The ‘E-Word’

January 23, 2007

The growing debate about the word “evangelical” has made it to the USA Today. The article (“Evangelical: Can the ‘E-word’ be saved?”) mentions the difficulty in defining the word and the wide diversity of people who claim the label. The piece suggests:

Now the word may be losing its moorings, sliding toward the same linguistic demise that “fundamentalist” met decades ago because it has been misunderstood, misappropriated and maligned.
Not sure the term “fundamentalist” has actually become obsolete, though it does also suffer from definitional problems and misuse. This is an important debate because we must make sure people understand who we are when we use a certain label to describe ourselves. I have dealt with the questions about the “e-word” in previous posts (here, here, here, and here). While the diversity of people using the term has added to some of the confusion, it has also helped to help move the term away from being a synonym for a Christian Republican. Despite its potential flaws, I still embrace the term “evangelical.”