Awakening the Evangelical Mind: An Intellectual History of the Neo-Evangelical Movement

Posted On February 19, 2016

Awakening the Evangelical Mind by Dr. Owen Strachan is a fascinating book that tells the story of how evangelicalism developed as an intellectual movement in the middle of the twentieth century. In this book, the author provides an accessible survey of neo-evangelicalism, tracing the rise of a movement that changed the American church in profound ways.

This book begins with Harold Ockenga, showing how he brought together a small community of Christian scholars at Harvard University in the 1940s with singular aim of a reloaded Christian intellect. Along the way, Strachan gives fresh insight and letters and correspondence from key leaders in the movement from evangelical luminaries such as George Eldon Ladd, Edward John Carnell, John Gerstner, Gleason Archer, Carl Henry, and Kenneth Kantzer. This book is part biography, part intellectual and social history, and helpfully sheds light on the evangelical mind and history.

What struck me in reading Awakening the Evangelical Mind is how Ockenga, Henry, and many others wanted a robust evangelicalism that wasn’t devoid of biblical doctrine but rather had biblical doctrine as the basis of the movement. What we need today is a robust evangelicalism thoroughly saturated in the Five Solas and informed by the Doctrines of Grace that will boldly proclaim the glories of the gospel from the Word of God in the context of the local church.

Awakening the Evangelical Mind is a thought-provoking book. This book will help the Church to understand our great need to continue to fan the flames of a confessional evangelicalism that has awakened in our day. Reading Awakening the Evangelical Mind will also help readers understand the formation of Post World War III evangelicalism and the events that shaped that movement. I highly recommend this excellent book for those interested in American history or church history.

I received this book for free from Zondervan Academic, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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