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 IssueTim Keller on Enduring Suffering Without Losing Hope
Subscriber Access Only Tim Keller on Enduring Suffering Without Losing Hope
Why Christianity has the best answer to the pain that life brings.
RecommendedRussia: The Other Christian Nation
Russia: The Other Christian Nation
A cozy relationship between church and state has lasting implications.
TrendingDied: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Jerry B. Jenkins: 'Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul.'
Editor's PickThe Real Cost (and Power) of Seeking Justice
The Real Cost (and Power) of Seeking Justice
The murder of Willie Kimani can rally the global Body of Christ for an end to impunity.
%%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.