You have probably heard about the Evangelical Manifesto—a document that has received some attention in the press over the past few days. This manifesto was made public for the first time just a few minutes ago and is now publicly available at anevangelicalmanifesto.com. According to those who drafted the document, “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.”
An Evangelical Manifesto is an open declaration of who Evangelicals are and what they stand for. It has been drafted and published by a representative group of Evangelical leaders who do not claim to speak for all Evangelicals, but who invite all other Evangelicals to stand with them and help clarify what Evangelical means in light of “confusions within and the consternation without” the movement. As the Manifesto states, the signers are not out to attack or exclude anyone, but to rally and to call for reform.
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.
The document was drafted by a Steering Committee comprised of Timothy George, Os Guinness, John Huffman, Rich Mouw, Jesse Miranda, David Neff, Richard Ohman, Larry Ross and Dallas Willard. Among the Charter Signatories are such diverse notables as Leith Anderson, Kay Arthur, Darrell Bock, Jack Hayford, Max Lucado, Erwin Lutzer, J. P. Moreland, Mark Noll, Kevin J. Vanhoozer and Jim Wallis.
I look forward to reading through it as soon as I’ve got a few minutes to do so!