The Rise of the Evangelicals: The birth of a movement that changed America



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The editors of Christian History & Biography

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The Evangelical movement has profoundly changed the American landscape. It is responsible in large measure for any growth Protestantism has enjoyed since the 1960s—for in the decades since, the mainline denominations have continued to wither while evangelical churches have held their own or blossomed. And this in a time when the nation has aggressively pushed for more secular laws (e.g. forbidding school prayer) and mores (in elite culture, evangelicals more than ever feel pressure to keep their religion to themselves). At the same time, evangelicals have become a part of the national political conversation in every election since the rise of the Religious Right in the 1980s.

In short, you cannot understand contemporary American life unless you understand evangelicals. And you cannot understand evangelicals until you know a bit of their history. This eBook is a very brief introduction to the recent history. Evangelicals have been a topic of scholarly fascination for some decades now, so dozens of excellent books have been written about them. In this book, you’ll get a faithful and brief (if not thorough) rendering of their beginning and development.

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Table of Contents:

Prologue: The Pre-Evangelicals

Chapter 1: Harold John Ockenga: ‘America’s Hour Has Struck’ / Defining the Vision: Culturally Engaged Orthodoxy  / Drawing the Line: Competing Theologies

Chapter 2: Youth for Christ: Winning Over a New Generation / Fueled by Prayer: A Story of Personal Transformation at YFC  / Evangelical Entrepreneurs: YFC and the Parachurch Phenomenon

Chapter 3: Henrietta Mears: Rewriting Christian Education

Chapter 4: Billy Graham: The Early Crusades

Chapter 5: Awakening a Conscience for Social Justice

Chapter 6: Invigorating Christian Scholarship

Chapter 7: A Fraying Movement? Worries About Division

Epilogue: How History Shaped Contemporary Evangelicalism

Appendix 1: Timeline: America’s Evangelical Explosion

Appendix 2: The Top 50 Books that Have Shaped Evangelicals

Appendix 3: Recommended Resources

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