Even though the full document of the Evangelical Manifesto appeared last Wednesday, I have not had a chance to read it until now. And I must say, it’s far more impressive (and longer!) than I expected. It answers the objections that many raised to the notion that to believe in a Christ who is above politics is to believe in the real Jesus and is to be a real Christian. I was fascinated by those who signed this document—folks on the far left politically and those on the far right.
I do have some problems with the Evangelical Manifesto, however. But the problems are not intellectual, nor political, nor ideological. Rather, they are problems with me. There is a strong call to community repentance here, and it begins with the framers of this document. There is a recognition that all of us who go by the name ‘Evangelical’ are in need of repentance. I felt convicted over many things.
Most importantly, there is a calling of every Evangelical to reaffirm the lordship of Jesus Christ and to live in such a way that reflects his lordship. C. S. Lewis’ biographer said that Lewis was the most thoroughly converted person he’d ever known. It has been my desire to follow in Lewis’ train, but I have failed more often than I can tell.
I am so refreshed by the Evangelical Manifesto that I decided to sign the document. I was surprised, frankly, to find only a few score of signatories thus far. One of the original signers lamented that the secular media simply are not sure what to make of this document because of its call to community repentance. It’s like they’re reading Greek. They have no category for such an idea. I have been assured that the explanation that is to follow will put things in terms that can be understood by the secular media, but the fact that the document did not yet do this fully is the reason that the news of this document has not gained much media attention.
I would like to propose that the readers of Parchment & Pen who would consider themselves to be Evangelical sign the document. We need to get thousands of signatures—tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. If you feel as I do that this document reflects your views, sign it.