Richard Mouw and the evangelical label

Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary

One of the reasons for the failure of the evangelical left to thrive is that many are uncomfortable with the evangelical label. Associating the label with right-wing, militant rhetoric, many progressive evangelical now call themselves other things entirely, even though they might agree with Richard Mouw’s description of evangelical identity below:

The important question that we do need to ask about labels, of course, is whether they continue to communicate what they were originally intended to identify. In that regard, questions about the “evangelical” label are good ones to ask today. And while I take those questions seriously, I am firmly committed to sticking with that label as a means of self-identification. . . . For me evangelical identity points to such things as a firm belief in the supreme authority of the Bible and the unique atoning work of Jesus Christ, as well as to the obligation to work actively in inviting people to enter into a personal relationship with the Savior. And furthermore, it means continuing to plead with others who own the label not to pile onto those important convictions a lot of additional baggage that does not do honor to a label that I continue to love.

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