Why has Christian unity proved to be such a divisive topic? In the 1950s two movements- evangelicalism and ecumenism- offered differing paths to unity in the church. But as the decades have passed the influence of ecumenism has exposed a fault line in evangelicalism. Questions of critical importance have been brought to the surface: Is the gospel broader than evangelicals have historically insisted? Can there be unity with non-evangelicals in evangelism and church leadership? Does the gospel have priority over denominational loyalty?
These gained high profile in the crusades led by Dr. Billy Graham on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the subsequent interaction among evangelicals in North America and Europe. At first a new policy of ‘co-operation without compromise’ promised an ‘evangelical renaissance’. Those who feared an inevitable devaluation of the gospel were viewed as destined for the kind of isolation to which fundamentalism had been consigned earlier in the century.
Evangelicalism Divided traces the fascinating saga of the personalities, institutions and publications involved in this fifty-year period. Iain Murray’s account is not simply a black and white narrative. But using the mass of sources now available he shows how the new policy involved concessions which seriously weakened biblical Christianity. The first and greatest need, he argues, is to answer the most fundamental and divisive question of all: What is a Christian?
About the Author
Iain H. Murray, born in Lancashire, England, in 1931, was educated in the Isle of Man and at the University of Durham and entered the Christian ministry in 1955. He served as assistant to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel (1956-59) and subsequently at Grove Chapel, London (1961-69) and St. Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney (1981-84). Although remaining a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, he currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the Banner of Truth Trust (of which he is a founding trustee) has its main office.
‘Murray’s critique is as kind as it is revealing and devastating. The icons of modern evangelism are shown as falling into egregious strategic errors which have weakened the evangelical faith at its very core. The bridges built to reach the mainstream became a two-way street by which those who sought to influence the liberals were themselves influenced.’ — R.C. SPROUL
‘Iain Murray’s startling analysis of the rift of modern evangelicalism is both informative and insightful. I share his concerns. I also appreciate his courage and his clarity. This is a much-needed word of exhortation to the church of our generation. It’s one of the best and most eye-opening books I have read in years.’ — JOHN MACARTHUR