The Common Good
July 2008

Beyond Evangelical Right and Left

by Rose Marie Berger, Alexis Vaughan | July 2008

Prominent U.S.

Prominent U.S. evangelicals launched “An Evangelical Manifesto” on May 7 in Washington, D.C., to address the confusion about who evangelicals are and what the proper role of evangelicals in public life should be (see “An Evangelical Manifesto,” page 5).

The statement identifies evangelicals as “Christians who define themselves, their faith, and their lives according to the Good News of Jesus of Nazareth,” and lists seven accompanying theological affirmations. The statement also laments that many evangelicals have abused their power in the public square, and encourages a proper role in democratic life. “We affirm that to be Evan­gelical and to carry the name of Christ is to seek to be faithful to the freedom, justice, peace, and well-being that are at the heart of the kingdom of God, to bring these gifts into public life as a service to all, and to work with all who share these ideals and care for the common good.”

Both major political parties have something to learn from the statement, John Green, senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, told the Associated Press. “Republicans need to realize that evangelicals care about a lot of things,” Green said. “The message to Demo­crats is similar: Don’t ignore us. If you pursue the right issues and have the right platform, there are many evangelicals who will consider voting for you.”

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