By Kevin N. Flatt
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Additional info for After Evangelicalism: The Sixties and the United Church of Canada
J. ”26 Somewhat surprisingly, given that there was no particular affinity between neo-orthodoxy and traditional revivalism, United Church officials tended to link the “return to theology” and the return to evangelism. 27 Thus, the influence of Barthian neo-orthodoxy among United Church leaders helped provide theological justification for, and thereby helped reinforce, the return to evangelism. indb 23 2013-05-09 15:43:44 24 After Evangelicalism their constituency was threatened by the more enthusiastic revivalism of smaller evangelical denominations.
94 Such stories sought to inculcate a missionary spirit among the church’s children. 96 In their emphasis on the Bible, missions, and evangelical morality, therefore, the graded and uniform lessons promoted a generally evangelical viewpoint. This evangelical emphasis could also be seen in the official purposes of the church school, as stated in bce publications. 97 Specifically, the church school was to be pro-Bible, encouraging students to know and identify with the Scriptures and read them devotionally.
57 Although Pidgeon and others continued to see evangelism as a means of stimulating social reform, this did not prevent them from using traditional evangelical language to describe such evangelism. 59 Yet in the midst of all this evangelistic effort the bess, the United Church’s arbiter of evangelistic and social action, prepared a significant “Statement on Evangelism” that revealed major points of divergence between the thinking of church leaders and evangelical theology. Issued in 1934 in response to the General Council’s request for an official statement on the church’s view of evangelism, the statement illustrated an important fact: church leaders could back revivalism without holding evangelical beliefs.