May 14, 2008

An Evangelical Manifesto

Over the past three years, some influential Evangelicals have been working on a manifesto to "reclaim the definition of what it means to be an Evangelical." They assert, rightly so, that theological rather than political or social principles should inform and direct the Evangelical movement as regards political action. They also want to broaden the political concerns of Evangelicals. There is more to political movement than gay marriage and abortion. Evangelicals need to be concerned with global initiatives, war, poverty, AIDS/HIV, etc.

Several key people were involved in drafting this statement: Timothy George, Dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; Os Guinness, Author/Social Critic; Rich Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary; David Neff, Vice President and Editor in Chief, Christianity Today Media Group; Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Author. Notable absences include Religious Right people such as James Dobson.

If you would like to read the 19 page An Evangelical Manifesto go here.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has written about why he is not going to sign the document here.
US News has an article about the release of the document here.
Here are some thoughts by Dr. Albert Mohler here and here and here.

I can't wait for N.T. Wright or Ben Witherington III to respond.

Phew! That is a lot of link love!

I plan to read this over the next day or so, and then post some of my thoughts on the document itself. If you read it and have some thoughts about it, feel free to comment here. It would be nice to discuss the issues it brings up.


  1. I have to agree with the thoughts of Dan Edelden.. after reading it I found more of the same old same old... when they had such an incredible opportunity to redeem the history of the evangelical church. I am saddened. I'm challenging the future leaders of the church to step up and do what Christ said. Become the family of orphans, let that single mom move in. Stop being all words and no action. Let love flow so dramatically out of us that it HAS to cost us something!

  2. I haven't read the document yet, but knowing the reputation of the men who worked on it...I would say they are about action. Dallas Willard, Jim Wallis from Sojourners, etc are all men of action...I think this is more a mission statement, a direction, a move forward...Again, I haven't read it, but I know the reputation of the people who have worked on it, and it is definitely not meant to detract from action. In fact, I think it flows out of their actions.

  3. They might be men of action in their own right but when you get a committee together you tend to find that a lot of action becomes nothing more than words.

    They had an opportunity here. I think they missed it. It took me while to read it. It was the same old, same old. No fresh fire. Nothing that the world wouldn't say, "yeah we've heard that before, now prove it!".

    I'm dissapointed.