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Younger Evangelicals, The: Facing the Challenges of the New World (Ancient Future) [Paperback]

By Robert E. Webber (Author)
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Item description for Younger Evangelicals, The: Facing the Challenges of the New World (Ancient Future) by Robert E. Webber...

Beginning with a brief overview of 20th-century evangelicalism, Webber examines what is different about the 21st-century younger evangelicals' way of thinking about faith and "practicing church." He allows these emerging leaders to speak in their own words on such issues as communication, theology, apologetics, and spiritual formation.

Publishers Description
Robert E. Webber has led worship workshops in every major city in the United States and Canada. Through his conversations and contacts with a network of emerging church leaders he calls the "younger evangelicals," Webber sees how this new generation and their style of leadership is bringing change and renewal to the evangelical church. These leaders, who include those young in spirit as well as young in age, have important insights to offer all generations faced with "doing church" in a rapidly changing postmodern culture.
The Younger Evangelicals explores the characteristics of these emerging leaders and provides an outlet for their stories. Beginning with a brief overview of twentieth-century evangelicalism, Webber examines what is different about the twenty-first century younger evangelicals' way of thinking about faith and practicing church. He allows them-Ph.D.s and laypeople-to speak in their own words on issues such as communication, theology, apologetics, pastoral leadership, evangelism, worship, and spiritual formation.
Thought provoking, energizing, and timely, The Younger Evangelicals is a landmark book for pastors and church leaders, culture watchers, ministry students, and worship leaders who want to prepare for and respond to the new evangelical awakening brought on by our changing cultural context.

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. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Younger Evangelicals, The: Facing the Challenges of the New World (Ancient Future) by Robert E. Webber has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 08/26/2002 page 62

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Books
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   1.03 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2002
Publisher   Baker Books
Series  Ancient Future  
ISBN  0801091527  
ISBN13  9780801091520  

Availability  0 units.

More About Robert E. Webber

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert E. Webber is Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and the president of the Institute for Worship Studies. He is the author of a number of books, including Ancient-Future Faith and The Younger Evangelicals.

Robert E. Webber lived in Wheaton, in the state of Illinois. Robert E. Webber was born in 1927 and died in 2007.

Robert E. Webber has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ancient-Future
  2. Ancient-Future Faith

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1Books > Special Features > Substores > jp-unknown1
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Institutions & Organizations
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism

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Reviews - What do customers think about Younger Evangelicals, The: Facing the Challenges of the New World?

In depth review  Feb 13, 2008
This is a great book for reviewing the historical progress of Christianity in the United States and gives clarity to the confusing times we live in. I really appreciated the author distilling it down into a somewhat intense read.
Absolutely fascinating  Aug 7, 2006
In this fascinating book, author and Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary, Dr. Robert E. Webber unveils what just might be the future of Evangelicalism. In the mid- to late-twentieth century, Evangelicalism was dominated by the Traditional Evangelicals who held a modern, print-oriented worldview. In the late-twentieth century, the Boomers took over Evangelicalism, with their broadcast, presentational-oriented worldview (think Willow Creek and the "Seeker-Friendly" church movement). But, waiting in the wings is a newer generation of Evangelicals who are post-modern in their worldview, and they are going to the Evangelicalism in whole new directions!

Overall, I found this to be an absolutely fascinating book. The author does a great job of explaining the post-modern worldview, and how it is different than traditional Evangelical thinking. Indeed, post-modernism, with its rejection of absolute truth has already produced such new movements as the Open Theology movement, with its rejection of the omnipresence and immutability of God.

Now, it is correct to say that this book is less a generational look at Evangelicalism, than it is a triumphalist declaration of the arrival of post-modernism in Evangelicalism. As such, this book has nothing to say to what the future might bring, in the form of a split between modern and post-modern factions within Evangelicalism. But, that said it does go into great depth in a new and growing movement within Evangelicalism, one that will have a great impact of the future of world-wide Christianity!
an excellent resource  Sep 16, 2004
I give this book to anyone who wants to know what the whole emerging church movement is about. Webber does an excellent job of placing emergent Christianity in a historical context with fundamentalism and pragmatic evangelicals (your Willow/Back churches) and shows how each came from the other in succession... and how each is distinctive. Want to know about the practices and beliefs of many in the emerging church? Start here.
Slanted Research Yields Slanted Results  May 19, 2004
My name is Aaron Long, and in December 2004 I will finish with my M.A. in Philosophy of Religion from Denver Seminary. With all of the four- and five-star reviews of this book, I'm sure that my one-star rating will turn some heads and provoke some angry reactions, but let me explain.

