Darrow Miller and Friends

A Call for Evangelicals to Return to Wholistic Ministry: Seeking the Transformation of Both Hearts and Societies

Recently a new friend, Pastor Wayne Wager of Illini Life Christian Fellowship at the University of Illinois, Champaign, sent me a paper he had written entitled The Buses Will Wait: The Emergence and Rise of Neo-Evangelicalism (1940-1970).  His paper explores the history of evangelicals with a focus on the Neo-Evangelical movement in the middle of the 20th century.

In this very helpful paper, Pastor Wager makes useful distinctions between Christian fundamentalists and their evangelical counterparts.  He examines both the strengths and weaknesses of the New-Evangelical, identifying two major weakness compared with their earlier spiritual fathers.  The Neo-Evangelicals were marked by anti-intellectualism and by a limited view of [w]holistic ministry, or engagement in social action.  Wager concludes his paper with a call: “What I sense we need is faithfulness to those few core values that make evangelicals what they are.  Living true to the teaching of Scripture, being obedient to Jesus Christ, a brave engagement with the world as it is, and a continuing to pray for the genuine conversion of people.”

The paper reminds me of Dr. Ralph Winter’s influential paper, published in the fall of 2007, The Future of Evangelicals in Mission: Will We Regain the Vision of Our Forefathers in the Faith?

In his paper, Dr. Winter makes a distinction between 1st Inheritance Evangelicals who wanted to see and who work for both the transformation of hearts and societies, and 2nd Inheritance Evangelicals who worked only for the transformation of the heart.

As the church enters the 21st Century it is good to see Pastor Wager, Dr. Winter and others calling the church back to her rich evangelical heritage.  In this legacy, people are called to the cross for salvation and nations are implored to obey all that Christ has commanded so that they may reach their God given potential as free, just, and prosperous peoples.

-Darrow L. Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).