Don’t miss Nick Kristof’s generous tribute to John Stott in Sunday’s The New York Times. He sees Stott as a kind of kinder, gentler evangelical. Given their diametrically opposed worldviews, Kristof’s words come as a bit of a surprise (at least to me). It is not often that you hear a liberal columnist at a secular bulwark like The Times giving honor to an evangelical.
But what is perhaps even more surprising about this article is Kristof’s generous tribute to evangelicals in general (at least some of them), which he bases on interactions that he has been having with them over the last several years. He writes:
Partly because of such self-righteousness, the entire evangelical movement often has been pilloried among progressives as reactionary, myopic, anti-intellectual and, if anything, immoral.
Yet that casual dismissal is profoundly unfair of the movement as a whole. It reflects a kind of reverse intolerance, sometimes a reverse bigotry, directed at tens of millions of people who have actually become increasingly engaged in issues of global poverty and justice. . .
Evangelicals are disproportionately likely to donate 10 percent of their incomes to charities, mostly church-related. More important, go to the front lines, at home or abroad, in the battles against hunger, malaria, prison rape, obstetric fistula, human trafficking or genocide, and some of the bravest people you meet are evangelical Christians (or conservative Catholics, similar in many ways) who truly live their faith.
I’m not particularly religious myself, but I stand in awe of those I’ve seen risking their lives in this way — and it sickens me to see that faith mocked at New York cocktail parties.
Read the rest of Kristof’s article here.
John 17:22-23 “22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”