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Balanced Evangelicals?

So often Evangelicals have been stereotyped as people who are only against things. Here is a vision for much greater Christian involvement in society.

This week I find myself in Washington, DC for the board meeting of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). During my brief visit to the US capital, I was invited to attend a special luncheon for the launch of a new book, Toward an Evangelical Public Policy, edited by Ron Sider (a transplanted Canadian) and Diane Knippers. This book is an expansion of a significant document recently released by the NAE, called For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility.

I applaud our American Evangelical colleagues for this bold vision …

Along with denominational, national ministry leaders and media representatives meeting in the historic Hart Senate building, I listened to comments by Evangelical leaders and politicians.

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the breadth of participation by the presenters. They represented both the width and depth of the Evangelical movement as well as both US political parties. Here is a list of the participants.

Rev. Richard Cizik, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, NAE

Diane Knippers, President, Institute on Religion and Democracy

Ron Sider, President, Evangelicals for Social Action

David Neff, Editor, Christianity Today

Mark Noll, Maguire Fellow in American History and Ethics, Library of Congress

The Honorable Sam Brownback, Senator from Kansas (Republican)

The Honorable Joseph Lieberman, Senator from Connecticut (Democrat)

Bishop Harry Jackson, High Impact Leadership Institute

Joe Loconte, Fellow in Religion and a Free Society, Heritage Foundation

Barbara Williams-Skinner, President, Skinner Leadership Institute

Ted Haggard, President, NAE

More importantly, the book and the NAE document outline a broader base for public engagement. So often Evangelicals have been stereotyped as people who are only against things—same sex marriage, abortion, etc. However, these new resources, outline a much greater vision of Christian involvement in society including: poverty, human rights, HIV/AIDS and justice.

Many of the media representatives participating in this event seemed quite surprised by this holistic, non-partisan approach being presented by Evangelical leaders. From my perspective this is good news.

I applaud our American Evangelical colleagues for this bold vision they are casting for their fellow believers. May their tribe increase not only in the US but in Canada and other parts of the world.

However, in releasing these kinds of prophetic documents, there is an inherent challenge. Will they simply be words on a page, or will this vision be embraced and embodied by followers of Jesus Christ? If we choose to live out this holistic message, nations, including our own, will be profoundly impacted by the kingdom of God.


Here are some more documents that outline a broad-based Christian view of engaging the world.

Micah Declaration on Integral Mission

Micah Challenge

Lausanne Covenant

Geoff Tunnicliffe is the director of Global Initiatives with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.




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