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Younger Evangelicals, The: Facing the Challenges of the New World Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801091527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801091520
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Over a quarter of a century ago, Richard Quebedeaux chronicled the history and prospects of evangelicalism in his sociology of religion study, The Young Evangelicals. Webber, who teaches at Northern Seminary in Wheaton, Ill., offers an insider's perspective on the present state and future of evangelicalism. He contends that the "younger evangelicals" include anyone "who deals thoughtfully with the shift from 20th- to 21st-century culture. He or she is committed to construct a biblically rooted, historically informed and culturally aware new evangelical witness in the 21st century." In this splendid overview of the shifts in the evangelical landscape, Webber examines the differences in theological thinking, worship styles and communication styles; attitudes toward history, art and evangelism; and ecclesiology between "traditional" evangelicals (1950-1975), "pragmatic" evangelicals (1975-2000) and younger evangelicals (2000-). For example, where the traditional evangelicals argued theologically that Christianity is a rational worldview and pragmatic evangelicals contended theologically that Christianity is a therapy that answers needs, the younger evangelicals' theological program involves a return to ancient Christian and Reformation teachings that Christianity is a community of faith. These younger evangelicals, he argues, are highly visual believers, possessing great facility with technology. They are committed to the plight of the poor, multicultural communities of faith and intergenerational ministry, and they recognize that the road to the future runs through the past. Webber's helpful and thorough guidebook offers a generous assessment of the history of evangelicalism as well as a judicious but enthusiastic evaluation of its prospects in the 21st century.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

A new evangelical awakening is taking place around the world. And the changes are being introduced by an emerging generation of leaders-The Younger Evangelicals. Who are they and what is different about their way of thinking and practicing church? How are they keeping ministry up to speed with our rapidly changing culture? In this provocative and energizing book, they will tell you.

"If you're suspicious about new winds blowing across the evangelical coastland, please don't criticize until you've read The Younger Evangelicals. It is by far the most thoughtful description of what's going on. If you're not critical but just curious, Webber will give you a thorough immersion into the emerging church. And if you're 'younger' yourself or young at heart, you'll find Webber giving voice to much that you have felt but couldn't yet articulate. Webber proves himself a sagely resource for this fresh, fledgling movement in this wise, warm, timely book."
Brian McLaren, pastor, author, senior fellow with Emergent (www.emergentvillage.com)

"At a time when many graying prognosticators are bemoaning the state of the church, it is refreshing to read a commentator of Robert Webber's stature who is optimistic about the future of the evangelical cause. Webber documents the presence of a cadre whom the Holy Spirit is raising up to lead the church in offering a biblically rooted, historically informed and culturally aware gospel witness. I am personally encouraged by Webber's findings."
Stanley J. Grenz, Distinguished Professor of Theology, Baylor University

"The Younger Evangelicals is an eye-popping, brain-bending look at where the evangelical church must head if it has any hopes of impacting postmodern culture. A superbly researched, foundational work, it is easily the best primer on the emerging church that I have seen."
Sally Morgenthaler, founder of Sacramentis.com, author of Worship Evangelism

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Customer Reviews

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This is an excellent read for identifying generational differences in our churches.
Elizabeth M Jorgensen
If you are a regular reader of my "Tuesday Columns" you already know I often knock us boomers for our generational arrogance.
Keith Drury
I give this book to anyone who wants to know what the whole emerging church movement is about.
Bob Hyatt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Dan Sullivan on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a great resource and is loaded with a ton of valuable food for thought, but I cannot quite recommend it wholeheartedly without a few minor reservations.
I found many of the ideas expressed by the author and those he has interviewed and learned from to be not only refreshing but at times very moving. Most notable would be the notion that the church is supposed to be "incarnational", that is, the church is Body of Christ, the presence of Christ in the world - therefore the best apologetic is seeing people living truly and honestly under the rule of God in this life, in true community and service.
The author's main premise is that Evangelicalism has moved through three phases in the last few generations. The traditionalist phase exalted reason and doctrinal correctness above all else. The Pragmatic Phase emphasized felt needs and marketing strategies to make faith relevant and accessible to seekers. But the Younger evangelicals have turned toward "authenticity" and away from rationalistic or pragmatic approaches, seeking a God who is beyond rational definitions. They wish to communicate the faith by embodying the teaching of Christ, rather than articulating principles or programs.
The way many young evangelicals (as well as many in mainline protestant denominations and Catholic and Orthodox believers) have adapted to Postmodern thought can be both heartening and frightening. On the one hand, the recognition that rationalism has infiltrated the church is undeniable and worth correcting. Not only have liberal theologians applied naturalism to scripture in a way that removed the supernatural from faith, but conservatives have applied the scientific method to biblical interpretation to the point where individual interpretation reigns.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend "The Younger Evangelicals." Dr. Webber has portrayed a stunning mosaic of what God is freshly stirring in many hearts today. God is moving many with a fresh desire for a church community that knows each other well enough to have authentic relationships. We see ourselves as a people of God's Presence with our corporate life as "mission," something we are and not just something we do. We don't just want to hear the wonderful stories in Scripture, but we want to experience them so that His story intersects our personal stories. We desire to share Jesus with others in our sphere of influence in natural, non-religious ways, living out the Good News and not just verbalizing it. A new leadership is developing with servants becoming participative leaders, a team without any abdication of healthy leadership. Dr. Webber threads this fresh move of God throughout "The Younger Evangelicals" in a way that stirs a, "Yes, Lord!" from within.
What concerns me, however, is HOW this mature man of God encourages these younger leaders to find the answer. First, his book seems to imply that the norm today is to leave the established church and start a new church plant from scratch. There's nothing wrong with that as an option, but the existing church also needs these impulses. Many of his arguments describing the established church set up the mega church as the "straw man." The mega church is only one expression of the church, and certainly has built-in problems when the goal is a relational community of believers. Second, candles, incense, icons, silent retreats, etc. are the methods that I see salted throughout the book.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Keith Drury on December 5, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are under age 30 stop reading here-and go read something else. However, if you are over 30-especially if you are in my own "boomer" generation, this is probably the most important column I'll write this year.
There is a book you need to buy. No, it isn't one of my own books-I don't use the Tuesday Column to promote books-not even my own. I review them sometimes (but that only makes it easier for you not to buy them-since my reviews are pretty complete.) I'm breaking my own rule today-I found a book every person over 30 interested in church ministries need to own.
This book is about the twentysomthing crowd Well, not exactly them, but about an emerging movement in the church made up of mostly Twentysomethings. That crowd might not like this book because the book tells us boomers all their secrets. In fact they hate being labeled at all, and hate it doubly when Boomers do it. But since they are no longer reading this and are off reading something else by now, let me tell you over-30 folk why this book is so important.
If you are a regular reader of my "Tuesday Columns" you already know I often knock us boomers for our generational arrogance. We think we are so cool, so "contemporary." We think our ways of doing church are so wonderful and we assume we've made something lasting. I often warn us that our churches are headed to becoming "Boomer nursing homes" where we continually congratulate ourselves on how cool we still are, while totally losing the next generations and the world and never noticing!
Finally there is a book that explains what is happening in the massive generational shift.
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