The Common Good

Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer Press Items
Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners, a liberal evangelical journal, on the time Graham answered questions after speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government: “The first questioner said, ‘Dr. Graham, Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life and no man cometh unto the Father but by me. Doesn’t that mean all non-Christians, including Jews, are going to hell?’ Billy replied, ‘God will judge us all. This is a God of love and mercy but also justice. We all will come before the judgment of God, and I am so glad that God has that job and I don’t.’ The second questioner was ready to try again. ‘At least Jews are monotheistic. What about Buddhists? They’re not.’ Billy replied, ‘I’ve been to Buddhist countries to preach the Gospel, and I’ve met a lot of Buddhists who, frankly, are more Christ-like than many of us as Christians are.’ ”
More than 1,000 Christian pastors nationwide signed a "Faith Pledge" this month to "not attack the personal faith or religious beliefs of any candidate for office." That may be a good place to start.
No one could ever accuse Jim Wallis of pulling a punch. He's a gadfly in the best sense of the word: someone who comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. As a self-described progressive evangelical, Wallis is theologically conservative but committed to social and economic justice, issues that make him sympathetic to the progressive side of politics.
National impact [of Brian McLaren]: Starting in mid-1980s, has mentored pastors and church founders as guru of "emerging church" movement. He's among leaders of progressive wing of evangelicalism, along with Tony Campolo and Sojourners editor Jim Wallis.
Evangelicals tend to be theologically conservative. Many are also politically conservative, but not all. Some high-profile Christian evangelicals _ author Tony Campolo, Sojourners magazine founder Jim Wallis _ are liberals who usually back Democrats.
Jim Wallis in "God's Politics:" The real theological problem in America today is no longer the religious right, but the nationalist religion of the Bush administration, one that confuses the identity of the nation with the church, and God's purposes with the mission of American empire. America's foreign policy is more than pre-emptive, it is theologically presumptuous; not only unilateral, but dangerously messianic; not just arrogant, but rather bordering on the idolatrous and blasphemous.... This is a dangerous mix of bad foreign policy and bad theology.
There's been a hesitancy among Democrats to talk about that (religion). I (Rep. David Price) always quote Jim Wallis, who said, `Where would we be if Martin Luther King had kept his faith to himself?' We all need to ask ourselves that question."