This is one of the most powerful, compelling, stunning, and significant books written in the past decade. In these pages, Murray chronicles the fall of evangelicalism in the late 20th Century.
Murray begins by telling his reader of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) and his brand of theology. In an effort to defend Christianity from the higher criticism of his contemporaries, Schleiermacher made a great distinction between the mind and the heart, the objective thought and the subjective passions. He rejected the objective and taught that true Christianity was solely subjective, thus unassailable by higher criticism.
After his description of Schleiermacher, Murray shifts gears to the earlier half of the 20th Century and describes the events that transpired from that time to the present day. While careful not to slander anyone, he names names and gives example after example of a shift in attitude and approach from standing upon truth to compromise in the name of proclaiming the gospel.
As one reads through this book, at some point or another Murray's connection will strike him: modern evangelicalism has fallen into Scheiermacher-like beliefs, and most of its leaders don't even realize it. It's shocking and its implications hit very close to home, but Murray's conclusions are true.
After reading this book, I was grieved by some of the compromises I had made in the past. It permanently altered my perspective, and I am thankful I read it. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any Christian who is interested in learning from the past, and I implore pastors and church leaders everywhere to read it so that the listing evangelical church might be righted again.
This is in my current list of Top 10 Christian books. Will it stay there? Fairly good chance. I first heard of it on a tape-of-the-month from RC Sproul, who highly praised the book several times. I ordered it and read it. I agree with him. It outlines how we have gotten away from being Godly and have become focused on growth and other worldly ideals. There is much to cover and, yes, some of it is hard to digest. But, there is no ignoring that the author is hitting the nail on the head. Sometimes we all need a wake-up call.