From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Evans (The Kingdom Is Always but Coming), a professor of church history at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, makes no pretensions about the scope of his work. This book does not include a comprehensive view or extensive history of liberal theology-that can be found elsewhere, and in much larger tomes. Instead, he sets out to reclaim and rejuvenate this misunderstood, formerly vibrant, and ostensibly weakening movement in American Christianity. To rejuvenate any school of thought, that school must be understood, and here Evans is at his finest. He begins by immediately confronting the pejorative meaning the "culture wars" have attached to the word "liberal" and follows by proposing a new foundation on which to build a more historical, rather than hyped, understanding of liberal Christianity. Finally, Evans transcends the limits of stereotypical "ivory tower history" by offering more than just analysis. He offers solutions. The liberal Christian movement in America is not dead, he concludes, and history shows how to prevent it from dying. Anyone interested in 20th- and 21st-century American Christianity needs to read and consider the suggestions Evans has to offer.
A strong argument for the appeal and relevance of a liberal theology. Evans brings the liberal and evangelical stories into a compelling conversation, making a case for a liberal theology that reclaims its evangelical roots and its place in the life and witness of the church. --Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, and Professor of Religion, Columbia University
Evans transcends the limits of stereotypical "ivory tower history" by offering more than just analysis. He offers solutions.... Anyone interested in 20th- and 21st-century American Christianity needs to read and consider the suggestions Evans has to offer. --Publisher's Weekly, 1/26/2010
Evans is an expert guide for the liberal Protestant tradition, showing us the lost treasure and nuggets of power and wisdom that can and should be harvested. This book is an antidote against those who separate piety and social action, levying a powerful argument that any adequate theology enables church leaders to inspire its members to love justice, seek mercy, and walk humbly in service to the world. It is a prophetic call and important reminder of the dangerous good news of an applied gospel waiting to be lived. --James K. Wellman Jr., author of Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest