An Analysis Of The New Evangelicalism: History -- By: Rolland D. McCune

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 19:1 (Spring 1976)
Article: An Analysis Of The New Evangelicalism: History
Author: Rolland D. McCune

An Analysis Of The New Evangelicalism: History

Rolland D. McCune

Central Baptist Theological Seminary Minneapolis, Minnesota


The Need

The new evangelicalism as a recognizable force has been on the scene for over twenty years. Recent stimuli for the movement have been Explo ‘72 (held in Dallas, Texas, in 1972), the Key ‘73 effort (an attempt to reach the North American continent for Christ in 1973), and the International Congress on World Evangelism (held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974). Thus, longevity and current events demand in some sense that an analysis be made.

Furthermore, there have been no truly definitive and critical works on the subject for quite some time. Robert Lightner’s Neo-evangelicalism came out in 1959 (revised in 1965). and is an excellent though somewhat brief analysis from the fundamentalist viewpoint. However, it needs up-dating. Ronald Nash’s The New Evangelicalism was published in 1963 and was the first systematic apologetic for the movement. This was a failure for the most part because philosopher Nash was unable effectively to handle theological and exegetical matters. 1968 saw the appearance of Millard Erickson’s The New Evangelical Theology. Written by a theologian,

this is the most intellectually honest and theologically competent effort from a sympathetic point of view. The Evangelical Renaissance by Donald G. Bloesch, published in 1973, is favorable to the movement but is geared somewhat to historical considerations. The Young Evangelicals by Richard Quebedeaux (1972) is a challenge to the new evangelicalism from its own left wing. By its own confession and design, it is quite a revolutionary approach.

Much of the non-sympathetic material has been in the form of small booklets such as The New Evangelicalism by Charles J. Woodbridge, Evangelicalism the New Neutralism by William E. Ashbrook, An Identification of the New Evangelicalism by Dennis Walton, Neo-Evangelicalism: An Evaluation Through its Literature by Victor M. Matthews, The New Evangelicalism by Rolland C. Starr, and Current Developments in New Evangelicalism by William A. Ditty. The bulk of literature on the subject, both favorable and unfavorable, has been written in periodicals, quarterlies and journals. However, in all of this there has been a general decline of articles on the new evangelicalism, and of late a particular lack of critical and definitive material. Thus, an analysis is both warranted and demanded at this time.

The Plan

The plan is to approach the new evangelicalism in an investigative fashion, statin...

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