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When it first appeared, Discovering an Evangelical Heritage was widely regarded as a groundbreaking historical work. The continued relevance of the issues with which this book deals justifies its reappearance twelve years after its first advent challenged countless people to rethink their Evangelical heritage. If anything, the challenge is even greater now to follow the example set by the forebears of twentieth century evangelicalism.
For instance, Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army and ardent feminist, offers a powerful testimony to the impact that Christian witness can and should have upon society. Likewise, abolitionist Theodore Weld, converted under the ministry of Charles G. Finney, showed what a response to the radical call of Christ means as he strove to right social injustice and inequity during his day.
Despite the hardship and consequences of living out their faith, these and other evangelical forerunners left a heritage to be remembered and an example to be followed. Like the author himself, the reader will be challenged to rethink his or her own relationship with Evangelicalism and will have to reflect upon the broader significance of that movement in American culture.