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Evangelical Manifesto

A big hat tip to Ken at C. Orthodoxy for the head's up on this week's publication of The Evangelical Manifesto, "an open declaration of who Evangelicals are and what they stand for"--with "an urgent challenge to reaffirm Evangelical identity, to reform Evangelical behavior, to reposition Evangelicals in public life, and so rededicate ourselves to the high calling of being Evangelical followers of Jesus Christ"--drafted and published by nine scholars and evangelical leaders, which impressively (at least to this blogger) includes Richard Mouw (Fuller Theological Seminary president) and Dallas Willard (prolific author and Professor of Philosophy at USC). (It's also signed by a dozens of other evangelical leaders and scholars.)

My spiritual heritage has deep roots among evangelicals and Anabaptists, along with some deep appreciation for writers and thinkers out of the Catholic tradition. While Anabaptists have a much more defined understanding of who they are what they stand for, evangelicalism is a relatively newer (and broader) movement, so I'm glad to see a document like this being introduced for conversation in defining a bit more just what the movement is about and who followers of Jesus are called to be. I've printed out the 20-page document, and plan on reading it over the next few days.

Comments

Very cool! As a late-in-life Evangelical, I'm interested in reading this too. And, I'll pass it along to my pastor!
mike rucker said…
i confess that 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.

i am glad they chose not to say that creationism and inerrancy were 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. kind of stupid when you think about it ... not that thinking is a pre-requisite of course in any of these endeavors.

more than anything, i was motivated and energized by the very positive nature of the piece - that it wasn'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 ever since it embraced the neo-con's Jesus bobble-head doll.

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
Kelli Gilbreath said…
Perhaps one good thing that could come from Christians in America is to stop bashing those with whom we disagree within the Christian community, no matter what you consider yourself. It serves no purpose to belittle another for their beliefs. The world does a dandy job of that without our doing to ourselves. We can learn to have differences of opinion within the faith without calling names(neocon's Jesus bobble-head doll) and accusing others of "not thinking". We just sound harsh and judgmental when we do that and we leave a bad taste in the mouths of outsiders. "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit." Prov 15:4
mike rucker said…
We can learn to have differences of opinion within the faith without calling names(neocon's Jesus bobble-head doll)...

ouch. guilty as charged. but there is a difference between little digs that would sound different if we were all seated around a table and sincere beliefs that the other side is at best heretical and at worst in bed with the devil.

i'll try to do better; thanks for the hand-slap...

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com
Carmen Andres said…
beth, your pastor will probably read it before i do - i haven't even gotten to the first sentence yet, arg.

mike, i'm encouraged by what i read about it being a "this is what we are for" piece as well.

and kelli and mike, thank you for the albeit brief but civil conversation between the two of you. kelli, your words always give me thoughtful pause, and i've always loved your willingness to speak your heart, which i know longs for the people of God to be all they are called and enabled to be. and mike, i appreciate your willingness to take kelli's words seriously. and i agree with you, blogging and e-mail type conversations lose a lot because we aren't talking with each other face to face. blessings to you both.
Kelli Gilbreath said…
I hope that my comment was not taken as a "dig" because that certainly isn't how I meant it to sound. I am truly saddened by the thought that perhaps there is a chasm within the Christian community that can no longer be bridged, if not in an openness to still abide in the agape love God calls us to, then at least in our civility toward one another no matter our personal convictions. It saddens me even more to see that we are responsible for this divide. No hand slap intended. Rather, a hand extended...