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From Useful Idiots to Political Misfits

A new manifesto says evangelicals have been co-opted by politics; will the next generation make the same mistake?

What is an "evangelical"? According to almost 80 prominent pastors, theologians, and activists, the word "evangelical" has become "a term that, in recent years, has often been used politically, culturally, socially - and even as a marketing demographic."

The group signed and released a 19 page "Evangelical Manifesto" last week in Washington D.C. The goal of the document is to "reclaim the definition of what it means to be an Evangelical." They believe that theological, rather than political, principles should define evangelicalism, and they offer a strong rebuke to those who would equate the word with either end of the political spectrum. When evangelicalism is politically defined, they say, it makes Christians "useful idiots" for politicians and parties.

The manifesto's signers are a diverse bunch including Timothy George, dean, Beeson Divinity School; Os Guinness; Richard Mouw, president, Fuller Theological Seminary; David Neff, editor in chief of Christianity Today; and Jim Wallis, founder ...

January/February
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