

Above I saw someone claim that "all evangelism is Christian". This is not true. The term evangelism is used fairly commonly to refer to other religions; in fact, it seems to be the term of use of choice. "Muslim evangelism" gets 139 google scholar hits: [18] and 34 google news archive hits: [19], "Jewish evangelism" gets 148 google scholar hits: [20] and 227 google news archive hits: [21], "Buddhist evangelism" gets 32 google scholar hits: [22], and "hindu evangelism" even gets 5 google scholar hits: [23] These are small, and it represents an uncommon use of the word, but it is nonetheless important enough to be included on the page. I think the page needs to (a) clearly explain in the introduction that evangelism can refer to other forms of proselytism as well. I want to point out that the term "Muslim Proselytizing" only gets 39 google scholar hits: [24], and "Jewish prosyletizing" gets no google news archive hits: [25] and no google scholar hits: [26]. On these grounds, I am going to rewrite the intro and I would welcome others to jump in...there are lists and lists of sources backing me up in this paragraph right here! Cazort (talk) 00:32, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


You guys also realize that Buddhism also has converts and missionaries? How do you think it spread from India to China? (Google scholar this, whatever, you will find many sources that state this). In addition, people should understand that only the first christian crusade was to convert people, the rest were motivated by trade. Lastly, in Islam, a "Jihad" is not a crusade--it means a struggle. I could have a Jihad in the sense of getting up in the morning. However, there are Jihad's not to CONVERT, but to defend the muslim faith (this is only a last resort and a struggle to defend the faith from people trying to destroy it...i.e...people invading said country and killing people who muslims or trying to forcibly convert them). Go pick up a history book and read--you will find what I said in google scholars, or any history book or religious book. The.end. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.64.130.203 (talk) 04:11, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

In response to Cazort - Where other belief systems use the term "evangelism" they do so in a loose or metaphorical sense. While the mission of outreach is common, the term used to describe that activity is unique to Christianity. There is no reason to suppose that "evangelism" (εὐαγγέλιον) was used in any broader sense either outside or prior to the first disciples.

The fact that common usage has given new meanings to evangelism (ie. "hijacked" it) is not in question, but these details should be relegated to a sub-heading and not take up space in the main introductory article. --Aardvark01 (talk) 11:34, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

In response to Cazort, using the results of searches with terms like "muslim evangelism", "jewish evangelism", etc. are really misleading because, if you look at the actual results, many/most actually seem to apply to Christian evangelizing of Muslims/Jews/etc. It seems pretty clear that evangelism is by and large specifically Christian terminology, though I have yet to find evidence or research which suggests that the practice is especially unique to Christianity. Hence, I would also like to note a citation needed for the idea that Christianity is "evangelistic by nature" as stated at the end of the first paragraph. Can anyone provide references (either from within Christianity or from without) that show this as a unique and fundamental aspect of Christianity? So far, my research in Nietzsche's concerns about Christian morality is that it educates a "sense of truthfulness" (The Will to Power by Friedrich Nietzsche; also see some discussion of "truthfulness" in Nihilism#Nietzsche) which could potentially be connected to the evangelistic morality of "spreading the Word of God, i.e. the Truth." But Nietzsche is not exactly an unbiased commenter on this subject... Jtb03 (talk) 18:36, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

NPOV and Tone tags[edit]

These were added on 8 March [27], but no discussion was started here. What are the concerns? Edgepedia (talk) 07:13, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Probably has to do with lines like: "The intention of Christian evangelism is to share with others the mystery of how God loved man, you and me, so much that He would send Jesus to die for us," found in the lede, which I just removed. 67.188.39.143 (talk) 02:11, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Witnessing[edit]

What is "witnessing" and how dies it differ from evangelism? Drutt (talk) 00:12, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

This is a good question. The term "witness" is translated from the Greek μαρτυρες (matyrs) in Acts 13:31 (English Standard Version) ...and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.

