Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Review: Evangelicalism Divided

Title:   Evangelicalism Divided

General Subject Matter:  Doctrinal, Informational

Theme:  An overview of the fortunes and misfortunes of evangelical Christianity

Thesis:  To demonstrate the crucial change in evangelicalism from 1950 through 2000

Author:  Iain H. Murray

Copyright Date:  2000

ISBN: 978 0 85151 783 4

The purpose of this book is to trace the concessions which were made which seriously weakened biblical Christianity by examining the personalities, institutions, and publications related to evangelical Christianity in the last fifty years. Murray's greatest agenda in writing this book is to answer what he calls the most fundamental and divisive question of all: What is a Christian?

Murray takes on a tremendous hot-button and emotionally laced topic with skill and agility demonstrating the detrimental affects upon evangelicalism. It's Murray's desire for the reader to show how various personalities and their thinking have made a major divide in evangelical Christianity. Murray's book has opened my eyes and provided solid proof that much of the thinking in the last 50 years has been hurtful to the cause of Christianity and not helpful.

Murray covers his topic extremely well. He does not shy away from any  past or present pastors, teachers, or theologians. He examines all the major writings and contributions on this topic as well. It is my opinion that Murray has been very balanced in his critique of "both sides of the discussion."

Murray's approach to his subject as been both analytical and descriptive. He has followed a chronological progression of writings, publications, preachings, and teachings on this subject. He has analyzed them fairly and accurately.

Murray makes extensive use of documents and footnotes them extensively. He does not make blanket statements failing to prove them. He offers documentation for each conclusion that he states.

This book has helped me tremendously to see the "why" of the decline of evangelicalism. It is not hard to see that evangelicalism has deteriorated in the last 50 years. Murray's book helps the reader to see why it has so deteriorated. I whole heartily recommend this book to any all believers. As a matter of fact I think this is a "must read" book for serious Christians.

Ian Murray is a prolific writer, has been in Christian ministry since 1955, served as an assistant to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Murray is the co-founder of the Banner of Truth Trust. He has served at Westminster Chapel, Grove Chapel, and St Giles Presbyterian Church.

I received a free copy of this book from The Banner of Truth Trust. I was not required to write a positive review of this book. The opinions are my own.

Watch for periodic book reviews by the Gospel-driven Disciples. Solomon said there was no end to the making of books, therefore we have to choose what we read wisely and with great discernment. Not every book is worthy of its purchase price. From time I will offer reviews, both good and bad, of various books.

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