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Publication Date: 2011
Series: Counterpoints: Bible and Theology
Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism compares and contrasts four distinct positions on the current fundamentalist-evangelical spectrum in light of the history of American fundamentalism and evangelicalism. The contributors each state their case for one of four views on the spectrum of evangelicalism: -Kevin T. Bauder: Fundamentalism -R. Albert Mohler Jr.: Conservative/confessional evangelicalism -John G. Stackhouse Jr.: Generic evangelicalism -Roger E. Olson: Postconservative evangelicalism Each author explains his position, which is critiqued by the other three authors. The interactive and fair-minded nature of the Counterpoints format allows the reader to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed, personal conclusions. The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Bible & Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.
Kevin T. Bauder (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is past president of and current research professor of systematic and historical theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Minneapolis. He is a general editor of One Bible Only? Examining Exclusive Claims for the King James Bible.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He holds a B.A. from Samford University, M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary, and is the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary. Dr. Mohler hosts two programs: "The Briefing" and "Thinking in Public." He is the author of many books, including He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World, The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters, and We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong. He lives in Louisville, KY, with his wife Mary. They are parents to Katie and Christopher, and grandparents to Benjamin.
John G. Stackhouse Jr. (PhD, University of Chicago) is the Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies and Dean of Faculty Development at Crandall University, New Brunswick, Canada.
Roger E. Olson (PhD, Rice University) is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. He is the author of many books, including Questions to All Your Answers: The Journey from Folk Religion to Examined Faith; Reformed and Always Reforming: The Postconservative Approach to Evangelical Theology; and How to Be Evangelical without Being Conservative.
Andrew David Naselli (PhD, Bob Jones University; PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is research manager for D. A. Carson and administrator of the journal Themelios. He has taught New Testament Greek at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and he currently teaches exegesis and theology as adjunct faculty at several seminaries. He is the author of Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology.
Collin Hansen (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is editorial director for the Gospel Coalition. Formerly an associate editor for Christianity Today, he is the author of Young, Restless, Reformed and co-author with John Woodbridge of A God-Sized Vision. He has written for Books & Culture, Tabletalk, Leadership, and Christian History & Biography. He has appeared as a commentator on Fox News, and his work has been featured in Time magazine.
Life Long ReaderHoward City, MIAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5A Glimpse into the Broad Range of Views on EvangelJanuary 6, 2012Life Long ReaderHoward City, MIAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5For decades Evangelicalism has been in a constant flux and there is no sign of it slowing down. The nature of this flux centers on Evangelicalism's very identity. But the nature of Evangelicalism itself hinges on defining two important terms or ideas: "What is the evangel?" and "Who is an evangelical?"
As if answering these questions were not controversial enough, throw into the mix the fact that everyone wants to have the answer(s) but not everyone agrees. Thus, within broader evangelicalism there is significant confusion and lack of unity about who is an (e)vangelical and what is (E)vangelicalism. This is a debate, and sometimes war, that has waged for decades and will continue for years to come.
It is a commonly held belief, applied to many arenas, that he who defines the terms wins the debate. Since Evangelicalism is so divided and spread out the question naturally arises, "Who gets to define these two terms/ideas?" Is any one definition correct? Can any definition be wrong? Can anyone be an evangelical? What does it take to be considered unevangelical?
In an effort to present and possibly come to more of a unified consensus on the definition of these terms Andy Naselli and Collin Hansen have edited the new book Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism. This book brings together the views of four leading voices within Evangelicalism today. The contributors and their respective positions are as follows:
1. Kevin Bauder - Fundamentalism
2. Al Mohler - Conservative/Confessional Evangelicalism
3. John Stackhouse Jr. - Generic Evangelicalism
4. Roger Olson - Postconservative Evangelicalism
There are no doubt other slices within Evangelicalism that could have been represented but these four views seem to be the most dominate and have a large following.
In reading the book you will find that there is much agreement on the fact that it is the gospel that defines and unites believers. It is the evangel that is to be the center of the evangelicals life and any movement that claims the name Evangelical.
What is not too commonly shared is who is an evangelical. Bauder is the narrowest though he and Mohler are almost on the same page. Stackhouse and Olson are close as well and closer than I Stackhouse might want to admit. Mohler provides perhaps the bet way to view the gospel as the center in that it also implies and sets boundaries. This by definition means there are some in and some out. Olson definitely disagrees and sees Evangelicalism more as a tent in we are all under in which all are facing the center and hopefully moving towards it. A tent however has boundaries even if it has how walls. No tent covers everything.
Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism is a great glimpse into a few of the many views on the movement of Evangelicalism and professing evangelicals. This seems to be a timely book but considering the fast pace at which Evangelicalism changes I am not sure it will be a timeless book much less a good historical reference book in the decades to come. Never the less, this is a good read and will prove a challenge to all readers alike.