The discussion on the question “What is an evangelical? has been both fascinating and illuminating. The brilliance of the responses doesn’t surprise me (after all, I picked these folks) but I am surprised by how much I—as a lifelong, unapologeticly self-defined evangelical—am getting out of the exchange. It’s reminded me of how fruitful it can be to simply define terms that we are all too familiar with.

I really resonate with Fred Sanders’point that “when I see the word [evangelical], I see the good news in it, the evangel. And I want to raise my hand and identify myself with that movement which has the guts to name itself after that good word.”

Since you can’t really talk about what it means to be an evangelical without understanding the root—evangel (gospel)—perhaps we should also ask, “What is the gospel?”

Rather than provide an answer myself I’ll defer to our own Russel Moore:

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