I just got back from a local KPCC/NPR taping of the show Airtalk at Fuller Seminary. This episode was on the intersection of evangelicals and politics. It airs tomorrow at 10am (you can listen live) and should be available to listen to on the internet some time after that as well.
It was so good. I highly recommend you listen to it. (Go to Fridays show.)
Some things that stuck out to me:
Dr. Mouw is a useful tool for understanding the history of evangelicals.
It is a big jump from “God says help the poor” (which he does) to “it looks like this philosophically and politically”, either right wing economic stimulants or left wing socialistic responses.
The evangelical community has jumped from one extreme to another. First it was “this place is not my home” (i.e. don’t be involved in politics) to “we are a Christian nation” (i.e. we want it all) In a pluralistic society, neither of these extremes are realistic. We need to learn to compromise, not on what we believe, but on what a workable living arrangement is with our neighbors with whom we fundamentally disagree.
How do we take back the name “evangelical”. Both we as a whole, and the media have caused it to mean, “politically conservative red state dweller, who has simply proof-text the Republican platform.” In reality, many evangelicals varyingly support and disavow different aspects of both parties.
Though I'm at Fuller, don't assume that I am autimatically in league with everything our president Dr. Mouw says on the show. It varries from issue to issue.