In a time when "liberal" vs. "conservative" has become a battleground in the culture wars, what is the impact of liberal theology? Critiquing his own evangelical heritage, Evans explores why many want to distance themselves from it, though liberalism is vital to American Christianity's future, and discusses how it might be manifested in the 21st century. 211 pages, softcover from Baylor University.
Evans (The Kingdom Is Always but Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch), a professor of church history at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, makes no pretensions about the scope of his work. This book does not include a comprehensive view or extensive history of liberal theologythat can be found elsewhere, and in much larger tomes. Instead, he sets out to reclaim and rejuvenate this misunderstood, formerly vibrant, and ostensibly weakening movement in American Christianity. To rejuvenate any school of thought, that school must be understood, and here Evans is at his finest. He begins by immediately confronting the pejorative meaning the culture wars have attached to the word liberal and follows by proposing a new foundation on which to build a more historical, rather than hyped, understanding of liberal Christianity. Finally, Evans transcends the limits of stereotypical ivory tower history by offering more than just analysis. He offers solutions. The liberal Christian movement in America is not dead, he concludes, and history shows how to prevent it from dying. Anyone interested in 20th- and 21st-century American Christianity needs to read and consider the suggestions Evans has to offer. (Feb.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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