The Evangelical Manifesto – pt.2 May 20, 2008Posted by Matt in god, Jesus, religion, The Evangelical Manifesto.
Tags: beliefs, Christianity, Evangelical Manifesto, god, Jesus
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Yesterday, I introduced this recently composed document for your scrutiny and today I want to begin dissecting it and hopefully gathering your ideas and opinions on its different components.
The paper identifies three major mandates for those in the American Evangelical Movement, beginning with one of definition: We must reaffirm our identity.
The writers define the term thusly: Evangelicals are Christians who define themselves, their faith, and their lives according to the Good News of Jesus of Nazareth. This definition is theological in nature, not political, social, or cultural, regardless of what many pushing certain agendas may imply. Again quoting the article: To be Evangelical, then, and to define our faith and our lives by the Good News of Jesus as taught in Scripture, is to submit our lives entirely to the lordship of Jesus and to the truths and the way of life that He requires of His followers, in order that they might become like Him, live the way He taught, and believe as He believed.
But in a world of competing ideas, including Christian ones that seem to oppose each other, how do we “believe as He believed?”
The writers have set apart seven beliefs that can be seen as foundational to the message of Jesus:
1. We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God become fully human, the unique, sure, and sufficient revelation of the very being, character, and purposes of God, beside whom there is no other god, and beside whom there is no other name by which we must be saved.
2. We believe that the only ground for our acceptance by God is what Jesus did on the cross and what he is now doing through his risen life, whereby he exposed and reversed the course of human sin and violence, bore the penalty for our sins, credited us with his righteousness, redeemed us from the power of evil, reconciled us to God, and empowers us with his life “from above.” We therefore bring nothing to our salvation. Credited with the righteousness of Christ, we receive his redemption solely by grace through faith.
3. We believe that new life, given supernaturally through spiritual regeneration, is a necessity as well as a gift; and that the lifelong conversion that results is the only pathway to a radically changed character and way of life. Thus for us, the only sufficient power for a life of Christian faithfulness and moral integrity in this world is that of Christ’s resurrection and the power of the Holy Spirit.
4. We believe that Jesus’ own teaching and his attitude toward the total truthfulness and supreme authority of the Bible, God’s inspired Word, make the Scriptures our final rule for faith and practice.
5. We believe that being disciples of Jesus means serving him as Lord in every sphere of our lives, secular as well as spiritual, public as well as private, in deeds as well as words, and in every moment of our days on earth, always reaching out as he did to those who are lost as well as to the poor, the sic, the hungry, the oppressed, the socially despised, and being faithful stewards of creation and our fellow-creatures.
6. We believe that the blessed hope of the personal return of Jesus provides both strength and substance to what we are doing, just as what we are doing becomes a sign of the hope of where we are going; both together leading to a consummation of history and the fulfillment of an undying kingdom that comes only by the power of God.
7. We believe all followers of Christ are called to know and love Christ through worship, love Christ’s family through fellowship, grow like Christ through discipleship, serve Christ by ministering to the needs of others in his name, and share Christ with those who do not yet know him, inviting people to the ends of the earth and to the end of time to join us as his disciples and followers of his way.
So, do you think this defines what it means to be Evangelical? Next we will look at the implications, as given by the authors, of these core beliefs. In the meantime, though, what do you think?
The Evangelical Manifesto May 19, 2008Posted by Matt in god, Jesus, The Evangelical Manifesto.
Tags: Christianity, Evangelical Manifesto, god, Jesus
1 comment so far
Have you read the recently written Evangelical Manifesto yet? The document was put together by several renowned figures in the Christian community, including Os Guinness, David Neff (Christianity Today), Dallas Willard, and several others. It has the support of several others in the community, including author Jim Wallis.
It is pretty long (20 pages or so), but I’d like to take some time to work through it on here over the next few days. Read it and let me know what strikes you.