Guest / Limited Access /
The Foreign Policy Mission of American Evangelicals
Courtesy of Mark Amstutz

The American public often associates evangelicals with domestic political fights over abortion and same-sex marriage. But historically, they have been no less active in shaping events on distant shores. In Evangelicals and American Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press), Mark R. Amstutz, a political scientist at Wheaton College, analyzes evangelicals' long-standing engagement on global poverty, human trafficking, international religious freedom, and Israeli statehood. CT senior editor for global journalism Timothy C. Morgan spoke with Amstutz about the motivating factors behind evangelicals' engagement in foreign affairs.

What have you discovered about evangelical global engagement?

Churches, nongovernmental organizations, lay leaders, and missionaries have played an important part in the United States' role in the world. Beyond preaching the Good News, missionaries built schools, established clinics, and learned about the world. They were really the first internationalists for the United States. Diplomats like Benjamin Franklin and John Adams went abroad, but it was really evangelicals—orthodox missionaries—who started it.

In the post–World War II era, we've seen a significant rise in missions-related organizations, groups like World Vision or, in the field of microenterprise, Opportunity International. Humanitarianism has been a very important component of evangelical action in foreign lands.

What this shows is that evangelism abroad hasn't always been propositional. Evangelical diplomats, businessmen, and physicians want to share the Good
News in places where missionaries aren't allowed, but the sharing of that Good News takes subtle forms.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueThe Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries
Subscriber Access Only The Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries
They didn’t set out to change history. But one modern scholar’s research shows they did just that.
RecommendedMormons and Christians: So Close, Yet So Far Away
Mormons and Christians: So Close, Yet So Far Away
What should we make of claims that the two faiths are on a path to reconciling?
TrendingOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Editor's PickEvangelicals' Favorite Heresies Revisited by Researchers
Evangelicals' Favorite Heresies Revisited by Researchers
Second study examines what Americans believe about 47 theological statements.
%%var.bookTitle%%
Evangelicals and American Foreign Policy
Oxford University Press
2013-10-02
272 pp., $31.95
Buy %%var.bookTitle%% from Amazon
Christianity Today
The Foreign Policy Mission of American Evangelicals
hide thisJanuary/February January/February

In the Magazine

January/February 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.