Robert E. Webber has led worship workshops in every major city in the United States and Canada. Through his conversations and contacts with a network of emerging church leaders he calls the "younger evangelicals," Webber sees how this new generation and their style of leadership is bringing change and renewal to the evangelical church. These leaders, who include those young in spirit as well as young in age, have important insights to offer all generations faced with "doing church" in a rapidly changing postmodern culture.
The Younger Evangelicals explores the characteristics of these emerging leaders and provides an outlet for their stories. Beginning with a brief overview of twentieth-century evangelicalism, Webber examines what is different about the twenty-first century younger evangelicals' way of thinking about faith and practicing church. He allows them-Ph.D.s and laypeople-to speak in their own words on issues such as communication, theology, apologetics, pastoral leadership, evangelism, worship, and spiritual formation.
Thought provoking, energizing, and timely, The Younger Evangelicals is a landmark book for pastors and church leaders, culture watchers, ministry students, and worship leaders who want to prepare for and respond to the new evangelical awakening brought on by our changing cultural context.
Robert E. Webber is Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary, president of the Institute for Worship Studies, and emeritus professor of theology at Wheaton College. He is the author or editor of more than twenty works, a columnist for Worship Leader magazine, and an editorial consultant for Reformed Worship. Webber lives in Wheaton, Illinois.
Over a quarter of a century ago, Richard Quebedeaux chronicled the history and
prospects of evangelicalism in his sociology of religion study, The Young
Evangelicals. Webber, who teaches at Northern Seminary in Wheaton, Ill.,
offers an insider's perspective on the present state and future of
evangelicalism. He contends that the "younger evangelicals" include anyone
"who deals thoughtfully with the shift from 20th- to 21st-century culture. He
or she is committed to construct a biblically rooted, historically informed
and culturally aware new evangelical witness in the 21st century." In this
splendid overview of the shifts in the evangelical landscape, Webber examines
the differences in theological thinking, worship styles and communication
styles; attitudes toward history, art and evangelism; and ecclesiology between
"traditional" evangelicals (1950-1975), "pragmatic" evangelicals (1975-2000)
and younger evangelicals (2000-). For example, where the traditional
evangelicals argued theologically that Christianity is a rational worldview
and pragmatic evangelicals contended theologically that Christianity is a
therapy that answers needs, the younger evangelicals' theological program
involves a return to ancient Christian and Reformation teachings that
Christianity is a community of faith. These younger evangelicals, he argues,
are highly visual believers, possessing great facility with technology. They
are committed to the plight of the poor, multicultural communities of faith
and intergenerational ministry, and they recognize that the road to the future
runs through the past. Webber's helpful and thorough guidebook offers a
generous assessment of the history of evangelicalism as well as a judicious
but enthusiastic evaluation of its prospects in the 21st century. (Oct.)
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