THE FUTURE OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY by Donald G. Bloesch

THE FUTURE OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Prof. Bloesch (Univ. of Dubuque Theological Seminary) brings all his formidable learning to bear on this solid survey of the problems and possibilities facing American evangelicals, as well as his fervent Reformed piety--but less of his usual dogmatic partisanship. He begins with a fairly generous definition of evangelical as referring to ""that segment of Christianity that makes the proclamation of the biblical gospel its chief concern, that appeals to this gospel in its biblical setting as the final arbiter for faith and practice."" This would exclude, on the left, the revisionists and latitudinarians who want to read their Bible in the light of secular culture, and, on the right, the Falwellians and televangelists who preach nationalism and Babbittry rather than Jesus Christ. It would include, however, many Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, as well as mainline Protestants. True evangelicals, Bloesch maintains, have to steer a course between modernism and ""obscurantist biblicism"" (inerrancy at any cost), between surrender to ideology and apolitical complacency, between wholesale acceptance of humanist ethics (blessing homosexuality or abortion on demand) and selective moralizing (attacking pornography but ignoring nuclear stockpiles or social injustice). Apart from sketching out a broad theological contour map, Bloesch also provides a number of handy lists--of major figures in evangelical history, various evangelical seminaries, universities, journals, and organizations. He takes believable middle-ground positions on most issues (though his attempt to reconcile feminism and the ""headship"" of Christian husbands clearly fails). A sociologist of religion would offer a sharply different perspective, but Bloesch's handbook is forthright, intelligent, and informative.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1983
Publisher: Doubleday