Ahead of my American Evangelicalism class next week I just finished a book published in 1974 called The Young Evangelicals. It is a time machine back to an era when progressive young Christians were willing to set aside mentality of debates between liberalism and fundamentalism in the church but not the doctrines that created the clash.
The author, Richard Quebedeaux, then a young man himself, found several paths of growth for Christianity and he shared the hope of a future ecumenical reality that has never solidified.
Fascinating to me is that the issues (sexuality, doctrine, practice, social justice) held most important among the subjects of the book turn out to be the same we discuss in the church today. There is no apparent movement beyond the questions that were being asked by the “young evangelicals.”
So what happened? Are these young Christians simply older and wiser – did they become jaded along the way and give up on their ideals? In the Christian culture we hear leaders speak of the same issues as if they are the first to raise them but the reality is there is nothing new under the sun. We just get older…