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Manhattan Declaration

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Definition:   A manifesto that calls Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical Christians to speak and act to defend the sanctity of life, the dignity of traditional marriage, and freedom of religion.  This defense is tied to the duty of all Christians to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in “all its fullness.” The Declaration was written in the fall of 2009 by Robert George (a Catholic), Timothy George (an evangelical seminary president), and Chuck Colson (founder of the “Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT)” movement). The Declaration has been signed by about 500,000 people, including many prominent Evangelicals, by mid-2010.

DiscussionThis document is another attempt to promote cultural change at the expense of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It aligns parties who clearly disagree as to the doctrine of justification, pretending that they are unified. It is devious in that it preys on the valid concerns of Christians while compromising the only true means of societal change – the proclamation of salvation to sinners apart from the works of the law that is received by faith alone. The term “gospel in all its fullness” can be seen as a Roman Catholic concern that all “separated brethren” return to the mother Church where such fullness can be found in the sacraments and the papacy.  Blurring the distinction as to who is a Christian, this document effectively discourages evangelism of lost Catholics.

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