It wasn’t even intentional on my part. I just noticed a few weeks ago that I had stopped describing myself to people as an “evangelical.” I had begun, subconsciously, to say that I am a “gospel Christian.” When I caught myself doing this, I wondered why and the answer wasn’t long in coming.
The word “evangelical” has become almost meaningless this year, and in many ways the word itself is at the moment subverting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Part of the problem is that more secular people have for a long time misunderstood the meaning of “evangelical,” seeing us almost exclusively in terms of election-year voting blocs or our most buffoonish television personalities. That’s especially true when media don’t distinguish in election exit polls between churchgoers and those who merely self-identify as “born again” or “evangelical.”