Williams says evangelicalism is suffering from amnesia about "how little the church's future is being informed by the Christian past."
Evangelicals in the Free Church tradition suffer from a very negative view of church history and the "Foundational Tradition of the early church."
The author, an ordained Baptist minister, believes that if the Free Churches don't rediscover that Tradition, they'll become more sectarian and become more and more susceptible to accomodation to the surrounding culture. From my observations, I believe Williams is correct.
I don't mean to sound cynical, but I'm very skeptical of Free Church/evangelicals responding to Williams' message. (I hope they'll prove me wrong!) So many of them seem to believe Christianity began when they asked Jesus into their lives, not 2,000 years ago.
Williams builds a strong case for his convictions. He believes it's the key to the church's renewal.
At the suggestion of a professor of Patristics after taking his class on Early Christian Thought, this was a tremendous eye-opener to the danger of forsaking the wellspring of rich legacy found in the Early Church and in Christian history in general. D.H. Williams writes primarily to "Suspicious Protestants," i.e. those leery of tradition and its (oft-thought) destructive influence upon authentic Christianity. On the contrary, Williams argues, Tradition (capital "T" -- thus not the man-made jots and tittles of deadening religion but the Heritage of Orthodoxy bequeethed to us from the Ancient Church) is just the necessary component to direct our way aright in the pluralistic/subjectivist mileiu in which we find ourselves. As Henri de Lubac has correctly noted: "Every time a Christian renewal has blossomed in our West, whether in thought or in life... it has blossomed under the sign of the Fathers."