Three Marks of Progressive-Lite Evangelicals

We live in contentious times. With virtually every major event or story comes a flood of news reports from both major news outlets and a seemingly endless array of bloggers and podcasters, and these reports demonstrate the sharp ideological differences between various segments of our Western population. It can be difficult for Christians to find trustworthy voices that both report the facts and give sound, biblical insight into current events.

In the midst of this clamor, one group of evangelical cultural commentators has branded itself as the most “nuanced” and “balanced” segment of the Church when it comes to hot-button issues. They continually decry partisanship, calling for both sides of the political aisle to work together and for Christians to be a winsome presence to their surrounding culture. On the surface, this sounds quite laudable. Over time, however, it has become apparent that their version of “balanced” and “nuanced” reporting is consistently slanted in one direction—that is, to the political and cultural Left.

What makes this group difficult to identify is that they often don’t explicitly affirm many of the standard “progressive” or “liberal” dogmas. Because of this, they don’t completely fit within the parameters of what is traditionally labeled “progressive evangelicalism.” Some of them even have a reputation for being “moderate conservatives.” However, I contend that the label of “progressive-lite” is appropriate for this group. Rather than openly subscribing to a full-blown progressive ideology, their public output is characterized by a pattern or disposition that consistently marches to the drumbeat of the Left to the detriment of Christians on the Right.

This leftward slant is evidenced in at least three ways:

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