The Great Reversal
242 Pages
English

The Great Reversal

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Why did the evangelical church, which had been the leader in social welfare and reform prior to the twentieth century, discontinue its involvement in social concerns? Is a commitment to personal evangelism incompatible with an interest in social issues? In this provocative book, Dr. Moberg analyzes the Great Reversal of the early twentieth century and discusses its causes and effects, all in the context of seeing the Bible as the guide to faith and conduct. The importance of recognizing and coping with social evil as well as personal sin is emphasized, and the author concludes with a summary of developments that are helping to reverse the Great Reversal and restore evangelical Christianity to its rightful place of leadership.

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Published 01 January 2007
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EAN13 9781725217997
Language English
Document size 17 MB

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Reconciling Evangelism and Social Concern David O. Moberg
Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401
The Great Reversal Reconciling Evangelism and Social Concern ByDavid O. Moberg Copyright©2006byDavid O.Moberg Publication date 12/4/2006
ISBN 13: 978-1-55635-124-2 ISBN 10: 1-55635-124-0
Previously published as The Great Reversal, Evangelism and Social Concern By David O. Moberg Copyright © 1977 by Holman
Originally published in the Evangelical Perspectives series under the general editorship of Prof. Dr.John Warwick Montgomery (J. B. Lippincott Co., 1970–1972).
Other titles in this seriesincluded the following:
Tom Skinner,How Black Is the Gospel?
Richard V. Pierard,The Unequal Yoke: Evangelical Christianity and Political Conservatism
M. O. Vincent, M.D.,God, Sex and You
Vernon C. Grounds,Revolution and the Christian Faith
Raymond F. Surburg,How Dependable Is the Bible?
Edwin M. Yamauchi,The Stones and Scriptures
Acknowledgement is also made to John Warwick Montgomery  for his keen work on the Evangelical Perspectives series in  which this book was originally published.
Contents
Preface to the 2006 Edition/3 Preface to the Revised Edition / 7 Preface to the First Edition/11 1 Evangelism versus Social Concern / 13 2The Great Reversal / 28 3 Do Evangelicals Lack Social Concern? / 46 4 The Sociological Analysis of Evangelism / 67 5 Barriers to Effective Social Concern / 86 6 Social Welfare and Evangelism / 104 7 Social Sin / 120 8Reversing the Great Reversal in Theory / 150 9Reversing the Great Reversal in Practice / 172 10 The Ripening Climate for Evangelical Social Concern / 201 Suggestions for Further Reading/21 General Index/222 Scripture Index/22 Supplemental Suggestions for Study (2006)/231
Preface to the 2006 Edition
As I reviewed the earlier editions of this book, I was struck by st how stunningly relevant its insights still are in the 21 century. Perhaps that is because it focuses upon enduring conditions and trends more than upon speciîc details linked with the dominant social, political, cultural, and theological questions of any given decade. In addition, the principles for action that are expressed and implied reect the reality that under differ-ing sets of circumstances actions must be adapted in different ways in order to attain the same goals. Many Christian congregations and denominations have taken steps to heal the rift between evangelism and social justice. To use the words of Professor M. Daniel Carroll R. (Denver Seminary Magazine,1(3): 9–10, Winter 2005), “Fresh winds . . . are now blowing. . . . More and more evangelicals are moving to the stance that these concerns [of social justice and involvement] should be an integral part of Christian mission, without in any way minimizing the necessity of personal conversion.” In their summary of evangelical statements of faith, J. I. Packer and Thomas C. Oden similarly devote a chapter ofOne Faith: The Evangelical Consensus(InterVarsity Press, 2004) to “Christian Social Responsibility: The Integration of Words and Deeds.” 7 3
Preface
One of the most encouraging events occurred in Fall 2004 when the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals unanimously adoptedFor the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility. The th 42-0 vote was publicized in its October 8 news release as “a milestone in the movement of evangelicals from the insularity of a revival tent mind-set in the early 20th century to the political activism of the 21st century.” The document outlines a comprehensive framework for evangelical political engagement, capturing both domestic and international priorities while acknowledging areas of consensus and disagreement. Ronald Sider, co-chair of the project with NAE Executive Committee member DianeKnippers, afîrmedthat “The declaration calls evangelicals to a biblically balanced concern that reects the full range of God’s concerns for the well-being of marriage, the family, the sanctity of human life, justice for the poor, care for creation, peace, freedom and racial justice. No longer dare one accuse evangelicals of being “one-issue” voters focused exclusively on one or two issues.” Sider and Knippers subsequently editedToward an Evangelical Public Policy(Baker Books, 2005) in which 23 authors eshed out details regarding its topics. Differences of opinion about ideal Christian ministry have prevailed in Christian circles down through the centuries. Since about 1900 many have centered around priorities for evangelism and social concern. Is personal faith in Christ so immediately life changing that Christ-like service to society and other people automatically results from conversion? Ought Christians focus on ministries to change persons who then will change society or on efforts to reform society, which then will shape the values and behavior of individuals? Should
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