Outline - Iain Murray - Evangelicalism Divided (PDF)

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A detailed tracing of the beginnings of the post-World War II "evangelical movement" in (1) the Church of England, and (2) in the U.S. After explicating the state of evangelicalism and the players in the drama (again, in both England and the U.S.), he traces "blow-by-blow" how it has become almost entirely vitiated in both countries.

Murray does not shrink from naming names (some of these stories shocked me, because they centered on men who have sort of been on my list of "heroes!") He also takes very great care, as he describes the self-destruction of "evangelicalism" in both countries, to give space and time to the brave ones who spoke out "against the tide" (e.g., Edward John Carnell, Dr. D. Marty Lloyd-Jones and Francis Schaeffer).

These men's appeals fell, however, on deaf ears. So great was the "ethos of the 1960s" and the guilt about "church unity" and the seemingly irresistible "invitation to the larger table," that men of great stature were seduced into "softening the edges" of the Biblical Gospel and promising to divest the movement of its "exclusivism" with regard to that Biblical message. Which men? Well, Murray focuses on Billy Graham, John R.W. Stott, and Dr. James I. Packer among others.

The author is absolutely the opposite of a "smarty-pants" academic in his analysis. It is obvious that he gets no joy at all in exposing how this great collapse occurred. He obviously wishes it had never happened. But it did. And if other historians are going to "gloss over" the magnitude of what was consciously surrendered and when and how and by whom, Murray is not going to.

This book is a great map as to how we have gotten to the sad state we are presently facing. Greater men than most of us (certainly greater than I) led the very strong evangelical movement in the U.S. and the Church of England toward the weak position in which it now finds itself. A tragedy, but a "must read" for those who wonder, "What exactly happened? And how?"
- Dr. Rod Rosenbladt

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