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This is a brief chapter-by-chapter summary of Mark Hutchinson and John Wolffe’s A Short History of Global Evangelicalism, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
|Origins to 1790s||1790s to 1840s||1840s to 1870s||1870s to 1914||1900s to 1945||1945 to 1970s||1970s to 2010|
Work of God’
for the Kingdom”
|“The Kingdom |
|“A New Global |
(1) This is not a strict summary, while I’ve done my best to be faithful to this material. Some parts of it were re-organized to make the core content more digestible to a skimming reader.
(2) This is not a summary of every chapter. These 2 chapters have been excluded:
- Chapter 1: Understanding Evangelicalism
We, however, did use Hutchinson and Wolffe’s content to outline the word “evangelicalism” and its confusing meanings. Our outline is here.
- Chapter 8: The Actual Arithmetic
This chapter is on the difficulties of counting evangelicals and details its reasoning for the best estimates. I personally found the grays in the pie chart extremely difficult to distinguish in my paperback copy. Our lay summary of Pew (and Gordon-Conwell’s) numbers are here.
(3) If there are any errors that need to be corrected, please, please let us know.
|Origins debated: in the 1730s or in the 1600s, or in continuity with Reformation Protestantism
Most commonly cited origins:
1730s and 1740s “Great Awakening” aka “Evangelical revival”
1790s and early 1800s “Second Great Awakening”
Does not mean that revivals ceased between 1740s and 1790s
|Early Evangelicals divided over 2 key problems: |
1) How should we theologically understand this experience of new life and personal relationship with God?
2) Should we stay our existing church structures, create new ones or do both?
|“Voluntary” efforts expand evangelicalism |
Existing denominations were “evangelicized”
Formed new and split old denominations
Growth of voluntary societies (para-church) bolstered the work of churches by promoting social engagement and mission. Motivated by rising premillennial eschatology (after a period of “global cataclysm,” Jesus will return)
1700s: missions was mostly to West Indies slaves and settlers in America lead by Methodists and Moravians
1790s and early 1800s: formation of Baptist, evangelical Anglican and Congregational and Presbyterian societies; went particularly to India, southern and west Africa, Australia, New Zealand and islands in the Pacific
1792, William Carey’s Enquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen inspires founding of mission agencies like Baptist Missionary Society (1792), London Missionary Society (1795), Society for Missions to Africa and the East (later, Church Missionary Society, 1799), American Board for Foreign Missions (1810)
1813 Wilberforce and others campaigned in UK for “greater acceptance of missionary activity” when charter of East India Company was up for renewal.
|Methodism (compared to France) helped Britain maintain an orderly society in late 1700s, early 1800s. Hypothesis of early 20c French historian, Elie Halevy. Controversial thesis among scholars, but still influential.|
Methodism prepared the way for the industrial revolution. 1963 EP Thompson, British Marxist historian’s seminal The Making of the English Working Class: Methodism instilled discipline and allowed for productivity. Many factory workers accepted hardship because “a better world was yet to come.”
Evangelicalism helped shaped American national identity and political culture in northern and middle states. To some degree, evangelicalism had lent its language to the expansion of the nation: “manifest destiny.”
Evangelicalism shaped a “Victorian” ethos. Wilberforce and his Clapham Sect combated society’s perceived moral ills.
|Evangelicalism’s success made it commonplace
Loss of public sympathy, political power, and also intellectual traction; “emerged a stereotype of the ‘imaginary evangelical,' a public scapegoat
Rise of premillenialism fueled revivalism and zionism
1730-1839: Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, US, Australia, Canada, South Africa, South America
1830s “Holiness movement: ” Phoebe Worrall Palmer’s “Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness” expanded Methodist camp meeting teachings to “prayer revivals” and “businessmen’s revivals” in Britain and America
1865 East London Christian Revival Society/Mission, 1878 renamed Salvation Army. “By wrapping their members in uniforms, the Army transcended gender and class barriers which bedeviled much charity work, and captured the energy of popular ‘Holy Spirit’ religion for social transformation.” (103) Founded by William and Catherine Booth.
Unity is a sign of revival, but was there unity?
1840 first World Anti-Slavery Conventions
1846 founding of Evangelical Alliance
|“Evangelicalism did much more than teach the world to behave, they taught other traditions how to communicate, how to adapt to modernity, to co-opt or bypass the artificial walls of status quo and state religion.” (94)
3 key problems of evangelicals during this time
1) What does the Kingdom of God look like among a body of believers? Do you reform pre-existing church structures or do you form new ones?
“All agreed that the ‘true church’ was probably not hear among us.” (115)
2) Is the Kingdom of God here now, or is it to come later? “Was the church in the world, or was it a spiritual reality only to be truly realised at the end of all things?” (115)
3) “‘Where are we in time?’” (in terms of premillennial beliefs of Jesus’ return and judgment)
1861 Charles Spurgeon opens “Metropolitan Tabernacle, Southwark,” not a church but “a great preaching hall”
Dwight Lyman Moody’s (1837-99) international enterprise of revivalism inspires new generation of global evangelists. Shoe salesman turned pastor turned president of the YMCA, publisher of his own paper, “Heavenly Tidings”, founder of schools, and evangelist.
