The group behind the Evangelical Manifesto is carefully managing its splash in the news and The Lead is playing along. Up until 9am this morning this is all their website said:
the official web site of
"An Evangelical Manifesto
A Declaration of Evangelical Identity
and Public Commitment"
** This web site will be actived at 9:00 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, May 7th. **
The time has now arrived.
An Evangelical Manifesto is an open declaration of who Evangelicals are and what they stand for. It has been drafted and published by a representative group of Evangelical leaders who do not claim to speak for all Evangelicals, but who invite all other Evangelicals to stand with them and help clarify what Evangelical means in light of “confusions within and the consternation without” the movement. As the Manifesto states, the signers are not out to attack or exclude anyone, but to rally and to call for reform.
As an open declaration, An Evangelical Manifesto addresses not only Evangelicals and other Christians but other American citizens and people of all other faiths in America, including those who say they have no faith. It therefore stands as an example of how different faith communities may address each other in public life, without any compromise of their own faith but with a clear commitment to the common good of the societies in which we all live together.
For those who are Evangelicals, the deepest purpose of the Manifesto is a serious call to reform—an urgent challenge to reaffirm Evangelical identity, to reform Evangelical behavior, to reposition Evangelicals in public life, and so rededicate ourselves to the high calling of being Evangelical followers of Jesus Christ.
A press conference is running live in video (from 9:30 AM) here. [Links to the transcript and stored video will be placed in this post once they become available.]
Read the manifesto (20 page, PDF format).
Here is the list of "Charter Signatories". Update - Ethics Daily concludes "several signers of the declaration should confess their own involvement in political activity they now condemn." See also this comment on the chief drafter of the Manifesto.
The Lead will have a roundup of reactions later in the day.
See The Lead's earlier story on the Evangelical Manifesto here.
This may be a key paragraph in the manifesto:
We call for an expansion of our concern beyond single-issue politics, such as abortion and marriage, and a fuller recognition of the comprehensive causes and concerns of the Gospel, and of all the human issues that must be engaged in public life. Although we cannot back away from our biblically rooted commitment to the sanctity of every human life, including those unborn, nor can we deny the holiness of marriage as instituted by God between one man and one woman, we must follow the model of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, engaging the global giants of conflict, racism, corruption, poverty, pandemic diseases, illiteracy, ignorance, and spiritual emptiness, by promoting reconciliation, encouraging ethical servant leadership, assisting the poor, caring for the sick, and educating the next generation.