Jonathan Merritt gets it right, and there’s more …
I hope that Evangelicals will not just be content to rethink the discredited Religious-Right tactics of recent decades – tactics which have brought them some questionable political gains but at the cost of huge losses in influence, mission, integrity, and identity.
I hope that Evangelicals will seize this moment to go deeper, to seek new, deeper, and differing understandings … in regards to science, in regards to immigration, in regards to Israel and Palestine, in regards to the environment, in regards to American exceptionalism, in regards to the treatment of LGBT people among and around them, in regards to nuclear weapons, in regards to torture, etc.
If the hegemony of the hard right is broken among Evangelicals, who will arise to articulate a better vision and identity among them? The moderates would be a natural choice. But they have been shockingly silent over recent years and thus have, by their silence, been complicit in the “Evangelical disaster.” That’s why I believe this is the time for courageous new voices to speak out among Evangelicals – demonstrating the courage to differ graciously and propose a different way into the future. I hope that more and more Evangelicals will turn in new directions, as Merritt suggests. Now is the time for Evangelicals listen to alternative voices – a good start would be the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.