2nd Generation New Evangelicals -- By: Rolland D. McCune
CenQ 17:4 (Winter 1974) p. 2
2nd Generation New Evangelicals
Central Baptist Theological Seminary Minneapolis, Minnesota
(A review of The Young Evangelicals by Richard Quebedeaux,
New York: Harper & Row, 1974, 157 pages, paper, $2.50)
According to the cover, the book is “the story of the emergence of a new generation of evangelicals,” a generation of Young Evangelicals who feel destined to “one day assume leadership and eventually command the support of the majority (of evangelicals)” (p. 140) and whose “positive action…now will most likely decide the evangelical posture as a whole in years to come” (p. 141). As such they are second generation evangelicals, being the offspring of the teachers and ideas of the first generation (or “New” Evangelicals) that has been on the scene for twenty-five or more years.
One of the assessments made of any movement is the ability to reproduce itself and the quality of the offspring. Fundamentalists have suspected that the second generation New Evangelicals would be more degenerated in doctrine and practice than the first. And it has come to pass that their worst suspicions and darkest predictions have probably
CenQ 17:4 (Winter 1974) p. 3
fallen wide of the mark, because the Young Evangelicals have compounded the heresies of their forebears and now hold them in contempt for their “conservative” notions. The key sounds of the Young Evangelicals are “revolution,” “rebel,” “prophetic,” “young,” “free,” “dynamic,” “new,” “the People” and other notes of the Liberal Left theologically and politically.
Quebedeaux’s credentials for such an undertaking as this are somewhat obscure. We are told, however, that the volume is “indirectly, a spiritual autobiography” (p. xi). It is written for the “informed lay person” and is based partly on the author’s experiences rather than documentation (p. xi). This should be observed carefully because the ideas and proposals of the Young Evangelicals are notably lacking in sound Biblical exegesis despite assertions and feeble attempts to the contrary. The author is the Interim Program Director of the United Campus Ministry to the University of California at Santa Barbara. This helps to explain why the book (and the movement of Young Evangelicals) is basically student oriented, and why the concepts of the group are really quite cavalier and doctrinaire when the alleged compulsion is to be “relevant” and “practical.” There are few things as lofty as the ivory tower of student dissent even in its practical implementation, to say nothing of its theoretical plotting.
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