I wrote the following words in 2004, long before the past five years and the “evangelical” support for Donald Trump. However, in the more traditional view of both terms, here is what I said:
A LIBERAL EVANGELICAL
The mind of the older son can be seen both in
people characterized as “liberal” and in people characterized as “conservative.” No one theological position
holds a monopoly on the older brother mindset.
I no longer call myself conservative; maybe I never
was. Most conservative Christians would now characterize
me as liberal, but categories don’t reflect reality well.
I am evangelical, as I mentioned before, because I
believe in the good news of the kingdom. I believe in the
authority of the scriptures for my life. I believe in a
personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and
in eternal life given by God’s grace through Christ. But I
am also liberal.
If “liberal” means to be generous and openhearted toward people and toward God, I claim the title. If
being liberal means to commit myself to God’s love as the
ultimate moral value, then I accept it. If being liberal
means to put people before the principles I believe to be
correct, then that’s what I am. If being liberal means to
believe that God really does love the whole world and that
Jesus came to save and heal the world rather than to judge
and condemn it, then I am liberal.
If “liberal” means to believe that God’s essential
nature is love and that love is seen most clearly in the
compassion, mercy, and forgiveness of God, I gladly
accept such a name. God clearly revealed the divine nature
in the stories of scripture – to Moses, through the prophets, in Jesus – as compassionate at the core, at the heart
of God. So if labels were helpful, I might call myself an
evangelical liberal or a liberal evangelical.