Thursday, August 31, 2006

[THO] The Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future

I was one of the 300 who worked on this call to an evangelical reformation. The drafts stopped coming and I wondered if the project dried up. I was happy to discover that it had not. I think it would be useful here to explore some of what is in the call and some of the implications. My hope is that this document will not fall into the obscurity that is the 1977 Chicago Call.

Here is the link.

The Prologue

One of the hardest things to do with such a diverse group as Christians are is to come to an articulation of what is core and essential. We often start off saying that Jesus is the only core value, but as we begin to see that different parts of the Body understand even the person of Jesus in slightly different ways, then our backs go up and we begin to stake the ground a bit closer to our own particularities. This ambitious project includes some 300 reviewers from all across the spectrum of Christianity. My main concern for the prologue is that it would be concise, exciting and understandable.

Concise in that it wouldn't be bogged down with too many particularities and endless explainations, I think it accomplishes that fairly well.

Exciting in that if this is going to be effective it has to capture the imaginations of Evangelical leaders, leaders who for the most part are used to endless fads coming through the chuch. I am not looking for something exciting in that it takes on a fad status, but something so clear that it cuts through the usual BS that gets thrown around in the Evangelical church and grabs the hearts of those leaders passionate about seeing the Church become all it can be so that it can more effectively reach the lost (after all we are evangelicals being called in this document). The prologue begins with a strong statement that should capture the hearts of those who long for Holy Spirit change in their churches. But I feel the sentence is still a bit clumbsy. If they make it into the second and third paragraphs then there is enough that this should capture a range of Evangelical hearts.

Also it had to be free from jargon, jargon always makes a document harder to understand and potentially excludes those who do not use the same lingo. Part of the issue is that in order to convey what needs to be conveyed the call does use a few fairly packed terms. But I think it would be very hard to convey all that it does without these terms. It might be helpful, for the future, to have a compacted and simplified version for mass consumption. How this is framed shows that there were academics involved, I would hate for that to exclude the large segment of Evangelicalism that is still suspicious of higher learning.

The specifics are next...

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