Where Shall My Wond'ring Soul Begin?: The Landscape of Evangelical Piety and Thought

Mark A. Noll, Editor, Ronald F. Thiemann, Editor
Mark A. Noll, Editor, Ronald F. Thiemann, Editor Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company $10 (106p) ISBN 978-0-8028-4639-6
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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A star-studded group of eight contributors offers readers loving but honest reflections on contemporary evangelical theology. In his essay on Scripture, William J. Abraham highlights two distinctive evangelical approaches to the Bible: evangelicalism's willingness to tackle ""the epistemological issues that swirl around scripture"" and its insistence that the Bible is an essential means of grace. Alistair McGrath examines why there is so little evangelical writing on the Trinity. Richard Mouw reflects on ethics, applauding evangelicals' increasing forays into the public square over the last generation, while Mark Noll suggests that the very best of the tradition is embodied in hymnody, though evangelicals may not always live up to the lofty ideals they belt out on Sunday mornings. Dallas Willard argues that there are three central components to evangelical piety--sin, conversion and testimony-- though he admits that public conviction of sin has fallen out of fashion. The only disappointment is Cheryl Sanders's essay about the role disciplined spiritual practices have played in evangelicalism. Sanders, who is especially interested in African-American spirituality, leans a little too heavily on Charles Marsh's study of religion during the civil rights movement; it would be more rewarding to read an article by Marsh himself. The essays are a touch too scholarly to be truly accessible to the general reader, which is a shame because the insights Noll, McGrath and the other contributors afford are rich indeed. (June)
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