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Dockery, Thornbury, Mitchell sign Manhattan Declaration

JACKSON, Tenn.Nov. 20, 2009 – Union University President David S. Dockery and two others from Union are among a group of 125 prominent evangelicals, Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians who have signed the Manhattan Declaration, a document addressing key issues of human life, marriage and religious liberty.

Gregory A. Thornbury, dean of the School of Christian Studies, and C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philsophy, also signed the document.

The Manhattan Declaration was drafted by Charles Colson, founder of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview; Robert George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University; and Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University.

The 4,700-word declaration, signed by more than 125 leaders from the United States and around the world, is intended to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, such as the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of a husband and wife and the rights of conscience and religious liberty. It was unveiled at a press conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 20.

“We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right – and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation – to speak and act in defense of these truths,” the document reads. “We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.”

Dockery said the Manhattan Declaration is “a clarion call for Christians of every tradition to stand together in biblical faithfulness for foundational matters of society and culture like commitments to life, marriage and family.”

“The wide ranging support for the document, which includes not only leaders from the various streams of evangelical life but our Orthodox, Anglican and Roman Catholic friends as well, from this country and around the world, underscores the importance of this statement,” Dockery said. “I pray that God will use this declaration among leaders and laity in churches, the academy and parachurch organizations to join hands together for the sake of the kingdom of God.”

Notable signers of the document include Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Roman Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, Orthodox pastor Patrick Reardon, as well as evangelical leaders such as J.I. Packer, Tim Keller, Bryan Chapell, David Neff, Jeannette Hsieh, Rod Sider and Duane Litfin.

Southern Baptists signing the document include Danny Akin, Jack Graham, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Russell Moore, Robert Sloan and Richard Land.

The entire document is available at www.manhattandeclaration.org.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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