THE EVANGELICAL RENAISSANCE, by Donald G. Bloesch; Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973; 165 pp., $2.95 (paper).
A Quotation from the Preface will give the best possible idea of the contents of this book.
Because I see in the resurgence of evangelicalism today both opportunities and pitfalls, I have been moved to share some thoughts on a direction for evangelical renewal in the future. An analysis has been made of the rise of the new evangelical theology and of the hallmarks of evangelicalism. I have also sought to reassess the contribution of Karl Barth, showing how it is possible to learn from his theology even while not embracing it as the answer for our times. In addition I have seen the need for dispelling the bogey of Pietism, since both ecumenists and evangelicals today should acknowledge their indebtedness to that great spiritual movement h the past which was responsible for the missionary upsurge and the outpouring of charitable enterprises in Protestantism. It can also be shown that a sizable number of Pietists and a great many of the Christian mystics were actively engaged in social and political action. They not only brought revival to the church but helped to turn the destinies of entire nations. . . .
Those who espouse an evangelical position should not isolate themselves from other Christians if they are to be a bona fide source of renewal for the church today. We must let ourselves be corrected by our Catholic and Orthodox brethren, especially where this is warranted by Scripture. We have much to learn even from liberal Protestants, who have not been entirely off the mark in some of their protests and concerns. The new Social Gospel movement undoubtedly errs in confusing a just society instituted by social engineering with the kingdom of God, but it bids us to recall that there are definite social implications in the biblical message. . . .
The book is recommended to those who are interested in keeping up with recent trends in evangelical and ecumenical thought, not because we agree with the contents, but because we must know what is happening in the ecclesiastical world of our time.