Is Jesus Your Personal Saviour?

Is Jesus Your Personal Saviour?: In Search of Canadian Evangelicalism in the 1990s

G.A. Rawlyk
Copyright Date: 1996
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Is Jesus Your Personal Saviour?
    Book Description:

    Rawlyk's study is based on data from an Angus Reid poll on religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices in Canada -- the largest public opinion survey of its kind ever conducted -- as well as scores of interviews with randomly selected evangelicals. The empirical data reveal some surprising findings, among them that sixteen per cent of all adult Canadians are evangelicals. Rawlyk also draws on his earlier historical work to establish a real connection between early Canadian evangelicalism and evangelicalism today.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6602-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-8)

    Much of this book was written in Charleston, South Carolina, during the winter of 1994-95. What better place for a Canadian to write a book in the winter months than in South Carolina! And what better environment in which to write a book about evangelicalism in general, and Canadian evangelicals and Canadian evangelicalism in particular, in the 1990s than the heartland of the American Bible Belt? Here evangelicalism and its conservative variant, fundamentalism, have virtually become the Established State Church. Conservative Christians, as the evangelicals and fundamentalists now proudly refer to themselves, are to be found on the leading edge...

  5. CHAPTER ONE From the “New Light-New Birth” to the Toronto Blessing: Four Canadian Evangelical Trajectories
    (pp. 9-30)

    In the first half of the eighteenth century Anglo-American and continental Protestantism was significantly affected by a series of revivals or religious awakenings that helped to define the emerging evangelical impulse. During the formative stages in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, conversionism and revivalism largely defined the inner core of evangelicalism. This conversionism or “regeneration” - being “born again” - was frequently described as a transforming experience, involving all sensory perceptions and permanently branding Christ’s salvation “upon the redeemed of the Lord.” For John Wesley, the great English Methodist, conversion was feeling “through faith in Christ my heart strangely warmed.”...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Canadian Protestant Theological Education in Canada: From Evangelical to Liberal to Evangelical?
    (pp. 31-48)

    During the past 150 years Canadian Protestant theological education, like that in the United States, has undergone significant and profound change. And in tracing this change from a largely evangelical hegemony to a liberal one and back to an increasingly evangelical emphasis, important connections may be made with the changing contours of Canadian Protestantism. Theological education can be, as Roger Finke and Rodney Stark argue in their disturbing my-thumb-in-your-eye kind of book, TheChurching of America,1776-1990, the handmaiden of spiritual and denominational decline.¹ But Protestant theological education can also act as a reflection and agent of religious revitalization -...

  7. CHAPTER THREE “A Nation of Belivers”?
    (pp. 49-116)

    The cover of the 12 April 1993 issue ofMaclean’smagazine carried the banner headline in pristine white: “GOD IS ALIVE - Canada is a nation of believers.“Below was a Bible opened at the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of the New Testament Gospel of John containing the powerful crucifixion and resurrection story. A simple wooden crucifix was carefully arranged on the open pages of the Bible, connecting the arrest of Jesus Christ with Pontius Pilate’s decision to have the so-called King of the Jews crucified on Golgotha.

    The actual sixteen-page cover story — the largest ever done byMaclean’son such...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Who Are These Canadians Some Would Call Evangelicals?
    (pp. 117-145)

    The nineteenth century was without question Canadian evangelicalism’s century. Evangelicalism in the nineteenth century, it may be argued, exerted a far greater impact on all aspects of Canadian life than it did in the United States - always considered to be a far more Christian nation. But by the early twentieth century the kaleidoscope of evangelical ideology had been shaken up, so that the centrality of the New Birth and the crucial importance of being involved in witnessing was being pushed towards the periphery, to be replaced at the centre by biblicism and an almost rational approach to crucicentrism. Moreover,...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE And Finally Some Actual Canadian Evangelicals Were Found
    (pp. 146-221)

    It is one thing, of course, to question in a rather cursory fashion a randomly selected sample of 6,014 Canadians to ascertain something about prevailing religious beliefs and practices in Canada in the mid 1990s. Such brief interviews provide raw data for charts and percentages of this and that in a general way, but precious little richly textured, descriptive material about specific Canadians and the range and depth of their religiosity. It was a different kind of challenge to probe in somewhat greater depth the experiences, beliefs, and practices of approximately half the number of Canadian evangelicals in the total...

  10. Epilogue
    (pp. 222-226)

    This book is not in any way meant to be a triumphal story about the rise, fall, and miraculous resurrection of Canadian evangelicalism in the 1990s. Nor“Is Jesus Your Personal Saviour?”a bitter jeremiad denouncing what many regard as the growing evangelical emphasis upon relational Christianity and ecstatic feelings. According to the evangelical theologian David Wells, “Being evangelical has come to mean simply that one has had a certain kind of religious experience that gives color to the private aspects of daily life but in which few identifiable theological elements can be discerned or, as it turns out, are...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 227-236)
  12. Index
    (pp. 237-239)