Evangelical

Evangelical

Two people with unique perspectives both discovered ecumenism — the movement to reconcile Christian churches — during the Civil Rights era. They'll describe what they've learned about grappling with vexing clashes of difference, and why reconciliation among different Christians still matters in a multi-religious, post-Katrina world.

A passionate discussion is unfolding in public and in private among Evangelical leaders and communities. Should Christians be involved in politics and if so, how? What has gone wrong, and what has been learned from the Moral Majority up until now. In this live public conversation, Krista probes these ideas with three formative Evangelicals.

Environmentalism and climate change are hot topics; yet they're still often imagined as the territory of scientists, expert activists, and those who can afford to be environmentally conscious. We discover two people who are transforming the ecology of their immediate worlds in Dunn, Wisconsin and New York's South Bronx.

The theory of the "God gap"—often broadly suggesting that religious Americans are conservative and will vote Republican while non-religious Americans are liberal and will vote Democratic—has been prominent in press reporting and political maneuvering in the 2004 presidential race. At their recent conventions, both parties seemed to grapple with faith dynamics and respond to the perceived God gap in interesting, unexpected ways.

Krista speaks with Steven Waldman, who covered the 2004 Democratic and Republican conventions for religious messages, images, and language. He says that, strictly speaking, the God gap is a myth. We'll look beyond the headlines about the political gulf that reportedly separates religious and secular Americans.

"I think the downtown artistic community is realizing we don’t really have the option of dismissing [evangelical Christianity] anymore. This is a force in our world."

The first entry I wrote for SOF Observed (which was never published as it was part of a blogging trial) was about the fallen Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard. More than two years ago, news had broken about his then-alleged homosexual entanglement and solicitation of crystal meth. The e-mails were making rounds among the SOF staff.

Claiborne looks to the words of Jesus as an opportunity to hear them anew.

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