A friend asks you, “What does ‘Evangelical’ mean?” You think to yourself, “Uhhh… how do I explain this?” It’s a common question for those who are new to a church like Christ Church. Plus, we have Evangelical in our denominational name.
The media world has begun wrongly lumping Evangelical and fundamentalist together into a political and religiously narrow stereotype. But it’s important sometimes to not just surrender vital words to the shallow lexicon of pop-cultue. Recently a group of Christian leaders, who I deeply respect, got together to graciously, but profoundly, take back the term, Evangelical. The result is a masterpiece of writing and a new conversation that I pray will bear much fruit. It’s called An Evangelical Manifesto.
Click here for the website where you can read or download the document as well as a detailed study guide for small group use. I urge you to take the time to read it. It is especially relevant for the Amerian culture at this time and in a political year. Here’s a portion of the Introduction from the website:
As an open declaration, An Evangelical Manifesto addresses not only Evangelicals and other Christians but other American citizens and people of all other faiths in America, including those who say they have no faith. It therefore stands as an example of how different faith communities may address each other in public life, without any compromise of their own faith but with a clear commitment to the common good of the societies in which we all live together.
For those who are Evangelicals, the deepest purpose of the Manifesto is a serious call to reform—an urgent challenge to reaffirm Evangelical identity, to reform Evangelical behavior, to reposition Evangelicals in public life, and so rededicate ourselves to the high calling of being Evangelical followers of Jesus Christ.