Is ‘Evangelical’ a Historical, Theological, or Political Identity?

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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?

These and related questions are addressed in this debate between Ryan Burge and Andrew Walker. Burge and Walker share their arguments and engage in a discussion moderated by Jim Davis, teaching pastor at Orlando Grace Church.

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