Evangelical Manifesto

Here is the URL to the Evangelical Manifesto that was just released today


Some of the people on the steering committee are Os Guiness and Dallas Willard (authors of great books). Signees include Mark Bailey – President of Dallas Theological Seminary, Leith Anderson, President of the NEA, Ergun Caner, President of Liberty Theological Seminary and author, Dean Hirsch, President of World Vision International, Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College, Max Lucado, and the list goes on and on! There are some names that are notably absent such as James Dobson. I also cannot find Billy Graham or Franklin Graham.

I just briefly skimmed over it and may update this with my opinions of it. There seems to be a variety of reasons for this document – but the main one is to declare that Evangelical is about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and not about voting Republican (or Democrat). Here are some quotes:

The Evangelical soul is not for sale. It has already been bought at an infinite price.

The way of Jesus, not Constantine

The two-fold purpose of this declaration is first to address the confusions and corruptions that attend the term


Evangelical in the United States and much of the Western world today, and second to clarify where we stand on issues that have caused consternation over Evangelicals in public life.










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5 responses to “Evangelical Manifesto

  1. mikerucker

    i’m enjoying reading the various opinions here and there around the web; post your thoughts when you have a few minutes. i had some hesitations and misgivings before reading the document, but i’m actually quite impressed and invigorated after taking in the whole of what it addresses.

    one of the things i like is that the authors have chosen not to list creationism and inerrancy as 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. still, some people hold to these positions; so be it. 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.”

    nothing’s going to please everybody, and there are a few things i object to. for instance, i don’t 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’re going to peacefully 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. do you think that was intentional? i didn’t see a single chick tract referenced in the bibliography…

    more than anything, i find 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.

    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

  2. Here is what the commander of the Lord’s Army thinks:

    13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
    14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord [d] have for his servant?”

    15 The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
    Joshua 5:13-15

    The issue is not whether God is on our political side. He isn’t. The issue is whether we will take off our sandals. The first thing to know about politics is that politics is not the first thing – standing on Holy Ground barefoot is more important.

  3. mikerucker

    good thought. makes me have to look at myself first, doesn’t it? yikes…

  4. The Evangelical Manifesto is a very fine answer to the wrong question. The question is not “Whose side is God on?” but “How do we get on God’s side?”. That is what the commander of the Lord’s army would say.

  5. mikerucker

    yeah, you’re stealing abe lincoln’s line… 🙂

    the feel i get is that the document is saying
    (a) we’re going to be in the public arena,
    (b) we refuse to be seen as easily predictable on where we stand on all the issues, and
    (c) there are more issues than abortion and gay rights.

    and if you think that’s answering the “whose side is God on” question, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. i sense though that the real cry was that someone needed to tell the group that assumes God is in its pocket that God is more than a lapel-pin or voter guide – these are no longer check-box issues but topics that have to be dealt with in an expectation of compromise.

    thanks for letting me have my say.


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