The Evangelical Manifesto.

Yes, there is one now.

Read it.

I appreciate this. I have read it, and am encouraged by the direction that it takes. Its important to define terms, but its something we often forget in Christian circles, assuming that we all understand words like "santification" or "grace". This gives us a nice little definition of "evangelical." I'm sure we'll hear more about it in the coming months.

These are some of my favorite excerpts:
"Fifth, the Evangelical message, “good news” by definition, is overwhelmingly positive, and always positive before it is negative. There is an enormous theological and cultural importance to ―the power of No,‖ especially in a day when ―Everything is permitted‖ and ―It is forbidden to forbid.‖ Just as Jesus did, Evangelicals sometimes have to make strong judgments about what is false, unjust, and evil. But first and foremost we Evangelicals are for Someone and for something rather than against anyone or anything. The Gospel of Jesus is the Good News of welcome, forgiveness, grace, and liberation from law and legalism. It is a colossal Yes to life and human aspirations, and an emphatic No only to what contradicts our true destiny as human beings made in the image of God."

and also, due to my obsession with paradoxes in the faith:

"We therefore regard reason and faith as allies rather than enemies, and find no contradiction between head and heart, between being fully faithful on the one hand, and fully intellectually critical and contemporary on the other. Thus Evangelicals part company with reactionaries by being both reforming and innovative, but they also part company with modern progressives by challenging the ideal of the-newer-the-truer and the-latest-is-greatest and by conserving what is true and right and good. For Evangelicals, it is paradoxical though true that the surest way forward is always first to go back, a ―turning back‖ that is the secret of all true revivals and reformations."

by far one of the most necessary things for those both inside and outside of the church to hear:
"We confess that we Evangelicals have betrayed our beliefs by our behavior. All too often we have trumpeted the gospel of Jesus, but we have replaced biblical truths with therapeutic techniques, worship with entertainment, discipleship with growth in human potential, church growth with business entrepreneurialism, concern for the church and for the local congregation with expressions of the faith that are churchless and little better than a vapid spirituality, meeting real needs with pandering to felt needs, and mission principles with marketing precepts. In the process we have become known for commercial, diluted, and feel-good gospels of health, wealth, human potential, and religious happy talk, each of which is indistinguishable from the passing fashions of the surrounding world."

This document is pretty monumental, and i'm not sure why it was not more highly anticipated in Christian circles. Maybe it was, but my head is in the sand or something. Anyway,its only twenty double spaced pages, read it.

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