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When we keep the gospel central, we can disagree on lesser but still important matters in good faith. In the Good Faith Debates, we hope to model this—showing that it’s possible for two Christians united around the gospel to engage in charitable conversation even amid substantive disagreement.


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THE DEBATES

How should Christians think about gun control and the right to bear arms?

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Is “woke church” a stepping stone to theological compromise?

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Should the “pro-life” movement be holistically (womb to tomb) or narrowly (womb) focused?

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How should churches address racial injustice?

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Should we insist on a theological and historical definition of “evangelical” if many self-described evangelicals see it primarily as a political identity?

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How should Christians think about gun control and the right to bear arms?

The issue of gun control and 2nd Amendment rights is one of the most intractable, polarizing topics in contemporary America. Because it is such a partisan issue, many Christians naturally view the topic through that lens. But is there a Christian lens through which to evaluate the debate? If Christian ethics are brought to bear on the issue, what is the more biblical position? More restrictive gun control or more individual freedom to bear arms?


Bob Thune (MA, Reformed Theological Seminary) is founding and lead pastor of Coram Deo Church in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Council member of The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of Gospel Eldership and the co-author of The Gospel-Centered Life and The Gospel-Centered Community. Bob and his wife, Leigh, have four children.

Andrew Wilson is the teaching pastor at King’s Church, London. He’s the author of God of All Things: Rediscovering the Sacred in an Everyday World (Zondervan, 2021). Follow him on Twitter (@AJWTheology).

Is “woke church” a stepping stone to theological compromise?

The “woke” debates have fractured the church like little else in recent years. On one side are Christians who believe Scripture demands the church lead the way in addressing topics like racism, injustice, gender inequality, poverty, and climate change. On the other are Christians who accuse the “woke” gospel of just being a new generation of the “social” gospel, which in previous iterations often meant gradual theological compromise. What are we talking about when we use the word “woke”? And which should be the bigger concern for the church today: caring too little about activism on the social issues of the day, or caring too much about the wrong issues?


Sean DeMars is husband to Amber, dad to Patience and Isabella, and pastor at 6th Ave Church in Decatur, Alabama.

Rebecca McLaughlin holds a PhD from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill Seminary in London. She is the author of The Secular Creed: Engaging Five Contemporary Claims (TGC, 2021) and Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion (Crossway, 2019). You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram, or her website.

Should the “pro-life” movement be holistically (womb to tomb) or narrowly (womb) focused?

Sometimes pro-life activists are criticized for caring about vulnerable life in the womb but caring little about vulnerable lives outside the womb. Is this a fair critique, and are there ways the pro-life movement should be more expansive in its efforts to celebrate the sanctity of life? For Christians, do the theological and moral foundations of the pro-life argument (e.g., imago Dei) call us to align with other causes (e.g., fighting racism, social injustice, or climate change) that might break rank with political coalitions typically aligned with pro-life policy? Or is there an argument to be made that a narrowly focused pro-life movement is essential and that expanding its focus can be counterproductive?


Scott Klusendorf is president of Life Training Institute and author of the book The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. He travels frequently in the United States and Canada, training pro-life advocates to persuasively defend their views in the public square.

Karen Swallow Prior is research professor of English and Christianity and culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has been a long-time pro-life activist. She is the author of several books, including On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life in Great Books

How should churches address racial injustice?

Few issues have divided the church in recent years more than the topic of race and justice. Even if there is agreement that injustice and systemic racism still exist, approaches to address these issues sharply divide many Christians. For churches and Christians who believe silence and apathy are not biblical options on this topic, but who are confused and frustrated about the best way forward, what should they consider? What are the best things Christians and churches can do to help bring necessary change?


Brian Davis is currently a pastor at Del Ray Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. He and his wife, Sonia, have two sons and a daughter.

Justin Giboney is an attorney and political strategist in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the co-founder and president of the AND Campaign.

Should we insist on a theological and historical definition of “evangelical” if many self-described evangelicals see it primarily as a political identity?

What is an “evangelical”? Whatever the term meant historically, what does it mean today? To some ears, the term brings to mind MAGA hats more than church pews. To others, the term connotes certain theological commitments and missional postures. Has the term outlived its usefulness by taking on a meaning far from its original usage? How should faithful Christians use or not use “evangelical” as an identifying term?


Ryan Burge is an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and a pastor at First Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. He is the author of The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, And Where They Are Going.

Andrew T. Walker is associate professor of Christian ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His books include Liberty for All: Defending Everyone’s Religious Freedom in a Pluralistic Age and God and the Transgender Debate: What Does the Bible Actually Say about Gender Identity?