New global spiritual unity symbolized by Keswick Conferences (1886):
Hudson Taylor’s China Inland Mission (CIM) incorporated Keswick practices and inspired many “faith missions” “[A]voided association with imperialism” and “successfully institutionalizing for the first time the principles of cross-cultural missions.” (129)
Results of transmitted faith varied greatly
Kenya: In some parts, evangelicalism became associated with the elites
Korea: Evangelicalism became associated with those feeling oppressed by Japanese rule-
China: Evangelicalism sometimes appropriated into “popular shamanism.” The Taiping Rebellion resulted in a misappropriation of Christianity.
Present-day Nigeria: Samuel Crowther’s spread of a Yoruba form of Christianity was the first non-Western culture to be self propagating, self supporting and self governing.
Edinburg Missions Conference of 1910
(not exclusively an evangelical event)
Some evangelicals worried about their lack of theologians, their disappearing academy and their growing image as “backward-looking dogmatists”
Founded evangelical Anglican organizations in UK, Canada to train evangelical clergy like Church Association (1865), National Church League (1906), Wycliffe Hall, Oxford (1877), Ridley Hall, Cambridge (1881), St. John’s, Kilburn (1863), Wycliffe College in Toronto, Moore College, Sydney
|Popular culture had absorbed evangelicalism as non-evangelicals were giving sermons in the open air, borrowing its religious language of empire and the state taking over its charitable endeavors.
Keswick symbolizes a new global spiritual unity by helping evangelicals “sidestep the growing entanglements of nationalism, secularism, modernism” (145)
Tensions between missionaries on the ground who saw nuances, and “home” sending agencies and scholars who perferred to see others in monolithic categories.
|More revivals |
Melbourne (1902), Wonsan, Korea (1903), Wales (1904), Mukti, India (1905), Los Angeles (1906), Pyongyang, Korea (1907), Belgian Congo, (1914), Ivory Coast and Ghana (1914-5), Shandong, China (1930), Gahini, Rwanda (1936)
Growth of indigenous churches and leaders
India: KE Abraham’s Indian Pentecostal Church of God (1924), Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (1927), Dipti Mission (1925), Kandiswamy Chetti’s Fellowship of the Followers of Jesus (Madras, 1933-43)
China and Chinese diaspora in SE Asia: John Sung (1901-44)
Africa: William Wade Harris in Liberia and Ivory Coast in 1910s, Simon Kimbangu in the Congo and the Aldura in Nigeria in 1920s
Korea, After Pyongyang revival (1907), Protestants surpassed Catholic numbers; Korean evangelicals became prominent in the nationalist campaign against Japanese rule
Emergence of Pentecostalism:
Attitudes towards World War I varied widely.
After World War I was not a good time for Western evangelicals.
Emergence of fundamentalist evangelicalicalism
“Both liberals and evangelicals were wrong-footed by the challenges presented by the rise of Nazism”
|Many evangelicals recognized the need to reconnect with public sphere and used media, new funding sources and also formed new types of organizations to do so.
New types of organizations: (many started by or with Billy Graham)
New social agencies that represented a new shift in evangelical consciousness in the 1970s, like the Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund or Tearfund (1968)
New trans-denominational global unity through super-stardom of Billy Graham
More revivals producing more leaders and missionaries
Unraveling of evangelical consensus:
Increased efforts in research to counter liberal scholarship
|Growing problems with traditional church institutions meant increased commitment to “church invisible.”
Since Western evangelical intellectual centers failed to think about their theology, than Africans, Asians and other Christians had to work out for themselves what being a Christian meant.
“Neo-evangelicals never forgot that ‘fundamentalist problem’ had essentially been a battle between scholars, a struggle for their mind of the West, which they had lost.” (189)
“Evangelical writing at the time was fascinated with achieving ‘the best’ and ‘most rigorous’ scholarship.”
|More revivals, particularly a “convention form of charismatic renewal”
Argentina (1983), Toronto, Canada (1993-4), London (1994), Brownsville, FL (1995)
Also rise of evangelical influence in Latin America, Nigeria and South Korea
3 major events dominated international evangelical action
Evangelicals in the public sphere
Fracturing of Evangelical unity.
1990-2010 many reformed evangelicals increasingly defined their borders and took advice of Martyn Lloyd Jones: they left, divided or conquered those in their denominations who were not like themselves.
New kind of churches (as described by Seattle Pastor Mark Driscoll): (262)
|“Secularism was winning, religion was losing.” (246)
Evangelicals are truly global pilgrims and still learning to be transnational.
“Where squeezed out of the public space, evangelicals have learned from models of subcultural protest in the 1960s to develop a range of non-political public action.”
Mega-churches in US “organized spiritually” vs. locally, could now “internalize direct action towards the global.” Tended to attract “high-fertility ‘exurban’ white family formation and aspirational urban black and Hispanic family settlement” as it took the everyday activities of life. (261)
“Much of the debate (about emergent church) is not about what evangelicalism is, but rather how evangelicals are to recognize one another outside their local tribes? What are their common ends? Evangelicalism is not---for most of its adherents--a primary identity. Very few people are converted to ‘evangelicalism’ as such. Most are converted to Jesus and then sustain their faith through evangelical catechism, community and spiritual practice.” (270)
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