Meet Ted Haggard the NAE's optimistic champion of ecumenical evangelism and free-market faith.
Christianity Today puts an adoring spotlight on Ted Haggard, President of the National Association of Evangelicals. Bill Clinton is an Evangelical, Haggard says. Jimmy Carter is an Evangelical. Hillary Clinton, he says, is not. Want to place a small wager on this one?
Anyway, it is supposedly Evangelicalism’s finest hour. Indeed it is time to grasp the widespread public acceptance and socio-politico-econmic opportunities within our reach. This is what the sociologist Alan Wolfe calls the “opening of the evangelical mind,” a cultural renaissance among conservative Christians. Though their parents may have taught them to take refuge in a parallel Christian subculture, the stuff these people found in Christian bookstores bored and embarrassed them. Now, life is good! Really good! Just ask Ted as he sits in his penthouse office suite that looks out on the awesome Rocky Mountains.
Meanwhile, the persecuted church around the world is hunted like vermin. Christian schoolgirls are beheaded in Indonesia just for being Christians and Ake Green waits in Sweden to go to trial in front of the Swedish Supreme Court this week for preaching the Scriptures in his small village church. And Once again we see an attack by Islamists, justified with faith language killing 57 and wounding more than 100 innocent people.
Acording to Ingrid Schlueter at Slice of Laodicea, none of this seems to register in Ted Haggard's Rocky Mountain Xanadu.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery...
Harper's Magazine's piece on Ted Haggard, Soldiers of Christ is available online.
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Paul Nussbaum article on Haggard is also available online.
Haggard's website has more info on his books, beliefs, and biography.
New Life Church offers mp3 sermons and more information for visitors.
The NAE website has more information about the organization, it's government affairs office, and other news.
The Association of Life-Giving Churches, New Life's church network, has the goal of seeing "churches, no matter their denomination, age or style of worship, promote and facilitate freedom of operation for the Holy Spirit."
CT interviewed Haggard after his election as president of NAE: Ted Haggard: 'This Is Evangelicalism's Finest Hour' The new president of the National Association of Evangelicals talks about the current state and future goals of the association and evangelicalism. (June 3, 2003)