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Speaking Out

Should We Still Be Called ‘Evangelicals’?

Maybe there's a better name in our polarized and politicized times.
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Should We Still Be Called ‘Evangelicals’?
Image: Pearl / Lightstock / Edits by Rick Szuecs

Is there a better word to describe Christians who hold to the authority of the Bible in all matters of faith and practice?

Perhaps it is time for a new plural to capture the self-understanding of Christians, a different noun that embraces all believers and followers of Jesus, to which all evangelical theologies and denominations would belong comfortably. Can a fresh plural noun free us from negative typecasting in our cultural climate?

May I recommend a word to which evangelicals can’t say no if we are serious as Christians and still want to make sense of (and to) the world in which we live—all while reaching people with Jesus’ eternally saving message? A noun against which it is hard to push back while we press on to consistency in belief and authenticity of behavior?

Having celebrated the 500th season of the Reformation not too long ago, in the tradition of Luther, a man who did not possess the authority but sensed the responsibility to challenge prevalent theological ...

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