Sunday, October 7, 2007

Revolution in Jesusland

Now this is fascinating--there is a new blog, Revolution in Jesusland, that aims to educate secular progressives about what is happening in the Evangelical community. It is the thesis of the blog that there is room for alliance on many issues between Evangelicals and progressives, and at the very least secular progressives need to pay attention to what is occuring in the Evangelical community.

Here is the blogs's explanation:

This blog is a plea to the progressive movement, to take another look and get to know the diverse and complex world of evangelical Christianity in its own terms. Here you’ll find interviews, commentary, analysis and other dispatches from all over “Jesusland.” This tour will explore everything from the workings of the local church, to the evangelicals’ vibrant, decentralized national leadership training infrastructure to theological questions such as, “How in the world DO they read the Bible literally?” and “Do they really think I’m going to hell?”

There are two really big reasons to come along on this tour:

First, progressives will never achieve their goals as long as they are hostile toward and ignorant about the faith of 100 million of their own people who are born again Christians.

Second (and we know how difficult this is to believe) there is an incredibly large and beautiful social movement exploding among evangelicals right now that stands for nearly all of the same causes and goals that secular progressives do. Those goals include: eliminating poverty, saving the environment, promoting justice and equality along racial, gender and class lines and for immigrants—and even separation of church and state.

By learning to work together with “progressive” evangelicals, secular progressives will stand a better chance of achieving their goals and also learn an enormous amount from these remarkable people and their organizations that will help secular progressives strengthen their own movement.

This evangelical “revolution,” as one Christian pollster has labeled it, is unquestionably the fastest growing and most surprising of American social movements today. Whichever way you measure, it probably dwarfs the secular left. From mega churches to tiny country churches, evangelical Christians are rediscovering the “gospel of the God of the oppressed.” Perhaps the most surprising among these are the suburban, white evangelicals who are stepping outside of their comfort zones to “get into relationship” with the poor, the oppressed, the homeless, prisoners—the people of whom Jesus said,

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me….Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. —Matthew 25

They are building houses for and teaching job skills to homeless people, they are creating tutoring programs for kids in failing schools, they’re paying health care bills and sending off rent checks for people living on poverty wages—and there’s even a movement afoot among these people to move their young families out of wealthy suburbs and into forsaken inner city neighborhoods, putting their kids into broken and often violent public schools. And in their Sunday services and Bible studies they are questioning the very foundations of modern American capitalist ideology.

On this blog we will attempt over time to provide evidence, and to explain the inner logic of this culture’s narratives, theologies and passions, and to flesh out the larger context of this movement that is shaking up nearly every American community and producing so many exceptional leaders.

So—welcome to Jesusland. We hope you enjoy the tour.


Read it all here.

Many readers of this blog are quite surpised that A Guy in the Pew, a progessive/liberal Episcopalian who supports GLBT rights (and did so as an elected offical over a decade ago) would write so positively about Evangelicals--it sounds like this blog is making my case.

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