Thursday, May 8, 2008

Defining Faith Positively

I have a pet peeve against things that define themselves or other things by what they are not.  It used to be a somewhat popular writing style to begin with "3(5, 7, 10) things that _____ is not" and taking forever to get to what actually needed to be said.  I understand the need for exacting and explaining things, but in my mind it does injustice to define anything, especially personal faith by what it is not.

St. Paul's words to the Corinthian Christians model a more appropriate attitude of how people of faith tell others who they are:

 1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[a] 2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.  NIV 2:1-3

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An Evangelical Manifesto

A group of leaders within the Evangelical movement released an Evangelical Manifesto today, declaring and defining to the world who Evangelicals are.  A friend of mine commented that its funny that "the humanists only took like 5 years to write a manifesto while Evangelicals waited 70."  

It is an interesting read.  My observation is that the explanations given define better what the people in the movement are not than what they are.  

I am glad that this document was written and hopefully it will help in providing some sense of clarity, especially for the popular media.  

I will not be signing the document, but there are some very impressive statements.  I am particularly enthused about this statement about Evangelicals and politics:

"Called to an allegiance higher than party, ideology, economic system, and 

nationality, we Evangelicals see it our duty to engage with politics, but our equal duty 

never to be completely equated with any party, partisan ideology, or nationality.  The 

politicization of faith is never a sign of strength but of weakness."