February 5, 2008
Joel Hunter's Take
Florida pastor believes early results show a shift in evangelical trends.
Northland pastor Joel Hunter believes that early results from the primaries show a redefinition of the evangelical movement. He spoke with Christianity Today from his home in Florida.
I think evangelicals care very much that while government is not the answer, it’s not the enemy anymore, and that we find a way to protect the vulnerable outside the womb as well as inside the womb. The problems are so big that they can’t be addressed by one party or one ideology, or just by part of the electorate. You really need to galvanize people that have different opinions and offer solutions that people can buy into at least partially. That’s the kind of candidate people are looking for.
I asked him how evangelicals would view John McCain as a candidate if he were to win the Republican primary.
He knows very well what audiences he needs to go to and what issues he needs to speak to, but it’s not going to be like George Bush in 2004. He’s not going to talk about a conversion experience. He can do a lot without talking explicitly about Christ per se to signal that he is open to cooperating with various faith communities. What we can look for from John McCain are some of the more compassionate stances on some of the issues towards those who are disadvantaged.
People just can’t be pinned down to their proper categories anymore. That’s probably the story that will come out of this election.