His answer came without hesitation.
Before we go there, Tom is something of an expert on Evangelicalism. He, himself is not a church goer nor a “Christian.” He calls himself a “secular progressive.” He does have a profound respect for Jesus but finds the supernatural stories dubious.
Tomwrites regular columns for USA Today often on Evangelical themes. He has personally interviewed numerous church leaders. He has also published two books based on his research of the Evangelical Church: Onward Christian Athletes and The Evangelicals You Don’t Know (A book for the progressive world about many of the lovely things happening in Evangelicalism.)
All that to say, Tom has the right to comment on these issues.
So, when he says that evangelicals need to look past politics as the only or primary platform of public influence, we need to listen to him. You may not think that evangelicals are fixated on politics, but your opinion is not the point.
Tom lives in on the other side of the cultural map. He does not live in a happy little church-going bubble. His shelves are not full of books only written by people who agree with him. Tom’s coffee table is not covered with only magazines with evangelical missions. Tom’s music library is not full of songs that echo his spiritual beliefs.
And from where he stands, it seems like we evangelicals are fixated on politics.
Are we fixated? Not exclusively, for sure. But for many in this country we have convinced them that we are. This is a point that needs to be taken into account.
Here is the other secret. Tom actually thinks Evangelicals are a force for good in this country. He is our cheerleader… Believe it or not. So when he gives us a little advice, he speaks as our friend.