Promiscuity is genetic," exclaimed the Anglican bishop of Edinburgh on British television. The bbc immediately contacted Clive Calver, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, for an evangelical response. Calver was clear and direct: "Perhaps there is also a rape gene and a murder gene. What are the societal consequences of such an unfounded claim? The Bible teaches that God has given us moral choice and we are responsible for our behavior."
As he told me this story in his office, Calver sat forward suddenly, his dark eyes flashing. "We have to address an enormous range of issues, from euthanasia and the global arms trade to miracles and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There has been a remarkable increase of interest in evangelical opinion in Britain in the last few years. This growing demand is, frankly, taxing me and the resources of the Evangelical Alliance to the absolute limits!"
The demands on the alliance will very likely increase in the coming years. How the ea is already handling these demands is instructive to American evangelicals.
Evangelicals with a difference
Like our British counterparts, American Christians want to influence our society. But in the United States, unlike Britain, an increasingly inflamed culture war is dividing both church and society. The church in America is often much more seriously divided by politics than theology.
One cannot be considered an evangelical Christian in many circles within the U.S. if one is not a conservative Republican. Nowhere else in the English-speaking West—Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada—does one have to be the equivalent of a conservative Republican to be considered a born-again Christian. This is a uniquely American phenomenon. When ...1