On Identity, Being an Evangelical, and Writing

Kristina Robb Dover, blogger at Saints and Sinners over at beliefnet, recently asked if she could interview me. The interview begins:

Christianity Today has named you one of 50 women to know, for your work in (and I quote) “profoundly shaping the evangelical church and North American society.”  Would you also use the term “evangelical” to describe yourself also, and if so, what do you mean by that term?

I would call myself an evangelical both because it is the line of Christianity through which my faith came alive (at a Young Life Camp) and also because I see one aspect of my role as a Christian as telling other people about the good news of the Gospel. I’m aware, however, that “evangelical” has become a negative term in many circles, for good reasons, and that it often conjures up political and social associations that probably don’t describe who I am. I worry that evangelicals are known more as people who are against certain cultural movements rather than people who are for life with God. Most evangelicals I actually know (rather than read about in the newspaper) could be characterized by their desire to love and serve other people and talk about spiritual questions. I hope that’s true of me too.

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