1. I have the unique privilege of having been at Wheaton College during the time that Joseph Clair, Joel Handy, et al., who have been repeatedly quoted by Webber, were there. Many of the students quoted were controversial idealists on campus, and I would not consider many, if any of them, to be representative of either the Wheaton College student body or the generation into which they were born. Webber has produced a work on the basis of the people that he chose to study, which were probably a vocal minority, but not a representative sample of the greater whole.

2. I have spoken with Dr. Webber personally in the last three months in order to determine whether he is 1) a proponent of postmodern Christianity (which is integrally related to the "emerging church movement"), or 2) merely a chronicler of a certain subcultural movement within Christianity that is taking place. He affirmed that he is the former, not the latter. It is important to remember that there are culturally-based movements like this within Christianity EVERY GENERATION, and often the result of these movements is the nuancing of Christian thought and lifestyles in such a way that a total cultural overhaul becomes necessary when the current wave breaks upon the shores of the public, yielding to the next crest that has been subtly rising behind the first one all along. One of the most convincing critiques of Webber, McLaren, Clapp, and other postmodern Evangelicals is that they are binding our faith to a cultural movement that will eventually peter out.

3. What I especially do not appreciate about this is that my generation is being labeled with a definition that is not even remotely close to being representative of our age bracket. There may be thousands of "younger evangelicals," as Webber defines the term, out there, but remember that our generation is MILLIONS big. Even thousands of younger evangelicals, no matter how vocal they are about it, are merely spit in the ocean of our generation.

4. I side with Sullivan in his review of the book: postmodernity (postmodern culture), while it has its strengths, has the (HUGE) weakness of having arisen from postmodernism (postmodern philosophy). Contra James E. Walter's review, postmodernism IS a philosophy, or more correctly, an anti-philosophy, but a worldview nonetheless. At its core are relativism, pluralism, subjectivism, a non-absolute view of truth, and worst of all, epistemic hopelessness (no idea of how anyone can know anything). None of these fit within a true Christian worldview. Life is not relative: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." Thus there cannot be a plurality of spiritual or ideological options. While life is somewhat subjective, God exists and acts into His creation, which lends some objective quality to reality. Most of all, He has revealed Himself in His Son and His Word, and if we believe He is who He claims to be, we are not epistemically without hope, because a good God can place true truth in fallen human minds. Sorry Walter, but if you hold to postmodernism, you can't even talk about truth (the philosophy of postmodernism has no place for it), much less claim that postmodernism IS the truth--it's an absolute statement from a relativistic system.

For a much better read on how the church should prepare to meet the challenges of our generation, I recommend to my peers "The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century" by Francis A. Schaeffer. Writing in the 1970's with a prophetic understanding of the twentieth century and where it was headed, he upholds the good things in Webber's work without the philosophical liabilities. Moreover, he had the postmodern movement pegged at a time when the word "postmodern" was merely an academic term. He has defined it very well, and has not even used the buzz word "postmodern." Check it out.

Post-modern thought is not a "philosophy"  Dec 17, 2003
My reading of Foucault, Derrida, and especially Lyotard is that their thinking rejects "...isms" or ",,,ities" as in existentialISM or modernITY. Thought systems that offer a comprehensive or totalising world view are philosophies. Postmodern thought does not offer an alternative philosophy, rather it is a critique of such ways of thinking. It regects the assertion of a metanarrative, or big story.

In Sullivan's excellent review of The Younger Evangelicals, he generally use the phrases "postmodern thought" or "postmodern thinking," but then in one instance use the phrase "postmodernism" (second to last paragraph). In that context, Sullivan and the other reviewers have done an excellent job of equipping the readers of The Younger Evangealicals with tools of discernment. The book has captured how the Younger Evangelicals have regected post modern thought by believing the metanarrative (big story) of God's Good News and at the same time understood the effects of modernity on the church, effects which could only have been grasped because post modern thought has provided some excellent tools for discerning where and how modernity can lead Christians slightly or way off course. If asserting the value of post modern thinking is troubling to some, then I would remind them that truth is God's truth because it is true regardless of who articulated it.


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