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The New Evangelical Social Engagement$
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Brian Steensland and Philip Goff

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199329533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199329533.001.0001

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We Need a New Reformation

We Need a New Reformation

Chapter:
(p.292) 14 We Need a New Reformation
Source:
The New Evangelical Social Engagement
Author(s):

Glen Harold Stassen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199329533.003.0014

The radical message of Jesus has been thinned down to fit between the cracks of the reigning ideologies of the day. What we need is a “thicker Jesus” that provides the foundation for a new Christian reformation. The time for reformation, for a more Jesus-focused theology, is ripe. Recent scholarship, for instance, recovers Jesus’ Jewish roots, documents his alignment with the prophetic voice, and contextualizes his ministry within its proper historical circumstances. Some of today’s younger evangelicals are leading the way toward this new reformation. They represent this thicker view of Jesus through their increased emphasis on being like Jesus (“Jesus followers” instead of “Christians”), their intentional blurring of the division between sacred and secular, and the importance they place upon living in community. There are other hopeful signs within evangelicalism. Evangelicals’ focus on international human rights resonates with America’s great (and divinely given) human rights tradition. “Populist” evangelicals, the largest subset, take views consonant with consistent pro-life (seamless garment) positions—positions which, incidentally, are at odds with both political parties. Creation care evangelicals draw from properly biblical views of Christian stewardship. On the other hand, many evangelicals should be chastened by young evangelicals who distance themselves from the “evangelical” label because of its association with the religious right.

Keywords:   Evangelicals, Christian ethics, Theology, Social engagement

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