Saturday, May 03, 2008

Evangelicals Say Faith Is Now Too Political

'Evangelical Manifesto' Ponders Politics

By RACHEL ZOLL AND ERIC GORSKI,
AP
Posted: 2008-05-03 11:12:59
Filed Under: Elections News
(May 3) - Conservative Christian leaders who believe the word "evangelical" has lost its religious meaning plan to release a starkly self-critical document saying the movement has become too political and has diminished the Gospel through its approach to the culture wars.

The statement, called "An Evangelical Manifesto," condemns Christians on the right and left for "using faith" to express political views without regard to the truth of the Bible, according to a draft of the document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

Read An Evangelical Manifesto: A Declaration of Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment


2 comments:

mike rucker said...

please post your thoughts when you have the time.

i had some hesitations and misgivings before reading the document, but was actually quite impressed and invigorated after taking in the whole of what it addressed.

one of the things i like about the document is that the authors choose not to say that creationism and inerrancy are non-negotiables. for the first, there’s very little biblical justification anymore behind whatever the latest flavor of anti-natural-selection dessert is being served up; for the latter, somehow we can admit that we can’t prove the existence of God, but goshdarnit we have a golden egg this unprovable God laid right here. there’s simply too much of a tendency to add items to the ever-increasing laundry list of ideas and doctrines to which we have to pledge allegiance before we’re allowed into the room marked “Christian.”

more than anything, i found myself motivated and energized by the very positive nature of the piece - that it isn’t yet another “here’s everything we’re against” rant but an effort to make the gospel again a message of good news. imagine that - the gospel being good news. American Christianity has lost this defining characteristic that once served it well.

there are a few things i question, but nothing is going to please everyone, i suppose. for instance, i’m not sure i agree with this statement: We Evangelicals should be defined theologically, and not politically, socially, or culturally. Jesus’ message uses “action” verbs: teach them to DO as I have commanded you, LOVE God and LOVE your neighbor, by this will all men know … if you LOVE one another. any theology that defines us must have feet.

i did, however, like these words:
We are also troubled by the fact that the advance of globalization and the emergence of a global public square finds no matching vision of how we are to live freely, justly, and peacefully with our deepest differences on the global stage.

somehow we've got to figure out how we we're going to happily share the same bathroom over the next few decades in our ever-shrinking world.

one interesting thing: maybe i missed it, but there doesn’t seem to be a great emphasis on evangelism in this Evangelical Manifesto. was that intentional? i didn’t see a single chick tract referenced in the bibliography…

perhaps one unintended benefit of the proposal is a clear opportunity to take this EM (Evangelical Manifesto) and align it with the other EM (Emergent Manifesto) and finally have all our EM & EMs in a row without demonizing the other side.

one can only hope…

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Scott Starr said...

Ok Mike, I generally share your sentiments. Its late now and I have been ardently debating some atheists on Youtube. I am tapped out right now but will give you a more detailed response tomorrow. Thanks for your interest. I am pretty enthused about the whole deal too.