The title of this post is an honest question that I’d like to hear your answer to: why are you or why aren’t you an evangelical Christian?
What does the term “evangelical Christian” mean to you? Is it a useful distinction that clarifies theological positions, or is it merely a word that furthers divisiveness?
If you don’t consider yourself to be an evangelical, what does it mean to you to be a Christian? How do you define your Christianity in a way that excludes evangelical distinctives but still holds true to positive statements of faith?
If you do consider yourself to be an evangelical, how do you understand your faith in relation to non-evangelical Christians? What makes you different? What makes you the same?
I think that all Christians are (or should be) evangelical … and the more I think about it, the less I see a way of being a Christian that isn’t evangelical. But I understand that term means many things to many people and is often encumbered by an enormous amount of baggage. And, when it is used to label a particular “brand” of Christianity, it is often entirely unhelpful in delineating essential differences. It either becomes a pejorative used to marginalize someone on the far right of the theological spectrum, or it is little more than synonym for “true, Bible-believing” Christian, as opposed to the so-called “Christians” whose liberalism destines them to hell.
So, for all three of my readers, what are your responses to these questions?
*Also see my follow-up post: Some thoughts on evangelicalism.