Evangelicalism: What It Was, What It Is, Can It Survive?

One way to deepen our walk with Jesus is to learn about Him and His body, the Church. Starting in September, my husband, a retired pastor, will be teaching a continuing education class at Shepherd University. Here’s his class description:

I couldn’t tell you how many news articles and other publications I’ve seen in the last thirty years or so that refer to people called “evangelicals.” The problem I often see in these references is the lack of definition in the way people, especially the news media, use that word. Just what makes someone an evangelical? How does that fit in with the historical definition of the word? When and why did people who call themselves evangelicals become one of the many groups seeking to impact American politics?

We will begin our search for answers to these questions by looking at the history of evangelicalism beginning 500 years ago and continuing up to today. We will assess the relationship of evangelicalism to such hot topics as race, gender, national culture, national politics and the Christian Church in America.

A few years ago someone said the only common thread he could find among evangelicals was that they were people who liked Billy Graham. Well, I think there’s a lot more there and it would help us all if we could actually come to understand the way this group of Americans think, act and worship. The good, the bad and the less than handsome parts of this American religious phenomenon affects us all in one way or another.

If you are interested in taking this class follow the link below. It will be available on the campus, but also through Zoom.

https://www.shepherd.edu/lifelonglearning

For more about evangelicalism see:

Billy Graham on Hope

Film Review — The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel

Stott on the Christian Life by Tim Chester –Book Review

Stott on the Christian Life by Tim Chester –Book Review

When I started this book, I really knew nothing about John Stott;  by the time I finished, I had a good grasp of his life, his ministries, his preaching style (expository), his theology and view of Scripture, and along the way a better understanding of the world-wide evangelical movement.  Author Tim Chester covers a great deal of material in a clear, engaging style.  It’s not a difficult read.

I came away with admiration for Stott as a dedicated Christian who lived his faith to the fullest.  His long-time secretary said working for Stott was like driving a car with an ambulance behind you, with light flashing and siren blaring.  His sense of urgency and dedication resulted in a highly fruitful life.  He was the All Souls Church in London for many years;  he wrote books, he worked with university students, and he was actively involved in any number of networks and organizations, some within the Anglican church, others outside.

Stott considered Scripture to be the highest authority and when presented with differing interpretations, he sought balance by “double listening” —  thoughtfully taking the good points from each view.  He was an irenic personality who worked for peace and reconciliation between groups and individuals.  Although he did not discount the religious experiences of others, he believed that study of the Word was the most important factor in determining correct theology.  He was devoted to the church and saw it correctly as a disciple-making community.

Chester quotes Stott extensively, as well as other evangelicals of his era, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll wind up with a list of other books you want to read.

VERDICT:  5 Stars.  Not only enjoyable, but challenging and informative.  It’s part of a series, Theologians on the Christian Life, and so it may be interested in trying some of the other volumes.

If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:

https://www.crossway.org/books/stott-on-the-christian-life-tpb/

The Lutheran Ladies received this as a free e-book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.