My friend Kullervo pretty much called me out on email over a specific issue. I had neglected a major news story and had not yet added my 2 cents to the blogging ether about it. Last week, the Evangelical world was a buzz over the release of something called “The Evangelical Manifesto“.
The Manifesto was an attempt by a number of Evangelical scholars and theologians to gain a stronger hand in defining to the world what defines and what doesn’t define an Evangelical. Perhaps their most controversial point is that Evangelicalism is not a political movement to be used by the Right or the Left.
The Manifesto discusses a number of issues, but the language on politics was not overlooked by the mainstream media. Most of the news stories focus specifically on what it says about politics. But secular media are not the only ones discussing the politics of Evangelicalism.
The Manifesto is missing the signatures of a number of Evangelical leaders. Not surprisingly, these same leaders are the ones who are most involved in American politics. They critique the Manifesto as being a tool of liberal secularism and worry that it will only encourage Evangelicals to stop voting.
I read through the Manifesto and found it to be quite excellent. Probably one of the best things to come out of the Evangelical world in quite some time. It is both well written and deeply thought through. I think it accurately defines who Evangelicals are and how Evangelicalism fits into the scope of history. After finishing my read of it, I immediately added my signature to it. Later when I investigated the signatures, it was no surprise to me that the Evangelical leaders I most respect added their names and those I least respect are absent.
If you would like to understand more about Evangelicalism, I whole heartedly encourage you to read the Evangelical Manifesto.