Evangelical Christians are among the most influential groups of activists and voters in America today. Yet, when it comes to scholarly discussion of international affairs, conservative evangelicals are astonishingly underrepresented. With the launch of Providence, the Institute on Religion & Democracy plans to fill this void by providing conservative Protestant and Evangelical perspectives on international issues.
Dangerous assumptions about a peaceful world where force of arms and strategic calculation are no longer needed pervade much of American Christianity. There has arisen a new generation of Evangelicals detached from and even embarrassed by earlier Evangelical leadership that enthusiastically supported a strong U.S. foreign and military policy.
Young Evangelicals are prone to a neo-Libertarian isolationism, pessimistic that America has any major constructive role in sustaining global order.
The young and the comfortable in today’s America too often assume their security and ease are the human historical norm. They don’t know that war, genocide, tyranny, extreme poverty, and oppression are far more common to the human experience.
Providence seeks to foster Christian conversation about our moral duties as Americans in this place and time to seek, promote, and preserve an approximate justice with liberty for as many as possible, to include above all the liberty to hear and proclaim the Gospel around the world.
Today’s Evangelical pacifists and isolationists are partly a reaction against past Evangelical and Protestant failure effectively, if at all, to articulate historic Christian ethical teaching about God’s purpose for nations and governments. Providence will strive to rectify that failure and to initiate an exciting new adventure in seeking to interpret where America fits in the divine constellation of an ever onrushing human history.
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