Saturday, May 10, 2008

An Evangelical Manifesto (1)

A group of Christians who are pastors, authors, theologians and thinkers came together to draft An Evangelical Manifesto : A Declaration of Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment on May 7, 2008 in Washington D.C.

The Manifesto is an enjoyable read with excellent scholarship and the right choice of words and issues addressed. It is about 2o pages and may be downloaded from their website. First, it is mainly about Evangelicalism as practiced in North America, especially in the United States of America. Though it is acknowledged that Evangelicals may be more numerous in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, this manifesto set forth views mainly from the North American Evangelical worldview.

Second, the timing of the launch could not be better. The battle between Clinton and Obama is nearly over and then it is to the battle for the big seat. The religious card has used and abused repeatedly. Frequently, some Christian viewpoints are put forward as if it represent the views of all the Christians in the world. Maybe it is time to point out that there are diversities with the Christian realms and Christians may not always agree with each other.

Third, in the United States especially, there is a need to redefine Evangelicalism. Like all words in the English language, it meanings and nuances evolve our time.

The steering committee members include:

Timothy George Dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
Os Guinness, Author/Social Critic
John Huffman, Pastor, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach, CAChair, Christianity Today International
Rich Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary
Jesse Miranda, Founder & Director, Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership, Vanguard University
David Neff, Vice President and Editor in Chief, Christianity Today Media Group
Richard Ohman, Businessman
Larry Ross, President, A. Larry Ross Communications
Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Author

Finally, I like the gentle and conciliatory tone that the Manifesto has been written in. I am expecting some fireworks but I believe that this is a good start and hope others will pick it the dialogue in due time. Overall, this Manifesto is a fine piece of writing covering the major pints of Evangelical belief and practices. It also mentions politely how it differs from all the other traditions. Personally I find it a well balance Manisfesto on Evangelicalism and something to stimulate our thinking and working for the next few decades.

I have signed the Manisfesto

What others say:
Associated Press
Blogging Parson
Thoughts on the Evangelical Manifesto.
Justin Taylor
Street Prophets
Mark D. Roberts

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Blogger Kansas Bob said...

I like the idea but haven't read it yet ... of course they did identify me as a useful idiot ... I think that they are on to something :)

6:37 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi bob,

This is a useful document but I cannot find the word 'useful idiot' in it. :)

10:09 AM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Thanks for the correction Alex. "Useful idiot" came from this AP article about the Manifesto.

5:49 AM  

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