When you hear the term Evangelical, what comes to mind? For many people, when they hear the term evangelical they automatically think "Christians who hate people". Other things that come to mind when people hear Evangelical are things like Republican, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay, Pro-Military, and a host of other things that, unfortunately, look nothing like Jesus. Whether these views are accurate or not of Evangelicals, there is enough truth to these statements that make it plausible for people to hold these views. But there is a new evangelical movement afoot that is seeking to love the world, engage the culture, and be a blessing. I recently received the book "The Evangelicals You Don't Know" by Tom Krattenmaker through the SpeakEasy Blog program, in which the author investigates these new evangelicals and how they are seeking to define what it means to be an Evangelical in the world today, and to look more like Jesus.
In ten chapters Krattenmaker covers hot button issues like homosexuality, evangelism, abortion, America as "Christian" nation, withdrawing from culture, and the connection between evangelicals and the Republican party. In these ten chapters he introduces us to people, who he calls new evangelicals, who are breaking the mold of evangelical while still being an evangelical People like Gabe Lyons, Shane Claiborne, Greg Boyd, Donald Miller, David Kinneman, and Kevin Palau. He tells stories of how these new evangelicals are engaging the culture and being faithful to Jesus.
Probably my favorite part of the entire book came right at the beginning when the author introduces us to Season of Service, which happened in Portland, when thousands of churches came together to serve the city of Portland, giving 100,000 dollars to the city, and working with, the then, openly gay mayor of the city. I loved hearing the boundary breaking work that was being done in Portland, and seeing followers of Jesus loving, serving, and seeking the peace of the city of Portland.
So whatever you think of Evangelicals. Whatever words come to mind when you hear the term of Evangelical. Maybe you are an evangelical and are looking for a new way to be evangelical. Whatever your understandings, feelings, or position on evangelicals are, I would highly recommend reading "Evangelicals that you don't know." And being introduced some evangelicals who are doing some amazing work for the Kingdom.