Monday, July 9, 2007

Doing the Evangelical thing

As a part of my internship, I am attempting to submerge myself in the average "Evangelical" person's concerns. Fuller Seminary, my current host for education, is certainly a strong voice in Evangelicalism and has been for many decades. But a lot of it is heady stuff, and in my studies, I'm focusing more on historical issues related to biblical studies than on Evangelical beliefs per se. So, as I write this, I am listening to a feed of "Air 1" radio ("the positive alternative"). Good Christian music. Some of it brings me back to my youth group days (DC Talk is on right now: What if I stumble?). I have also been listening to the podcasts for this call-in radio show from the California radio station KWVE called Pastors' Perspective (with hosts Brian Brodersen and Chuck Smith), which is apparently connected with Calvary Chapel. I am about to take a look into Dobson and Focus on the Family and see if they've got much on poverty and hunger.

Something that I've observed is that as an Anabaptist Christian, I am perhaps in an advantageous position to bridge the gap between Evangelicalism and the cause of justice. Like most Evangelicals, I am concerned with the authority of the canonical text for everyday life. I am concerned with honoring the reign of God and Christ. At the same time, I do not want to forget the importance of living out our faith. How can any true Christians, Evangelical or otherwise, feel that allowing people to go hungry in this world is the right thing to do? Therefore, I would like to present the case for our more conservative brothers and sisters that they need not fear seeking justice for hungry people.

I would even say that it is more important than combating a "homosexual agenda" or speculating on the identity of the antichrist. But, hey, let's take baby steps here. First, let's acknowledge the need to do justice for the hungry.

[Qualification: Many who would call themselves Evangelicals are quite concerned with issues of justice. This I know. I am more interested in reaching out to the ones who are still a little skeptical of all things "progressive" or related to "peace and justice." In the spirit of Christian unity (a la Ephesians, for example), I want to find common ground.]

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