'The Three Most Important Issues'?: What the Manhattan Declaration Gets Wrong

By Brian McLaren 11-25-2009

As I said in my previous post, I can find things to applaud in the recent Manhattan Declaration along with things to dispute. But I don't think Chuck Colson got it quite right when he spoke about the statement to the New York Times: "We argue that there is a hierarchy of issues. A lot of younger evangelicals say they're all alike. We're hoping to educate them that these are the three most important issues."

His statement deserves at least two responses. First, our failure to join in their project is not due to a lack of attempts to "educate" us via long but well-written arguments and declarations. In fact, a little more respectful listening and a little less arguing, educating, and declaring might have been good for all parties. Second, I've never once heard a single "younger evangelical" say all issues are alike. We would agree that there is a hierarchy of issues. The difference lies in what goes near the top of our lists. For example, Jonathan Merritt points to "anti-life atrocities" like these:

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