The Common Good

Audio: Jim Wallis on 'Speaking of Faith' with Krista Tippett

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Here's some of Krista Tippet's introduction to her interview with Jim:

I've resisted interviewing Wallis as he's risen to a new kind of fame, in part because he has had so much exposure in major media - from Hardball to Fresh Air. But now I've come to see in Jim Wallis' rise not just a story of an individual activist becoming a leader, but of the world changing around us.
There is plentiful evidence that younger people, including younger evangelical Christians, share Jim Wallis's concern for the poor and the dispossessed, for inequities in global economy and ecology. Half of his audiences across the country these days, as he tells it, are under 30. He does not claim to represent a majority of American evangelicals in his views and positions, but he does draw packed crowds of young evangelicals at Christian colleges. He urges them to emulate the 19th-century evangelicals who inspire him, some of whom founded today's Christian colleges - abolitionists and social reformers who took their Bibles and their God with the utmost seriousness.

After the rise of the Religious Right in the early 1980s, and again after the 2000 and 2004 elections, some prophesied that the U.S. was headed for "theocracy" - a takeover by conservative religious ruling elites. What is happening instead is what Time magazine has called the leveling of "the praying field." Conservative Christianity hasn't disappeared, but it is increasingly met, and measured, by progressive and liberal religious voices in politics and beyond.

There are also conservative evangelicals with a broadened political and social agenda and a willingness to form coalitions with diverse religious and secular others to combat urgent human crises.

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