This book proposes that participation in “God’s Project of Reconciliation” is the “Center” that can hold evangelical Christians together in the midst of great diversity in belief and ecclesiastical practices. The author envisions a vibrant future for the Evangelical movement if professing evangelicals can model that rare combination of deep commitment to their own beliefs; openness to listen- ing to the beliefs of others; and willingness to engage in respectful conversation with those who disagree with them in place of the combativeness that has characterized too much of Evangelicalism in the recent past. The book models this type of conversation on such controversial issues as the exclusivity of Christianity, the inerrancy of the bible, Evangelicalism and morality, Evangeli- calism and politics, scientific models on humanity, cosmic and human origins, and the future of evangelical higher education.
Harold Heie is an admirable leader in advocating that evangelicals should combine their firm commit- ments with Christian virtues such as generosity, respect, and humility toward those who differ with them. That has been the premise of his valuable “Respectful Conversation” website from which many of the insights in this book are drawn. Anyone who wants to know the state of the conversation about American evangelicalism will find this volume to be an excellent resource.
--George Marsden, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
This stimulating and hopeful book features the best kind of respectful conversations among American
evangelical believers. Harold Heie is convinced that actually communicating with others who hold slightly different—or very different—convictions about what evangelical Christianity should be creates the best path into the future. This book puts that conviction into practice. As it takes up issues that often divide evangelicals into angry sub-camps, the result is a welcome promotion of civility, balance, and humility—all of which reflect the Christian gospel in its most attractive form.
—Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
On the subject of American evangelicalism, vapid generalizations abound. Harold Heie provides a much-needed alternative. Both longtime students of the subject and relative newcomers will profit from this model of respectful (but far from bland) conversation.
—John Wilson, Editor, Books & Culture