Monday, June 30, 2008

The Advent of Evangelicalism

Post by Collin Hansen

A recent surge in the popularity of Jonathan Edwards has corresponded with intense historical debate about whether evangelicalism began during the Enlightenment. If you start their story with the First Great Awakening of the 1700s, does that mean evangelicals are hopelessly captive to modern rationalism? A new volume edited by Kenneth Stewart and Michael Haykin observes greater continuity between transatlantic evangelicalism and the Protestant Reformation that began in the 1500s. Their book, published earlier this year in the UK, includes a response from David Bebbington, who wrote the landmark Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s.

Tom Nettles from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary says of the Haykin/Stewart volume: "This book provides just the kind of constructive dialogue that is sure to help us move ever closer to a more satisfying grasp of evangelical identity, not as a mere historical curiosity, but as a matter of self-knowledge for thoughtful action to the glory of God."

B&H will be publishing the American edition of The Advent of Evangelicalism this October.