Understanding Scripture

The Gospel Above the Terminology

Listen to Greg Strand, Daryl Williamson and Mark Noll discuss the term “evangelical” and its implications on the church and culture today

To conclude the 2019 EFCA Theology Preconference, Pastor Daryl Williamson of Living Faith Bible Fellowship in Tampa, Florida, and Dr. Mark Noll, research professor of history at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, participated in a panel discussion on the topic of, “Evangel, Evangelical, Evangelicalism and the EFCA,” moderated by Greg Strand.

Noll began the preconference by addressing the topic, “‘Evangelical’ in the 21st Century,” from an historical and global perspective, and Williamson followed by covering the same issue from an African-American perspective.

In Noll and Williamson’s ensuing panel discussion, moderated by Strand, both address and respond to the messages, field questions from the audience, and discuss the roots of the word, “evangelical,” and its implications on different individuals and communities today.

“A pastor cannot deal with the great crises of civilization—race, economics, warfare—directly or with much effect. In fact, if a pastor begins to try to emphasize these matters, the underpinning of a gospel message is going to disintegrate. Nonetheless, the inscape and the outscape—the meaning of the gospel for myself, my family, my group, my tribe, and the meaning of the gospel for the other—have to be the essentials. Whether it’s ‘evangelical,’ ‘true Christianity,’ ‘real religion,’ ‘on fire for God,’ ‘Bible-believing,’ the term doesn’t make a single bit of difference. The Scriptural teaching of God loving sinners when no one had the right to be loved, as a message for the self and for the world, is the high calling for pastors to fulfill.” — Dr. Mark Noll

Listen to the full lecture in the EFCA Theology Podcast episode, and stay tuned for the upcoming podcasts from the conference. If you missed other episodes from the conference, find them in the EFCA Theology Podcast archives.

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