Evangelicals and Social Reform

I have been impressed lately by the fact that evangelicals have been returning a bit to their nineteenth-century roots. No longer is the Christian Right defining what counts as meaningful social reform.

The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has, for the last several years, called the nation’s attention to evangelical efforts at fighting poverty, AIDS, sex-trafficking, malaria, and genocide around the globe. This past January Richard Cizik and David Gushee founded the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a faith-based non-profit for evangelical social engagement. Earlier month, a group of evangelicals–some of them from rather conservative institutions–called for immigration reform that, according to this CNN article, “includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.” And now a group of evangelicals are calling for prison reforms that will protect prisoners from violence and rape.

This reminds me of a post I did back in January on the 1873 meeting of the General Conference of the Evangelical Alliance, a group of evangelicals from around the world who met to discuss a host of social issues, including cruelty to animals!