Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Progressive evangelicals can't tout social justice while side-stepping the sanctity of life."

Dan Darling and Andrew Walker:
As evangelicals who came of age during the culture wars, we're part of a generation ready to move past the pitched left-right debates. The critiques of Christian political activism have held some merit: A hyper-focus on elections, voter guides, and strategy has often buried the gospel story. Sometimes following Christ has strangely looked like following an elephant or a donkey. 
We need the hope, optimism, willingness of new generation of evangelicals to get dirty serving the poor, fighting for justice, and eschewing party labels. Their wide-eyed engagement has awakened new interest in bipartisan horrors such as human trafficking, environmental degradation, the orphan crisis, and child poverty in underdeveloped nations.
And yet, in our rush to justice, we cannot forget the prophet Micah's haunting words: 
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8, ESV) 
These words motivate our desire as God's kingdom people, to pursue justice where we can and pray for it where we cannot. But what about causes that push against the culture? Surely God's intention for his church didn't simply include only a portfolio of chic causes. 
And that leads us to the pro-life movement, dating back to the 1970s. Being pro-life was missional, incarnational, and radical way before those terms became evangelical buzzwords. And yet, caring for and advocating on behalf of the unborn remains controversial. 
Thankfully, its controversial status may be a thing of the past if trend lines continue. Younger generations are markedly more pro-life than their parents. We're observing a rising generation of pro-life Americans, many of whom (though not all) identify as Christian. 
But sadly, among progressive evangelicals, there's a reflexive hesitancy to tout or raise the banner of human life as a preeminent justice issue. 
Read the rest.  


Robb said...

There are progressives who are vocally pro-life:

Robb said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vitamin Z said...

Wouldn't you say that this is the exception though?

Robb said...

My first comment had some bad HTML. The second one that got deleted had all the links I intended:

In response to your question, I would say that the progressive evangelicals are so few they are almost non-existent (there are literally dozens of us—dozens!). It's a lot more common to be conservative evangelical or progressive non-evangelical, so in that sense progressive evangelicals are very much the exception.

Vitamin Z said...

How would you define this minority group?

Robb said...

With regard to sanctity of life issues progressive evangelicals would probably mostly agree with the consistent life ethic.