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Surprising Work of God, The: Harold John Ockenga, Billy Graham, and the Rebirth of Evangelicalism [Paperback]

By Garth M. Rosell (Author)
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Item Number 85055  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.28" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   0.83 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2008
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801035708  
EAN  9780801035708  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
There is growing interest in the story of mid-twentieth-century evangelicalism. One of the central leaders of that era was Harold John Ockenga. He was pastor of the historic Park Street Congregational Church in Boston and cofounder of Fuller Theological Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the National Association of Evangelicals, and Christianity Today. The Surprising Work of God examines the birth and development of modern American evangelicalism - its history, personalities, and institutions. The history of that time is seen through the window of the life, ministry, and writings of Ockenga, and his long friendship with Billy Graham. This lively, engaging story will be of value to anyone with an interest in the American church of the last century.

Publishers Description
There is growing interest in the story of mid-twentieth-century evangelicalism. One of the central leaders of that era was Harold John Ockenga. He was pastor of the historic Park Street Congregational Church in Boston and cofounder of Fuller Theological Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the National Association of Evangelicals, and Christianity Today. "The Surprising Work of God "examines the birth and development of modern American evangelicalism--its history, personalities, and institutions. The history of that time is seen through the window of the life, ministry, and writings of Ockenga and his long friendship with Billy Graham. This lively, engaging story will be of value to anyone with an interest in the American church of the last century.

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More About Garth M. Rosell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Garth M. Rosell (PhD, University of Minnesota) is professor of church history at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he has taught since 1978, and former director of the Ockenga Institute. His books include "The Memoirs of Charles G. Finney" (coedited with R. A. G. Dupuis) and "Commending the Faith: The Preaching of D. L. Moody."

Garth M. Rosell currently resides in the state of Minnesota.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History   [2546  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General   [0  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Pivotal Work in 20th Century Evanglicalism Studies  May 4, 2010
If more history was recounted with the story-telling abilities and love of subject matter displayed by Dr. Garth M. Rosell in his The Surprising Work of God fewer students would find history classes mundane. It tells the story of American Evangelicalism in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. It is a compelling, personal, and erudite history of the birth of the modern Evangelical movement in the United States.

Tracing its roots to Jonathan Edwards and the First Great Awakening, Rosell offers a five-point schema of what defines evangelicals that serves as a structural device for the rest of the work. "United by a shared theological focus (the cross), a shared authority (the Bible), a shared experience (conversion), a shared mission (worldwide evangelization), and a shared vision (the spiritual renewal of the church and society), the burgeoning evangelical movement set out to recapture the culture for Christ." (13) The book gives much attention to Harold John Ockenga, a pivotal individual in the awakening that swept through America and the world in the 1950s.

Ockenga (1905-1985) was a well-educated pastor who held advanced degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary (he was among the first graduates of the seminary) and the University of Pittsburgh. He served as pastor of Park Street Church, Boston from 1936-1969, founded the National Association of Evangelicals, helped Billy Graham get his start and served as founding president of both Fuller and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminaries. No other individual did more to create the Evangelical movement of the last century that Ockenga. Thanks to Rosell his story is now told.

Besides the story of Ockenga the book covers some of the major events of Billy Graham and other major players in the revival of the 1950s. It recounts the creation of Christianity Today magazine, the founding of Fuller Theological Seminary, worldwide meetings of evangelicals, some of the works of Carl Henry, and other topics. The book's greatest strength is the story of Ockenga told via extensive knowledge of primary documents. But one gets the sense that the power behind the story has more to do with Rosell's unique position than just with his superb academic skills. As the son of Merv Rosell, an evangelist during the era, and a close personal friend of Ockenga, Rosell is able to combine academic skill with personal affection for the individuals whose stories are unfolded within to tell a remarkable story with literary skill.

In the acknowledgements section Rosell admits that he expects criticism on his coverage of his father within the text, thinking that scholars will think his bias led him to give too much credit to Merv Rosell. Quite to the contrary, this writer thinks the book's largest weakness was the lack of information about Merv Rosell. One can see the tension Dr. Rosell experienced in writing as an academic about his own father. One hopes he will publish an article or some shorter work about Rosell and the other evangelists less well-known than Billy Graham.
 
Remarkable Era, Remarkable Book  Dec 5, 2008
There two kinds of history books: ones that inform and ones that both inform and shape. Rosell's book falls into the second category.

Surprising Work of God is a thoroughly researched and systematically structured book. Rosell makes a great effort to provide the highest level of sourcing and bibliographic information. As such, despite his closeness to figures that he writes about, his opinions are always reinforced by facts and others who have expressed similar sentiments.

Beyond the academic rigor of the book, there is a passion from Rosell that comes through the page that is difficult to quantify. You can tell that Rosell cares deeply about the subject and the figures that he writes about. You cannot help but become engrossed in the life of Harold John Ockenga and the other evangelists that impacted an entire world for more than a generation.

This book is a must read for those who study the patterns of revival, particularly those who are seeking for it today.
 
"The Surprising of Work of God" surprised me!  Jul 15, 2008
This book showed this child of a fundamentalist church that there was another side of orthodox Christianity. It showed the National Association of Evangelical as a continuation of the Great Awakenings. Therefore it returns briefly to them to define them. It shows the revival of the late 40's and 50's both North America and worldwide were the same kind.

To do this, the focus is on two men: Billy Graham and Harold John Ockenga. Ockenga's life is written more about than Graham's.

The great thing is the documentation. There are many footnotes, large bibliography and an index.
 

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