The term "martyr" has come to be associated only with those who witness unto death (red martyrs) but was initially used for all forms of witnessing to the Good News:(From the Cambrai homily, 7-8th century (contemporary with Bede): These three kinds of martyrdom take place in those people who repent well [blue], who control their desires [white], and who shed their blood [red] in fasting and labor for Christ’s sake.” Celtic Spirituality, ed. by O. Davis, T. O’Loughlin, Paulist Press, 1999, p. 370)

It is to be noted that specific acts and general personal conduct are considered to be means of witnessing alongside (and not exclusive of) the preaching and active outreach usually associated with evangelism. --Aardvark01 (talk) 16:44, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

That's very interesting; I wasn't aware that martyr and witness have the same origin. Drutt (talk) 01:59, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
From my personal experience, in modern American society witnessing is often used as a euphemism or buzzword for evangelism, especially among fundamentalists...perhaps in part because evangelism has acquired such a negative connotation in our society. Ideally, yes, it is supposed to also encompass non-evangelical acts and personal conduct, but from my experience, this broader usage of the word tends to be limited to the preacher's pulpit, bible studies, or discussion groups; when the average person talks about witnessing, 9 times out of 10 they are talking about evangelism. Cazort (talk) 15:55, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
The only difference I would note is that witnessing tends to be used more in a one-on-one context and evangelism in a more organized 'group rally' kind of scenario. But I've certainly heard both words used in both scenarios. DJ Clayworth (talk) 18:39, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Evangelizing is not Proselytizing[edit]

The definition of "evangelist" is not one who attempts to convert. The actual Latin and Greek origins of the word mean "good news messenger". To evangelize is not to proselytize. To proselytize is to convert, and evangelists should not be categorized as proselytizers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrhinman (talkcontribs) 20:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

This may be true linguistically and historically, but it's important to consider how the common usage of words change too; we don't want to fall into the trap of writing an article that is historically correct but wrong in the modern context. Cazort (talk) 15:56, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

The word "proselyte" simple means "someone who has approached", from προσέρχεσθαι "to come to, approach". To proselytize is merely to invite people to join (approach, come to) something. There is nothing derogatory about this unless you choose you want to attach your own derogatory opinions to the word.

Evangelism is merely a term for the activity of proselytization specifically in a Christian context. Nothing else. There is neither a derogatory nor an endorsing sense inherent in "Christian proselytization". The word "to evangelize" otoh is inherently from the perspective of the Christian church, meaning "to convey the Good News". Of course, if you recognize the Good News as such, you have already been successfully evangelized. --dab (𒁳) 09:45, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

I believe in order to come to a consensus on this particular issue, its important to use accepted terms and not to impose a new term or classification on accepted practices. Reclassifying/renaming it does both. The common, accepted term is Evangelism, not "Christian proselytization". This is a classification, or possibly the definition of Evangelism. In many circles the term is, in fact both used as, and heard as derogatory. I think that is easily understood just by reading the previous comments above. Accepting the word seems like a very easy, but essential step toward consensus. Jwberean (talk) 08:30, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Does it matter?[edit]

Evangelism has been present for a long time, and way too long for that matter. Because of its history, it's really hard to define what evangelism actually is. The thought of people arguing over this just sickens me. I think evangelism is just evangelism. Of course their are very controversial points to it, such as the question; are the Catholics or Orthodox forcing people to convert or are they helping them? That is not the point of this article, the point here is to let people know what evangelism is, and to "educate" them for a lack of better words. This whole talk section is pointless, it only brings up more feud to the high tension that is already present. Evangelism had its mistakes AND its greatness as well.

To add to this, it would be great if people didn't only narrow their perspective of evangelism to Christianity. The article is way to focused on Christianity, even though their are many other forms of evangelism out there. It shines way too much light into one stage and the article needs a new one. I myself am not a great writer therefore I am not able to edit the article.

What would be great is if the article wasn't biased at all (it kind of is right now) and showed a neutral point of view to the case. Of course this is near impossible since people always have an opinion toward some side. But my point here is this, lets try not to fuss and make a better article by balancing things out? Feel me? :) 99.238.108.234 (talk) 03:15, 14 May 2010 (UTC)Chan

The point of an encyclopedy is to define and explain concepts. The approach of "evangelism is just evangelism" has zero value in this context. Evangelism is just a term for Christian proselytization. Of course it should be covered without passing judgement. In this sense, it really "just is", but this article needs to report, detachedly, what exactly it is.

But since it is really just a synonym for Christian proselytization, I really see no reason to keep two separate pages on the topic, per WP:CFORK. --dab (𒁳) 09:40, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Christian Proselytization carries, in many cases, a negative context and it quite simply isn't the accepted term. I see no value changing the term in Wikipedia when the rest of the world knows it as simply Evangelism. This would be the equivelant of refiling Oatmeal under Heated and Compressed Whole Grain Breakfast Cereals... Jwberean (talk) 08:17, 6 November 2011 (UTC)