The Common Good

Christianity Today

Christianity Today Press Items
Evangelicals like Jim Wallis and Joel Hunter quickly praised the new Democratic platform on abortion a month ago, but Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput is not impressed.
Only 37 percent of Americans say the Democratic Party is friendly toward religion, compared with 40 percent who said the same in 2004. The number of evangelicals registered as Democrats rose slightly from 28 percent in 2004 to 30 percent this year. For the first time, an interfaith gathering will mark the official opening of the Democrats' convention week on Sunday. The party will also hold four forums for people of faith, two of which will be moderated by Sojourners head Jim Wallis.
"The evangelical social agenda is now much broader and deeper," asserts Jim Wallis in his new book, The Great Awakening, "engaging issues such as poverty and economic justice, global warming, hiv/aids, sex trafficking, genocide in Darfur, and the ethics of the war in Iraq."
Every evangelical leader I know—Rick Warren, Jim Dobson, Bill Hybels, Jim Wallis, and Ron Sider—all of us, right and left, in our own ways, are battling for traditional values. We're defending life, pursuing justice, and caring for the poor. Yes, we're beginning to be more involved in environmental issues, thanks to younger evangelicals reminding us that God commanded us to care for his creation. But we do all of this in God's name—which is what sets the secular media's teeth on edge.
Democrats' eagerness to actively seek out the religious vote began with John Kerry's presidential campaign, which hired a young Democrat named Mara Vanderslice to focus on religious outreach. The former intern at Jim Wallis's Sojourners organization desperately wanted to see Democrats talking with people of faith.
God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It Jim Wallis A New York Times bestselling book offering an alternative to the polarizing politics promoted by many in the religious culture wars. Wallis helps us find unity with a politics that addresses the needs of the poor and oppressed.
Other religious leaders who took part in Darfur-Olympic torch relay included the Rev. Bill Schulz, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former executive director of Amnesty International; Adam Taylor of Sojourners; and Pastor Gloria White-Hammond, co-pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Boston, Mass.
Jim Wallis laments poverty and Jim Dobson worries about homosexuality, but they combat these problems nonetheless. Theology often shapes the way Christians engage their world, but sometimes the world shapes how Christians form their theology. If the trends identified by Wehner and Levin continue, it's possible evangelicals will see another paradigm shift in their eschatology.
Reading the weekly e-zine from Sojourners/Call to Renewal, I was surprised to see an advertisement for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Readers may recognize HRC as the leading gay-rights organization, so I wondered what this group would have to say to Christians. I dutifully clicked on the ad and landed on the home for Out In Scripture, a resource website promoting a pro-gay hermeneutic.
Remember the Sojourners ad released shortly before the 2004 election, "God Is Not a Republican. Or a Democrat"? But under the line, "We are not single-issue voters," it lists a series of black-and-white questions seemingly pulled directly from John Kerry's briefing book.