The following excerpt from a New York Times article entitled "On a Christian Mission to the Top: Evangelicals Set Their Sights on the Ivy League" (Sunday, May 22, 2005) made me realize that I don't really know the difference between "born again" and "evangelical." Yet somewhere I learned that 1/2 of Americans consider themselves born again, including the Resident, so I try here to explore both terms and understand their nuances and connotations.

"The growing power and influence of evangelical Christians is manifest everywhere these days, from the best-seller lists to the White House, but in fact their share of the general population has not changed much in half a century. Most pollsters agree that people who identify themselves as white evangelical Christians make up about a quarter of the population, just as they have for decades."

American Heritage tells me that "Evangel" -- which at first looks like a strange hybrid of "evil" and "angel" -- actually derives from Middle English "evangele," the Latin "evangelium," and the Greek "euangelion" (good news) and "euangelos" (bringing good news) via "eu-" (good) and "angelos" (messenger). Evangel can mean the Christian gospel, as well as an evangelist. So fundamentally, an evangelist should be bearing good news.