01: Prism, the magazine of Evangelicals for Social Action, celebrates its 30th anniversary in its May/June issue.
The issue features a series of articles reflecting on the beginnings in the 1970s (stemming from the Chicago Declaration’s call for evangelical social involvement). and current state of the evangelical left and the general mood is downbeat. Samuel Escobar writes that as “evangelicals we have not succeeded in political action.
The exhilarating success of the Chicago declaration in 1973 was followed by the kidnapping of evangelical votes and money by fundamentalists in the Moral Majority and similar movements.”
Evangelical left pioneer Richard Pierard blames the “downfall of the liberal peace, environmental, and social-justice-oriented evangelical movement” on the conservatives’ “utilization of one social issue that could link Protestant and Catholic activists of all stripes: abortion.” A more optimistic note is struck by William Dyrness as he writes that “holistic ministries,” addressing both spiritual and social needs, are increasingly common, as are new relationships with non-Western evangelicals that have turned American evangelicals toward greater social involvement.
For more information on this issue, write: Prism, 10 E. Lancaster Avenue, Wynnewood, PA 19096; or visit ESA’s website at: http://www.esa-online.org