The debater in me feels I need to make sure we all understand each other, as far as the terms I often use on here. I'll update this as I find more terms I use frequently that need defining--comment below if there is a term I seem to use often that I haven't yet defined.
- Catholic: Big "C" Catholic refers to the Roman Catholic church.
- catholic: Little "c" catholic refers to the church universal: all Christians who believe in faith alone through grace alone as given to us in the Word alone are in the proper sense catholic--universally Christian (even if we disagree on other things).
- Evangelical: Another word for Lutheran. This is what the Lutherans first called themselves, Evangelical Catholics (or "Gospel Catholics"). Other church bodies have co-opted our term, but when I use "Evangelical", it is synonymous with "Lutheran". I'll try to use "Evangelical Catholics" just for clarity.
- protestant: The word for all non-Lutheran, non-Roman Catholic denominations (save the Orthodox, Anglican and Episcopalian, who are quasi-Catholic, at least in my book). Traditionally, Lutherans are included in this category, but I think that's as much a misnomer as calling a Lutheran "Lutheran" (something done by the Roman Catholic detractors of the day to vilify Evangelical Catholics)--Luther was not protesting the church, but rather, looking to reform it, whereas Arminius, Calvin, Zwingli and the Radical Reformed were looking to break away from Roman Catholicism from the very beginning. That's what I consider to be the big difference between Lutherans and "other" protestants.