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Progressive Evangelicals and the Pursuit of Social Justice$
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Brantley W. Gasaway

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469617725

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469617725.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Progressive Evangelicals and the Pursuit of Social Justice

Brantley W. Gasaway

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents an overview of the progressive evangelical movement as an alternative to both the Religious Right and the political left from the 1970s into the twenty-first century. It examines the contributions of the three most prominent progressive evangelical voices over the past four decades: Sojourners, Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), and The Other Side. As evangelicals, the leaders of Sojourners, ESA, and The Other Side affirmed a core set of definingtheological principles—the primacy of biblical authority, the need for personal conversion and faith in Jesus's atoning work, and a dedication to evangelistic and humanitarian efforts. Throughout their movement's history, progressive leaders' consistent appeals to biblical interpretations as the foundation for their political activism reflected evangelicals' hallmark commitment to the primary authority of the Bible.

Keywords:   biblical authority, political conservatism, Religious Right, Sojourners, ESA, The Other Side, progressive evangelism

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