Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Evangelical Surprise - The New York Review of Books

The Evangelical Surprise - The New York Review of Books:
"... Traditionalist evangelicals, with their focus on individual salvation, see charity and evangelization as the way to change the lives of the poor. But centrist pastors, such as Rich Nathan and Joel Hunter, preach the need for social justice and have enlisted their huge congregations in anti-poverty programs for those of all faiths in cooperation with local governments. 'It's not about charity,' Nathan said. 'It's about getting to the root causes of poverty and correcting injustices, such as racial and gender discrimination.' His church, for example, supports 'fair-trade coffee'—an international program that seeks to ensure that living wages are paid to coffee growers around the world—and has a free legal clinic for those needing help with their immigrant status, domestic violence, or tenant-landlord disputes. ..."

This lengthy article does a pretty good job of shattering the myth that "evangelicals" are inextricably linked to the right wing. It also moves away from the conventional view that "evangelical" and "fundamentalist" are synonyms of each other.

I have to say that it is refreshing to see the word "evangelical" used in ways other than pejorative.


Anonymous said...

Denis, some of us evanglicals have been doing this for years!

Denis Hancock said...

I am aware of that. It's just nice to see the press recognize that fact, and also recognize the fact that we evangelicals are not monolithic.