The Wall Street Journal has an insightful piece on "Evangelical Manifesto" here .
As you read through the list of pastors, seminary professors, and scholars involved in this "manifesto" one must sincerely ask, "Do they not have anything else to do with their time?"
No mature Christian quite understands the reason for the "manifesto" or to whom it was written. It remains a mystery as to why it was written. Still, the "evangelical manifesto" was compiled recently with the seemingly attempt of "saving face" to the world (as if we are commanded to make the world understand us as "evangelicals" or like us, for that matter, as "soldiers" of the cross, "dying daily" for Jesus. This biblical language is not en vogue enough for the current emergence of postmodern Christianity, so no wonder the Bible seems no longer sufficient for training and knowledge of "every good thing" as it promises. Hence, "manifestos" are written).
I cannot recommend reading the "manifesto", as I cannot find one reason why anyone should! Perhaps if someone is a friend or relative to one of the writers it might be interesting from a standpoint of vocabulary or creativity (after all, we are re-defining Christianity here)! Maybe it was written to be shared amongst those who wrote it.
No one knows quite why it was written. One thing is for certain, the world does not care about the lengthy piece of work, and neither does the average Christian. As a matter of fact, the more a Christian loves the Bible and clings to it as Truth, and the more a Christian walks with Jesus on the road of the Cross, the less the manifesto will have any bearing whatsoever in his or her life.
Perhaps it gave the authors something to do for a while in between conferences where they mingled to be better known amongst themselves. I really have no idea why this was written. We are told it come "from Washington"! Sounds official. Yet, it is very silly compared to the Bible.
Some have suggested that the motive was to blend Protestants with Catholics. Perhaps it is for newly saved pastors or pastors wishing to be popular, striving for large congregations within "seeker friendly" movements, "contemplative prayer" arenas, "emergent church" venues, or "missional" social gospel paradigms.
From Berit Kjos at www.crossroad.to :
Here is a summary of the just-released Evangelical Manifesto. Since Os Guinness leads this movement, it’s not surprising it includes Communitarian social values and standards. Here "common good" and collective values supersede Biblical guidelines and personal convictions. We hope to post an evaluation of both the Manifesto and its lengthy study guide soon.
The Changing Church. Thoughts on the Evangelical Manifesto: "Yesterday a document was released at the National Press Club entitled An Evangelical Manifesto: A Declaration of Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment, spearheaded by Os Guinness and signed by over 80 evangelical leaders."
The Changing Church. An Evangelical Manifesto – Introduction: "As the Manifesto states, the signers are not out to attack or exclude anyone, but to rally and to call for reform…. [It] 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."
But who determines what is "the common good?"
Compare and Contrast the Evangelical Manifesto with the The Values and Practices of the Emergent Village
The "manifesto" has a contemplative emphesis:
Well, my "manifesto" is still THE BIBLE, and that is the best "manifesto" for me. I certainly do not intent to sign a man-made document such as this latest hype intruding on "Christianity", confusing what it means to follow Jesus and a life hidden with Christ in God with a document written for the world’s approval "from Washington."
"I will bless the Lord who has counseled me…I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely." Psalm 16
"As for God, His way is blameless; the Word of the Lord is tried. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God but the Lord? And who is a rock except our God? The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? And makes my feet like hinds feet and sets me upon my high places.." Psalm 18:30-33
With a God like that and His living Word who needs a man-made manifesto?