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Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000 Hardcover


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Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000 + Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851517838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851517834
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Iain H. Murray, born in Lancashire, England, in 1931, was educated in the Isle of Man and at the University of Durham and entered the Christian ministry in 1955. He served as assistant to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel (1956-59) and subsequently at Grove Chapel, London (1961-69) and St. Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney (1981-84). Although remaining a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, he currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the Banner of Truth Trust (of which he is a founding trustee) has its main office.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is fascinating, disturbing and critically important.
Tim Challies
All in all, a helpful perspective and a firm corrective for all of us who seek unity and truth in the church.
David A. Vosseller
I first heard of it on a tape-of-the-month from RC Sproul, who highly praised the book several times.
Randy Given

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By David A. Vosseller on May 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Iain Murray's history of the change within evangelicalism over the last 50 years is both impressive and frightening. He shows how decisions by some noted evangelical leaders in Britain and the U.S. for the sake of "unity" or "results" have compromised the church and watered down the message of the Gospel. This helps us see why so many claim to be beleivers in Christ, and yet there is so little impact on lives and on our culture(s).
In one insightful passage, he asks, "If the evangelical belief that it is faith in the gospel which brings spiritual unity is true, then it follows that where the gospel ceases to be believed there unity ceases to exist. Therein lay a long-standing problem for evangelicals who found themselves in denominations where many ministers and people did not believe that gospel. In such circumstances, how could they give the commitment to denominational unity which Scripture gives to the unity of Christians?" (p. 83).
While Murray points out failures of certain well-known leaders, he does not throw stones, nor does he assault character or motives of these men. He is charitible and gracious even when he disagrees, which I found very refreshing compared to many "critiques" that people write.
As he writes, "Like the Corinthian Christians we are prone either to idolize men or to be unduly critical. We too readily form parties behind men in forgetfulness of the direction, 'One is your teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren' (Matt. 23:8). Because an eminent Christian is evidently right in some things, or owned of God in his work, we are liable to take him as a leader in all things and to treat any who disagree as opponents." (p.
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Brian Douglas on March 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most powerful, compelling, stunning, and significant books written in the past decade. In these pages, Murray chronicles the fall of evangelicalism in the late 20th Century.
Murray begins by telling his reader of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) and his brand of theology. In an effort to defend Christianity from the higher criticism of his contemporaries, Schleiermacher made a great distinction between the mind and the heart, the objective thought and the subjective passions. He rejected the objective and taught that true Christianity was solely subjective, thus unassailable by higher criticism.
After his description of Schleiermacher, Murray shifts gears to the earlier half of the 20th Century and describes the events that transpired from that time to the present day. While careful not to slander anyone, he names names and gives example after example of a shift in attitude and approach from standing upon truth to compromise in the name of proclaiming the gospel.
As one reads through this book, at some point or another Murray's connection will strike him: modern evangelicalism has fallen into Scheiermacher-like beliefs, and most of its leaders don't even realize it. It's shocking and its implications hit very close to home, but Murray's conclusions are true.
After reading this book, I was grieved by some of the compromises I had made in the past. It permanently altered my perspective, and I am thankful I read it. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any Christian who is interested in learning from the past, and I implore pastors and church leaders everywhere to read it so that the listing evangelical church might be righted again.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth B Pagano on October 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It has been said that only fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Well, I do not believe Mr. Murray is a fool, and he certainly is no coward. Undoubtedly he is unafraid to write what he believes to be the truth regardless of the repercussions. Such is the case with Evangelicalism Divided. This book may be more than many American readers care to digest, especially since it delves into the polity of the Church of England. Yet this book demands a wide and careful reading due to its grave implications, specifically in that it addresses the idea of what constitutes a genuine Christian. Not to mention issues that should concern American Evangelicalism, most notably, Billy Graham. Mr. Murray provides thorough references to back up his claims. Should his position indeed prove to be valid, the following statement may in deed be true: "In our generation, other than the Pope, no individual has done more to lift up the name of Jesus than has Billy Graham. Conversely however, no one individual, other than the Pope, has done more to eviscerate the actual power of the gospel message, than has Mr. Graham." Such are the implications of Evangelicalism Divided. Lines will be drawn in the sand and taking sides will be unavoidable. However this book does not deserve to be passed over. It must either be soundly refuted or widely distributed for all those concerned with true reformation and the biblical gospel.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If evangelicals wish to take stock of where they are now and what the future of the church holds, they must look to the past and understand from where it is they have come. Evangelicalism Divided by Iain Murray, would be a perfect place to start, for it is a record of the changes that took place in the American and British churches in the years 1950 to 2000. It records the rise of influences and influencers that ultimately changed the course of evangelicalism.

The book begins with an examination of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) and the theology of experience that influenced so many. The God of Schleiermacher was a mere man, and one who bore little resemblance to the God of the Bible. To defend God against criticism, Schleiermacher redefined Christianity as mere subjectivity and not an objective Truth. This stunning departure from Scripture provides a foundation for many beliefs that later gained prominence in evangelicalism.

Having set the scene, Murray begins to examine many of the men and organizations that have directly shaped contemporary evangelicalism. He speaks of Billy Graham, J.I. Packer, John Stott and organizations such as Inter Varsity. While he is unafraid to name names, he avoids slander and conjecture, always speaking in love and always providing ample support for his claims. He writes about controversies in the Church of England during the sixties, about the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). He writes also of controversy regarding how we ought to define a Christian and how we ought to define the church. Having thoroughly examined the modern history of evangelicalism, he raises questions and concerns about the present.
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